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Five fabulous moments from the Strictly Prom

1. A very cheeky Charleston

The Roaring Twenties medley transported dancers and audience to a 1920s New York speakeasy, courtesy of some classy clarinet and plenty of Chaplinesque slapstick.

Janette Manrara and Joanne Clifton fought a sassy battle for the boys’ attention in this group Charleston. Although, if this pic is anything to go by, we think Janette won in the cheeky stakes.

The music: Roaring Twenties Medley arr Paul Hart: Charleston – Sweet Georgia Brown – Ain’t She Sweet? – Happy Feet

2. A fiercely fought Paso Doble

Husband-and-wife team Karen and Kevin Clifton raised the temperature of the Royal Albert Hall with this routine: a dance that was originally a combative, men-only affair, with lots of strutting and stomping. Hot stuff.

The music: Estancia – Malambo by Alberto Ginastera

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Karen & Kevin dance the Paso Doble

Dancing to the Four Dances from Estancia by Ginastera, performed by the BBC CO.

On a side note, we learned that the Paso Doble is perhaps unique in its ability to make a man wearing a black satin cape look macho and commanding. The audience certainly thought so.

3. The moment Aljaž literally swept a Radio 3 presenter off her feet

BBC Prom Queen – and Strictly finalist – Katie Derham was pretty darn fabulous all night. Not only did she host the entire show, she wore four different frocks AND she got to dance with Aljaž.


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Katie Derham and Aljaz dance the Viennese Waltz

Dancing to If I Can Dream, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

The music: If I Can Dream by Walter Earl Brown, arr. Richard Balcombe

4. The most romantic rumba EVER

When Aljaž Skorjanec confessed to Katie that “the rumba is a dance of love” and that “to do it with someone you are in love with is really special”, the entire audience spontaneously came out with a big, soppy awwww.

Aljaž and his real-life squeeze Janette Manrara danced a beautifully crafted rumba – a very technical dance with lots of lifts and intertwining limbs, but also a touchingly intimate moment within an action-packed night.

The music: The main theme of Somewhere in Time by John Barry

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Janette & Aljaz dance the Rumba

Dancing to Somewhere in Time, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

5. The samba that survived a wardrobe malfunction

The samba is a notoriously difficult dance – one of only two styles (along with the rumba, incidentally) not to have received a perfect ten in Strictly history.

Karen and Kevin, however, made dancing to Barroso’s dangerously catchy Aquarela do Brasil look easy. That – plus Karen’s incredibly professional reaction to a rather distracting wardrobe malfunction – earned them a standing ovation from the audience.

Samba isn’t that hard, according to Karen. Apparently, you just need chocolate, candy, coffee – oh, and the clincher: “It’s about smiling and moving your feet really quickly. If you do both at the same time, people get confused and don’t know where to look”.

Top tip, Karen.

The music: Aqualero do Brasil by Ary Barroso, arr. John Wasson


OK. We know we said five fabulous things, but Strictly isn’t Strictly without music – and the Strictly Prom wouldn’t strictly have been a Prom without the the incredible BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Gavin Sutherland.

Time and turn again, they aced the spectrum of dance music – from Piazzolla’s sultry Libertango to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. The dancers seemed truly honoured to have been partnered with such a crack team of musos – especially when they had instruments like this one at their disposal.

6 and a half. This stupendously huge glitter ball

Look at it. JUST LOOK AT IT.

Watch the whole Strictly Prom on iPlayer or Listen Again on Radio 3 for 30 days.