Here’s how you can have dance classes with the Strictly Stars…
“This weekend sounds like so much Strictly fun” EMMY GRIFFITHS Hello Magazine – 11th Oct 2019
The stars of Strictly Come Dancing including Neil and Katya jones, Anton Du Beke and Amy Dowden have announced their upcoming plans to reunite in Spring 2020 for a series of special weekends – and you can be a part of it! The weekend will take place across the country, and Strictly fans will be able to stay in 4* and 5* hotels and have the chance to rub shoulders with the talented dancers, take part in Q&As and even have a go at learning some moves yourself.
The experiences will take place in spring 2020
This amazing events has been sold out every year since 2004, and have been described as “the highlight of the entertainment calendar for every Strictly fan”. Speaking about the exciting upcoming series of weekends, Anton said: “It’s the best weekend you’ll have, ever. You get all of the stars come along and the organisation is amazing.” Aljaz Skorjanec, who attended the 2018 events, added: “What an amazing weekend! Thank you so much for inviting us, we are so happy to be part of your beautiful event. A clear 10 from me!” Anton’s dance partner, Erin Boag, added: “Everything is amazing. The accommodation and the organisation. You get workshops every single day – everything you could think of. Everything you see on Strictly, you’ll probably learn here.”
The event organiser, Paul Donahey, added: “One of the things we love most about these weekends is that we see everyone from experienced dancers to beginners. No matter their skill level, they leave at the end of the weekend with a newfound confidence and plenty of fantastic memories of dancing with the Strictly stars.” Each weekend include range of showcase performances, Q&A sessions and all of the photo opportunities you need to meet your favourite performers!
Firstly, we must say that Donahey’s number one priority is our guest’s, performers and team safety, and to this end we will always be following the latest UK government guidelines and regulations.
As a team we are working with our excellent partner Resort Hotels and Strictly Stars towards delivering you a fabulous and safe Dancing With The Stars Weekend next March and April 2021.
It is expected by March and April 2021 live performance events will be permitted to take place with additional and sensible social distancing safety measures in place.
Guests will be required to confirm their good health, absence of any symptoms of Covid-19 and that any recent international travel conforms with UK quarantine guidelines, as a condition of their visit. All guests must follow the advice of the UK government. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Social distance policies and additional safety measures will be put in place by Donahey’s and our Resort Hotels to ensure the safety and well-being of all our guests, performers and team.
We will keep in touch with all our guests in the build upto your Dancing With The Stars Weekend to keep you fully informed of the progress we are making and the enhanced safety measures that Donahey’s and our Resort Hotels will have in place. Please bear with us as we try to balance and implement the ever changing guidance and regulations with our desire to provide a warm and friendly welcome to all of you who have chosen to join us.
You can view each of our Resort Hotels latest Covid-19 safety measures & policies here;
We promise to be flexible with bookings, wherever possible we would love you to continue to enjoy looking forward to spending a weekend with the Strictly Stars.
Should your 2021 Dancing With The Stars Weekend be postponed due to Covid-19, we will offer a no cost transfer to the following years Dancing With The Stars Weekend at the same venue, over the same weekend.
Or you may choose to switch to a different weekend or venue the following year or year after.
We confirm all 2022 supplier cost increases will be absorbed on bookings transferred.
Alternatively we will offer a full refund, less a small booking fee.
Firstly, we must say that Donahey’s number one priority is our pupils & teachers safety, and to this end we will always be following the latest UK government guidelines and regulations.
We are of course now awaiting the re-opening of Schools & Town Halls for external community use.
As a team we are working with our venues towards the re-opening of our weekly Ballroom Dance Lessons, providing them with our Covid-19 Risk Assessment & Protocols.
As with most things, our dance lessons will look and feel different at first as we implement our new safety measures;
We will be in touch with all our pupils in due course to confirm re-start dates, times & venues.
We warmly look forward to welcoming you all back onto the dance-floor very soon
Paul, Shirley & the team
Donahey’s Dance School – Covid-19 Secure Policy
Face coverings compulsory for pupils when entering and leaving the building and whilst using the stairwells, foyer and corridors – unless a pupil has exempt status.
Pupils should arrive through the main entrance and proceed one-way into the hall.
Pupils should enter the building on-time for their session and arrive no earlier to avoid congestion.
Pupils should arrive changed and ready to dance with minimal additional belongings. Any personal belongings should be placed in a bag.
Strictly no spectators
Strictly no food to be brought onto the premises, one drink per person.
All Pupils should observe current UK Government Respiratory guidelines ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’
Pupils must be spaced 2m apart for check-in.
Only pre-registered pupils with; Name, Telephone number and Email address admitted.
Pupils must pay in advance of attendance, or use contactless payment upon arrival.
A record kept for ‘NHS Track & Trace’ with who has entered the building together with duration of visit.
Our check in registration requires confirmation that any person entering our premises is well and not showing any symptoms of Covid-19, has not been in contact with an infected person, nor have they recently returned from a quarantine listed country.
Pupils mandatory use of Automatic hand sanitiser at check-in.
Our lesson planning has been reorganised to limit class size, offer increased distance based on the relevant range of movement and based on cubic meters of each hall (length x width x ceiling height)
A verbal safety warning & social distancing advisory by the teacher at the beginning of each class
Only members of the same household or same social bubble permitted to dance together
One couple per 3m x 3m space
No changing partners or pairing up of single pupils
Customers encouraged to use automatic hand sanitisers throughout the lesson.
At an elementary level Ballroom and progressive Latin American move at a comparatively sedentary pace in an anti-clockwise direction around the dance floor. There is a reduced range of movement permitted and between couples always allow a distance of 3M.
In the more static dances, such as Salsa, Rumba, Cha Cha, Jive, similar rules apply. Due to non-progressive movement, couples will be using their 3m x 3m space to allow rotational type movement.
Instruction duration has been reduced to a 50 minute unit for all lessons – this is to allow changeover time and to ensure pupils can leave safely before others arrive.
This time is also used for disinfecting surfaces such as door handles and other items and maintaining a safety check before admitting the next lesson.
There will be no half-time break during each lesson, pupils should stay hydrated throughout and drink regularly
Toilet use should be kept to a minimum and strictly limited to one person at a time.
Pupils should leave one-way out of the hall, directly through the fire-exit door.
Pupils should not loiter in groups outside following the lesson
All teachers issued & trained with Donahey’s Covid-19 Safe Policies
Teachers to wear face coverings during check-in.
Teachers able to wear a face mask or face shield during tuition. Where teachers chose to wear a face mask when physically dancing, teachers should ensure they take regular & frequent breaks without face coverings to ensure they don’t start to feel faint due to lack of oxygen.
No teachers to dance with pupils.
Teachers must maintain a minimum 2m distance from pupils.
Teachers and Customers are to limit face to face working and physical contact work facing away from each other when possible
Teachers should avoid raising their voices, where possible teachers to use Headset Mic to avoid shouting.
Music played at a low level to prevent shouting.
Prepared by: Paul Donaghey
Date of risk assessment: 9th September 2020
Next review due date: 30th September 2020
BBC Strictly Come Dancing will have a cabaret show style audience in 2020.
Here’s how you can be in the studio audience for this year’s BBC Strictly Come Dancing.
The stunning 18th series returns, bringing glamour and show stopping dance back to Saturday nights on BBC One.
The glamorous Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will host the BBC One extravaganza’s which will once again come live from Elstree Film and Television Studios.
Packed full of glitz, glamour, show-stopping moves and more sequins than ever before, the fabulous 18th series of Strictly Come Dancing is putting the sparkle back into our Saturday nights;
The BBC are extremely excited to be able to welcome a reduced audience back to the studio for this year’s shows.
To make the most of the limited space in the studio this year because of social distancing measures, for the first time ever tickets will be allocated to groups of four, allowing you to come along as a family bubble / household group.
This year will look and feel a little different, Elstree studios will be able to seat family groups of four people from the same household / social bubble at cabaret tables and in balcony seating.
Cabaret tables and balcony seats will be allocated randomly, in advance of arrival at the studio.
The show will be filmed every Saturday at Elstree Studios from Saturday 24th October 2020 until the Grand Final on Saturday 19th December 2020.
This year, as in previous years, the BBC are operating a random draw to make the allocation of tickets as fair as possible.
You can apply online here for Strictly audience tickets until 10pm on Sunday 20th September 2020.
5* Weekend Breaks with the Stars of BBC Strictly Come Dancing
If you can’t get hold of Strictly audience tickets, what’s the next best thing? If not a little better?
Donahey’s Dancing With The Stars Weekends – You too can watch all the Strictly stars perform up close and personal, plus you could learn to dance with these professional stars.
Fri 5th – Sun 7th March 2021
4* Alton Towers Hotel & Spa
Spend the weekend with your favourite stars of Strictly Come Dancing at the fabulous Alton Towers Hotel & Spa.
Join; Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara, Anton Du Beke & Erin Boag, Amy Dowden & Ben Jones, British National & World Ballroom Champions Warren & Kristi Boyce plus Argentine Tango stars Leandro Palou & Maria Tsiatsiani.
Fri 26th – Sun 28th March 2021
4* De Vere Beaumont Estate Hotel
Spend the weekend with your favourite stars of Strictly Come Dancing at the fabulous 4* De Vere Beaumont Estate Resort Hotel.
Join; Anton Du Beke & Erin Boag, Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara, Katya Jones & Neil Jones, British National & World Ballroom Champions Warren & Kristi Boyce plus Argentine Tango Instructors Leandro Palou & Maria Tsatsiani.
Fri 16th – Sun 18th April 2021
5* Celtic Manor Resort Hotel
Newport, South Wales
Spend the weekend with your favourite stars of Strictly Come Dancing at the stunning 5* Celtic Manor Resort.
Join Anton Du Beke & Erin Boag, Katya Jones & Neil Jones, Giovanni Pernice, Amy Dowden & Ben Jones, British National & World Ballroom Champions Warren & Kristi Boyce, plus Argentine Tango stars Leandro Palou & Maria Tsiatsiani.
One Night with Anton Du Beke & Erin Boag
Sunday 18th April 2021
5* Celtic Manor Resort Hotel
Newport, South Wales
Spend the evening with Strictly Come Dancing Stars Anton Du Beke & Erin Boag at the impressive 5* Celtic Manor Resort Hotel.
The Donahey's Dancing With The Stars Weekends are Fab-U-Lous.The organisation is second to none, every little detail has been thought of and the Donahey's staff do everything to make your weekend enjoyable.Seven hours of dance workshops with Top Class teachers (including the Strictly Stars). Plenty of time to practise and then Dancing through the night in the Stateroom Ballroom.The Show Dances from The Strictly Stars and the other Professionals are worth it on their own.We've already booked next year and looking forward to itTrevor & Brenda
12:58 12 Mar 20
The whole weekend was amazing from start to finish. The organisation is superb and the people are all so friendly. When you break down what you get it really is value for money. This is an event to look forward to year after year.
Kerry Garner (Oldfleet)
18:06 11 Mar 20
Just back from a stunning weekend at Alton Towers Dancing with the Stars! The whole experience was fabulous from start to finish. The communication from Donaheys before, during and after the event was good. The organisation of the workshops was superb...we were in the improvers group ...each one pitched perfectly for the ability level and the teaching was great. Obviously the Strictly stars were lovely as expected, but also the world champions and the Donaheys staff were terrific. We have fallen in love again with Argentine Tango particularly. The showcase dances were spectacular every time, breathtaking performances in a cabaret setting. The Donaheys team were always on hand to offer support and guidance both on and off the dance floor and the hotel staff were friendly and accommodating. We loved dancing to the band on Saturday night!By the end of the weekend we were exhausted....in a good way! Thank heavens for the on line workshop reminders, as we did so much our recollection of all the steps is a bit hazy! We needed no nudging to book again for next year before we left. Many thanks and best wishes to all the team.
14:48 11 Mar 20
Just back from a FAB-U-LOUS weekend at Alton Towers Resort Hotel.Is the first time we have ever been to an event like this, infact, its the first time my other half and I have ever danced!Everything was organised to a tee, the workshops, the showcases and the evening events.The Donaheys staff were on hand throughout the weekend to assist in anyway and they were so helpful and not at all judgemental as we had never danced a steep before!The only fault in the whole weekend, and it is NOT related to Donaheys. We the lighting in the bedrooms and bathrooms. It was so incredibly dim that it was a struggle to put make up on! Not sure how anyone would manage if they had to take medication. But, this was NOT a fault on Donaheys and it didn't stop us from having an amazing weekend.
13:01 11 Mar 20
First time here, what an absolutely fantastic amazing weekend, Melanie & I loved it... and our first time having dance lessons!!! If you love dancing you will love these weekends!!! Everyone is so friendly & helpful. We have already booked for next year, fingers crossed as better dancers. Xx
14:23 10 Mar 20
We have just come back from Celtic Manor, another Donahey’s fabulous ‘Dancing With The Stars’ weekend. The personal enthusiasm and love of dance by these Stars is infectious and their willingness to share all they know to help each one of us improve our dance and love of dance so unselfishly is truly humbling and hugely appreciated.Paul, Shirley and Amy Donahey and their team have been organising these weekends for over 50 years and are going from strength to strength with immaculate organisation at every stage. A Dance on Friday night and a Ball on Saturday night with a Live band to practise your skills. Also, exceptional show dances by the Stars as part of the evenings. How often do we have these opportunities?Be truly inspired by Strictly and World professionals and have Work Shops with them. Wonderful weekends, this is our third and we have already booked another. Unsurpassed in terms of getting along side the professionals whether you are a beginner or already have dance experience.If you are looking to learn or improve your Dancing a Donahey’s weekend is definitely for you. Highly recommended.Bob & Sue.
08:20 17 Jul 19
My wife and I were a little apprehensive about our dance weekend (we were seriously in the beginner category!) but the whole experience was amazing from start to finish. The venue was magnificent, the DONAHEYS team were brilliant, with the whole thing organised to run like a Swiss watch. The teachers were great and all the lessons were delivered with enthusiasm and patience to a group of people who occasionally struggle to remember left and right, and as for the showcases, there is nothing to say except WOW! They had to be seen to be believed. Thank you so much Paul, Shirley and Amy, and the whole team. We are booked in for a local dance lesson tomorrow, so we've well and truly caught the bug to move from armchair dance fans to enthusiastic amateurs! We will definitely be returning to a DONAHEYS weekend again in the future.
10:16 13 Jul 19
First time we have attended this event run by the Donahey’s team, have to say it was not what we expected. The show dances alone was worth the cost, spectacular performances from every dancer.The accommodation and meals provided at Celtic Manor was also first class. Our room was good, plenty big enough and clean.Special mention goes to Paul, Shirley and all of the Donahey’s team, who assisted our “beginners”group throughout the workshops and in the evening when you ventured out onto the dance floor, providing advice and demonstrating the steps you had been taught earlier but had forgotten!Wonderful weekend, full on, we have booked again for next year.We have also been inspired to seek out a local dance club to continue dancing.
07:41 11 Jul 19
This is our third year with Paul and the team and the weekends just get better every time! Celtic Manor was the most wonderful venue to stage such a great experience. The team are always well organised and welcoming. We moved up to ‘blue bands’ this time so we’re a little bit nervous but we had absolutely no need to be. Each workshop was tailored perfectly. The Strictly stars were of course fantastic in their workshops and showcases but all the workshops are.We have already booked for next year and look forward to it immensely- we’ll done team and thank you all so much - again!
05:05 10 Jul 19
We have just returned from a lovely weekend at the Celtic Manor. We met up with several couples from our local dance school with differing levels of experience. The Friday evening started with a lovely meal followed by a waltz workshop with Anton and Erin, a very nice routine. Saturdays highlight was a workshop with Neil and Katya, a bonkers cha cha routine we loved. The evenings show dance finished with everyone on the dance floor with them both doing Gangnam Style, wow.Oti was tasked with a rumba workshop. This is one dance where technique is so important. This was very well demonstrated and one of my favourites to dance. Janette and Aljaz took a slightly different angle with their slow foxtrot workshop. Plenty of technique in a useful routine. This was great to see, slow foxtrot requires a smooth style and the couples all looking fabulous at the end of it. The following show dance was brilliant with a great mix of styles. A special mention to the pro dancers Argo Oblikas & Alessia D’Orazi helping in the workshops. They were brilliant, I even had a little cha cha with Alessia which was really helpful. I would highly recommend this weekend for beginners in particular as it gives a good introduction to ballroom dancing with workshops and shows, and the chance to see the Strictly stars too. It's a hard working team too that make it a very fun weekend.
16:44 09 Jul 19
I went to three weekends this summer. That shows just how enjoyable Dancing With The Stars is. Would go more often if there were more weekends available. Have already booked next year.
16:41 09 Jul 19
What another fantastic weekend at Celtic the Donaheys are really fabulous nothing is too much trouble it was our second visit there and we have already booked for next year at Windsor I would like to say a big thank you to Paul and the family and in particular Tracy from the team she was fantastic to me can't wait for March keep dancing x
19:04 08 Jul 19
We first did a Donaheys weekend five years ago, with just 4 of us. This year we were a group of 10 and we’ve already booked next year with 12!!!! It is without doubt, the best dance weekend ever and we can’t wait for 2020, to do it all again. The team are amazing and Paul, Amy & Shirley give 100% to ensure the event is unforgettable. Thank you all.
18:24 08 Jul 19
Everything about this weekend was first class, well planned and executed. So much fun and the opportunity to be taught by the Strictly professionals and other amazing dancers was wonderful. I’d thoroughly recommend it and can’t wait to go again
16:23 08 Jul 19
Wow! what a weekend. Fabulous stay at the Celtic Manor Hotel, absolutely huge. The workshops with the stars were so easy to learn a routine and take away with you. We looked forward to seeing the professionals in action, but were totally blown away. The choreography that went into Neil & Katya’s showcase was exceptional. The dance with Warren, Kristi, Glenn & Coraly brought tears to our eyes, so moving. But for me the dance workshop with Alijaz left me drooling 😘. Don’t remember much about the dance but his personality and gorgeous smile has definitely made him my favourite. Their show dances were fantastic as the finale to the weekend. The whole event is suitable for all levels of dancers, from the very beginner up to the more advanced. Everyone fitted in together and there was plenty of room over the two dance floors to practice their new moves.
10:02 08 Jul 19
The first one we attended was in April and it was a whole new magical experience. The July one this weekend was also wonderful. Value for money is an understatement. Paul and the Donaheys team are such lovely hosts. The Workshops are extremely good and the Showcases are simply out of this world. A very well organised event in a marvelous setting. Tears of joy and happiness awaits everyone. Tom and Tracey
07:56 08 Jul 19
What a fantastic weekend! Fun packed, entertaining with lovely like minded people, and a chance to meet and dance with the Strictly Stars! The weekend is well thought out and planned, and the Donaheys Team work tirelessly to ensure everyone has a great time - so good we have booked for next year!
08:54 24 Jun 19
We are still on cloud 9 a week after this amazing experience. From the very start Donaheys were so professional and organised with such precision to detail for every aspect of the weekend. The communication throughout was exceptional this weekend was amazing with the dancing lessons and the show cases in the evenings the strictly professionals close up in their showcases was breathtaking and to be able to dance to a live band was sensational . We can honestly say it is just brilliant and we have booked to return again next year and we cannot wait Gail and Karl Ballance
19:54 23 Jun 19
We have just returned from an amazing weekend Dancing with the Stars at De Vere Beaumont Estate in Windsor. The classes were brilliant and the showcases from all the professionals were out of this world, to see them dance up close in that way was fantastic. Paul and the team were great and looked after everyone really well, it was so well organised from beginning to end. We can't wait to do it all again next year at Celtic Manor. Thank you so much Donaheys!
20:23 18 Jun 19
An amazing dancing with the stars weekend. Superb organisation, brilliant workshops and breathtaking showcases. Everything was so enjoyable. For anyone who loves dance they need to experience a Donaheys weekend. Thank you to the whole team
19:28 17 Jun 19
1st time at Donaheys Dancing with the Stars.WOW what a fantastic weekend. With workshops for all levels of dance whether you are a non dancer just a beginner or advanced theirs something for everyone. Meet your strictly stars and watch the amazing shows they will blow your away. The whole weekend is very organised by the whole team and always around to help nothing is to much trouble.ABSOLUTELY FAB EXPERIENCE GO ON BOOK IT, YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED DO IT.R&A
18:15 17 Jun 19
We absolutely loved our weekend with Donaheys, the staff, the hotel, the celebrities and our table friends were all fabulous, and although I concede I am clearly not a natural ballroom dancer, we have had a real blast, Thank You to all x
17:57 17 Jun 19
Spent last weekend at Windsor Dancing With The Stars with Donaheys ,if you love dancing and making new friends there is no better place,friendly ,exciting,and lots or fun , lots of love John and Tracy Daly.
13:19 17 Jun 19
What a totally fabulous weekend. All the strictly stars, showcases, classes were wonderful. Ballroom looked lovely and to dance in there was wonderful. The event is run with precision by the Donahey's Team. They are all friendly, helpful and happy to answer any questions you have. A well deserved 5* and I have already booked to return next year. Thank you Team Donahey!
12:02 17 Jun 19
12:08 12 May 19
Amazing weekend! So good we have already booked for the same one next year! The Donahey’s team work amazingly hard to ensure everything goes smoothly, and it is so very well organised. The stars are brilliant, both in their showcase dances and especially their teaching, explaining everything so well you can’t fail to pick up the routines! Bring on next year when we hope to learn even more!!
07:29 12 May 19
Another fabulous weekend with Donaheys. Smooth organisation, beautiful venue and wonderful dancing, let alone the terrific teachers. Booked again for next year and we can't wait to go back. John & Miriam
Dr John Dennehy
09:24 10 May 19
10:47 03 May 19
A huge Thank You to Paul and the whole Donaheys team. Just back from an amazing experience at Celtic Manor. The organisation, the workshops and the showcase evenings where truly spectacular. We enjoyed every minute. The hotel and staff are first class. All the strictly stars, professionals and experienced teachers made the workshops interesting, challenging and fun. we came away with new steps from each of them. Already booked for next year. The weekend is good value for money, and worth every penny. We enjoyed it so much we extended our stay. You have a fantastic team working with you. Well done to all of them and again THANK YOU.
19:39 02 May 19
We have just arrived home after a weekend with the stars at Celtic Manor Resort. Was our first time and as absolute beginners. Such an amazing few days. Everybody was so friendly and helpful.. The lessons with the professionals were good fun, and the interaction was fab. The showcases were stunning, one particular dance had me in tears. was fantastic to see the dancing so close up. We enjoyed putting our new found routines to practise on the dance floor both Friday and Saturday evening, especially Saturday at The Ball. Dancing to a live band was amazing. We did not want to come home on the Sunday. We have rebooked for next year at Windsor as closer to home. Great job Donaheys. No doubt our friends will be sick of us raving about this weekend but I cannot recommend it enough. FAB-U-LOUS DARLING. X
17:45 01 May 19
We loved every moment of our first Dancing with the Stars Weekend at the superb Celtic Manor Hotel, Newport.Being taught by the Strictly Stars and World Champion dancers was a fabulous experience, and watching them showcase their own dances was breathtaking, as they glided around the amazing ballroom.The whole weekend was beautifully organised by Paul, Amy, Shirley and the team and Vicky was such a help to us too.A truly memorable weekend !
13:33 01 May 19
Just returned from our second Donaheys weekend dancing with the professional from strictly . Can not fault anything.....from the hotel (Celic Manor), the food, the service, the Donaheys team and of course the pros from strictly. AMAZING .......The workshops were great fun, we managed well even though we're more ballroom ( sequence ) than Latin but the pros had the routines well planned. Re-booked immediately for next year at Beuamont Grange 💃🎶💃🎶💃🎶Keeeeeeep Dancing
10:25 01 May 19
Brilliant weekend yet again. So good I had already booked to go back twice this year. Atmosphere, lessons and the show dances by Strictly stars are outstanding. Already booked again for next year.
07:34 01 May 19
Another fabulous Donahey's Dancing with the Stars weekend. The Workshops led by the Strictly Stars and Championship dancers were entertaining and informative and the showcases were amazing. We attended Alton Towers last year, which we enjoyed tremendously, but this was our first time at the Celtic Manor and have to say that this venue, food and staff were all first rate. The hotel was easy to navigate and nothing was too much trouble. The Donahey's team are so friendly and helpful. Our weekend was superb and was well worth the outlay and journey. We would like to say a very big "thank you" to Paul and his team for all the hard work before and during the weekend to create a smooth running and enjoyable event. Just need to keep practicing all the new steps we have been taught. Congratulations on another excellent weekend. See you all next year!! Colin & Maureen Barker
15:34 30 Apr 19
Another fabulous Donahey's Dancing with the Stars weekend. The Workshops led by the Strictly Stars and Championship dancers were entertaining and informative and the showcases were amazing. We attended Alton Towers last year, which we enjoyed tremendously, but this was our first time at the Celtic Manor and have to say that this venue, food and staff were all first rate. The hotel was easy to navigate and nothing was too much trouble. The Donahey's team are so friendly and helpful. Our weekend was superb and was well worth the outlay and journey. We would like to say a very big "thank you" to Paul and his team for all the hard work before and during the weekend to create a smooth running and enjoyable event. Just need to keep practicing all the new steps we have been taught. Congratulations on another excellent weekend. See you all next year!!
15:01 30 Apr 19
Our first Dancing with the Stars weekend, it was fab-u-lous. As absolute beginners we are leaving with the basic steps for Foxtrot, Waltz, Cha Cha, Argentine tango, Rumba, Quickstep and Jive. Now we just have to Keep Dancing!
10:18 28 Apr 19
It was a really good weekend that we thoroughly enjoyed. It was well organised and kept you going with just about enough breaks. The show cases were excellent and some of the stars were well prepared to talk to the audience during the change over times. A highly recommended weekend for dance lovers.
14:41 09 Apr 19
This was a truly spectacular weekend.Donaheys and Alton Towers were extremely organised and everything ran smoothly.The dance classes were excellent (though we struggled with the Argentine Tango).Dancing with the Strictly Stars was amazing. All of the stars were so friendly and excellent teachers.However, a special shout out is required for Tony Bennett who took the Samba and Tango classes. What a fabulous teacher. I would pay for a weekend of lessons just with him.The three shows were breathtaking. The price paid for the weekend would be worth it for the shows alone.The weekend was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend to dancers of any level.Thanks to Donaheys!
18:27 18 Mar 19
This was our 4th Donaheys weekend and the 3rd atthe Alton Towers resort. Over the years we have been fortunate to have been to some excellent workshops, but this has to be the best year yet. Equally, we’ve previously been able to provide some constructive feedback for the resort, but NOT THIS YEAR. Truly excellent all round. Alton Towers staff very professional on check in and in the restaurant. Check out was seamless, just dropping off the room keys. Car park better marked out. Food in the restaurant even better than previous years. ALWAYS had gluten free options available. 7 dance classes over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in 2 ballrooms with the large ballroom having a truly excellent floor. 3 shows (2 evening and 1 on Sunday lunch). Friday night’ show was superb, as was Sunday’s, but Saturday night’s was worth the money alone. Truly outstanding. So hats off to all involved. Already booked for next year.
18:12 16 Mar 19
Another brilliant weekend. Well done all. Can't wait for next year, already looking at new dresses. What can I say - brilliant lessons, meeting the stars from Strictly, dancing the night away on the best dance floor ever - add to that a big band, friendly helpful staff and a nice venue - what else could you want from a weekend. Oh, to remember what you have learnt - that's covered too with videos. We appreciate all your hard work that goes into making these weekends so special. Thank you.
21:17 15 Mar 19
Our 11th time being part of Donaheys amazing dance weekends. We introduced 4 new people who all had a fab time & have already booked again for next year! We can’t recommend these weekends enough for anyone who loves dance, be it doing the workshops or simply watching the incredible shows. We shall be back in April at Celtic manor & are already counting the days. Thank you Paul, Amy, Shirley & all the team. Kay & Sean Escott
13:29 15 Mar 19
Fantastic weekend and so much value for your money. Very high standard of workshops and feel so privileged to be taught by three wonderful Strictly couples and see their fabulous demonstration dances.
13:09 15 Mar 19
As relative newcomers to ballroom dancing we weren't sure what to expect, but we shouldn't have worried. Donaheys gave us a fabulous weekend. The professionalism of the event was outstanding, from pre-information, joining instructions and weekend programme, super all round. All the lessons, and there's lots of them, were fun and within our ability and the showcase dances by the professionals made the evenings a "real night out". The hotel was everything that you would expect and were well looked after in terms of food and service. In fact it was all so good that we rebooked, before we left, to go to Celtic Manor next year. John and Caroline
12:55 15 Mar 19
Fab-u-lous!We have just returned from the Dancing with the Stars weekend at Alton Towers Hotel. What an amazing weekend it was, and the organisation was just incredible! Everything runs like a well oiled machine, but at no time do you feel pressured to go to a dance workshop, you can take things at your own pace and attend as many or as few as you like! As avid Strictly fans, my husand and myself had never danced before, so we were in the beginners class. Excellent way to start a dance journey, and to also be taught by the Strictly Stars, Karen and Gorka on Friday, the Cha Cha Cha, Aljaz and Janette on Saturday, the Waltz, and Giovanni and Luba on Sunday, the Jive was truly great fun and they are excellent teachers. We were also taught the Quick Step on Saturday by Warren and Kristi Boyce, the most amazing dancers and teachers! The showcase dances performed by all of the Professionals left us in tears of joy, made us laugh, and we were in awe of their energy - if only! We also had the privelige of seeing some up and coming dancers of the future, Amy and Sasha, Mark and Ilenka, who were an absolute credit to the profession. What an amazing weekend it was, Donaheys you deserve 10 stars for one of the best events we've ever attended in the many years we have been going to entertainment events! Thank you and Keep Dancing!
09:25 11 Mar 19
The weekend at Celtic Manor went way beyond my expectations. My wife and I are both beginners and never felt isolated or embraced one bit. The organisation of the weekend was first class, the participation of the stars was full on, not just a half hour hear and there, no a real interaction, very entertaining and extremely professional. The evening shows were absolutely stunning, again not just a quick 5 minutes, no a real performance with full audience interaction with question and answer sessions. We have been so impressed we have already booked for 2019 and have persuaded some friends to join us, this will be their first time. A truly fantastic weekend, very much value for money and one I cannot recommend enough. The Donahey family fully deliver what they promise, are interested in all skill levels and people, give time and energy to the weekend which enables you to really learn dances. Good fun and very memorable Thank you to all. Lloyd and Sue Snowden
18:27 24 Jul 18
16:48 17 Jul 18
This our first weekend with Donaheys Dancing with the Stars. I love Strictly and I love dancing. I have danced for over 20 years but never been taught proper ballroom dancing. My husband also loves Strictly but has never, ever danced. We thought it would be a great idea to try this and it was our Christmas present to ourselves.We loved learning the different dance styles, although my husband found some harder than others, and it was absolutely brilliant to meet and learn from some of the Strictly professionals. They were amazing! We also got to learn moves with the fabulous ballroom dancers who were also amazing. The showcases were incredible and it was wonderful to see all these amazing dancers in action.I loved the social dancing too.We made some new friends who we are going to keep in touch with. We are all coming next year to Celtic Manor!My husband and I have decided to take ballroom lessons at home and are eager to make progress. We feel inspired!Thank you to the whole Donaheys team for a great weekend.
14:31 27 Jun 18
We had a fantastic, memorable Dancing With the Stars weekend at the Celtic Manor Resort hotel. Everything was so well organised from start to finish. The Donahey team could not do enough to make our experience enjoyable. This was our first experience with Donahey's and it won't be our last. We had such a wonderful time that we booked again for next year.
22:04 20 May 18
Such a wonderful experience!! Well organised, educational and most of all, fun!! We can’t wait to return for our 4th year!! See you in the blue group!!
14:52 15 May 18
An outstanding weekend in every respect. Brilliantly organised, great Stars from Strictly, lavish Showdances and lessons from the Stars. Learnt a lot, enjoyed myself immensely and though it great value for money. have booked for next year
09:44 15 May 18
A truly incredible weekend, fantastic workshops led by Strictly Pros and world champions! Prepare to dance your socks off and be awed by showcase routines :))
16:48 14 May 18
The De Vere Beaumont in Windsor has recently been refurbished, and is now fine - good modern clean rooms, good food, and friendly, helpful staff. It's big, so there can be a bit of a walk from your bedroom to the centre of activities, such as the restaurants and ballroom. We were there in April 2018 for a Donahey's Dancing with the Stars weekend, which was well organised, and superb. Direct tuition from professional stars and world champions was excellent, and the show dancing blew us away. Altogether a great and memorable weekend. Jim and Hilary
09:10 19 Apr 18
If you love Strictly and would like to learn to dance with the professionals, you need to book a weekend with Donaheys. From the time you arrive until you sadly have to say goodbye it is just the best weekend ever. ALL the Donaheys staff are so kind and so helpful. The dance workshops are such good fun. All i can say is, highly recommended! 😊
17:41 18 Apr 18
If you’re wondering if you should attend Donaheys dancing with the stars weekend, the answer is yes, yes, yes! We have just returned from our first year there and it was so amazing we’ve booked again for next year. It is so professional, so organised and so well thought through. The Donaheys team are amazing and make it all work like a well oiled machine. You don’t need to worry about a thing, they take care of it all for you. Your days are jam packed full if you want them to be. Loads of workshops to attend where you learn from absolute professionals. The evening showcases are just magical and you also get a chance to practice the steps you learned that day.We were beginners and were treated with such dignity and respect. It was so much fun.Absolutely everyone we spoke to couldn’t speak more highly of the weekend if they tried. We loved it and can’t wait for next year.
19:52 17 Apr 18
My wife Lorraine and I just attended the Donaheys Dancing With The Stars weekend at Beaumont House Windsor. As beginners we were a bit nervous of making fools of ourselves. But the whole weekend was a fabulous experience. The 7 beginners workshops were well run and great fun, including 4 taken by Strictly and Professional dancers. The evening shows were tremendous and included chances to practice the dances we had learnt during the day. The Beaumont House Hotel is a lovely place to stay, we had a very comfortable room and the staff were all very friendly. A great experience all round, which we may well do again one day.
19:23 17 Apr 18
We had the most enjoyable weekend. It was well organised and we were able to attend all seven of our scheduled workshops.The workshops were excellent. The professionals commented that it was good to work with people that had a real interest in dance and this certainly came across well. They were fun and seemed to be pitched at an appropriate level for all the participants.The demonstration dances were again excellent and again were much appreciated by all the people there.We would highly recommend these weekends and were pleased to book a repeat for ourselves next year.Thank you to everyone who worked to make the weekend the great success that we all enjoyed.Dave and Jan
12:45 17 Apr 18
Wow! wow!! WOW!!! First time attending Donahey’s Dance weekend and I was totally blown away! Far exceeded my expectations. Well organised, friendly staff, STUNNING dance displays, EXCELLENT teaching and GREAT location.
11:53 16 Apr 18
Just had our first weekend at Alton Towers, we had a brilliant time, really well organised. The social dancing was great fun, and being up close with the dancers was amazing. There are two things I would change/review , 1) the food at dinner wasn’t great, and there is no excuse for a hotel to serve food on cold plates. This is not Donaheys fault, but worth mentioning. 2) The red carpet photo call is just a photo opportunity, due to time constraints etc, there isn’t the ability to have any individual photos. But make sure you get to the red carpet on the Saturday black tie ball as they look amazing.We’ve booked again for next year and can’t wait ! This weekend has encouraged us to join a Dance School, hopefully next year we may be wearing blue wristbands!
13:03 16 Mar 18
Whether you are into Latin or Ballroom dancing, attending a Donaheys Dancing With The Stars Weekend is an absolute must! During the course of each weekend, which runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, you will get to see showcases performed by Stars from Strictly Come Dancing, attend classes delivered by the Stars themselves, and have great fun social dancing on an amazing dancefloor (which, on the Saturday night, will be to the live sounds of a big band).For the weekend's classes, each dancer is placed into one of three groups, depending on their dance experience. This allows instruction to be delivered at levels suited from beginner through to advanced. So, no-one will feel out-of-depth, but at the same time, all will be challenged.Throughout the weekend, the large contingent of friendly Donaheys staff are constantly on-hand to help, and always with a smile.Once the weekend comes to an end, and you start to depart the luxurious hotel that hosts the event, you will feel like you are leaving your (new) family. The Donaheys Dancing With The Start Weekends are a definite highlight to my year! I truly can not recommend them, nor the Donaheys staff and the regional regular dance lessons they run, highly enough.(In June of 2017 I attended the Chesford Grange weekend. In March of this year, 2018, I attended the Alton Towers weekend. I very much look forward to attending at least one of their weekends in each coming year)
17:41 12 Mar 18
The Dancing with the Stars Weekend at Windsor organised by Shirley, Paul and Amy truly exceeded my expectations! It was a fantastic experience dancing with the Strictly Professionals and of course the talented Donahays team too! Wall to wall quality, very well organised, great fun and highly recommended. So much so that I have already booked for Celtic Manor in May 2018.
05:53 25 Jul 17
5* would recommend to anyone simply FABULOUS
16:21 18 Jul 17
We had the best weekend! We were complete beginners who were made to feel so welcome by all the team - fantastic sessions from all the pros and team of experts. The shows were amazing - everyone so personable. Thank you so much - cannot recommend highly enough!
19:29 13 Jul 17
Its difficult to find enough superlatives to describe these amazing weekends. We have just attended our 8th, and it was as fabulous as ever. The Donaheys team are so welcoming & helpful, the workshops great fun & informative and the evening shows are breathtaking. We are once again already booked on 2 for next year & already looking forward to them both. We Cant recommend them highly enough. Thanks to all involved
13:21 22 Jun 17
Another fantastic weekend with Donaheys at Chesford Grange.To see the showcase dances from the edge of the dance floor is amazing.The dance lessons from the Strictly Stars and Donaheys staff are really enjoyable.Well worth a visit for those who want to dance, and those who just want to watch...
13:12 20 Jun 17
Best. Weekend. Ever. The organisation and staff are just superb. The work shops are so enjoyable and then the show cases in the evening round of a fantastic day. Highly recommended if you love dancing/Strictly!
12:59 15 Jun 17
Many thanks for the last 6 years of fun filled Donaheys dancing with the stars weekends. Great work shops. Fabulous show cases. Well organised professional events. Already booked and looking forward to year 7 next year.thank you shirley paul amy and team. Enid and Brenda.
08:54 11 Jun 17
Absolutely fantastic weekend on the Strictly weekend dance break in Manchester. So well organised.
18:07 16 May 17
Probably the Rolls Royce of weekend dance breaks. Intensive learning combined with a great ballroom experience alongside fellow minded intermediates and improvers. Whoever your particular Strictly Stars are, be in no doubt that Warren and Kristi are the real gems here. Scintillating !Can't thank Paul and the team enough. Top Marks
15:10 13 May 17
Thank you Donahey's for another fabulous, well-organised and fun weekend. First class, friendly tuition from the Strictly stars and Donahey's team encourages everyone, including beginners, to get up on the dance floor and give it a go. The professionals' show dances were truly amazing and seeing their skills at such close quarters was a real treat.Richard & Rosemary
20:28 10 May 17
We have been on at least 5 Dance Weekends and enjoyed them all. The workshops from the Strictly Pros and the Donahey's teachers are excellent and great fun. The showcases from the Pros in the evenings are spectacular. To be able to see them dance close up is a real treat. If you love your dancing then this is a weekend well worth the money.
09:32 10 May 17
Dancing with the stars. Wow! What a Wonderful Weekend!This was our second time and seems even better. The organisation is brilliant. The professional dancers are amazing and make the workshops a joy.This is an experience not to be missed.
09:45 07 May 17
Was bought this experience for Christmas and I can honestly say this has got too of been the best present EVER!!I was absolutely blown away by the whole weekend, the lessons, the staff and the professional dancers.The strictly dancers are just wonderful and put on an absolutely fantastic show.As a non dancer I was given time and help with the lessons and each teacher was lovely, I can't fault anything.The location was lovely and the Hotel was an extremely nice place to stay, the room was lovely and modern.I had a wonderful time and will be returning in 2018.Well done and thank you for an experience I will never forget and may quite possibly become a repeat returner!!!
19:52 04 May 17
Locations of Donahey’s Dancing With The Stars Weekends
Exclusive 4* Weekend Breaks with the Stars of BBC Strictly Come Dancing
Donaheys organise exclusive 4* VIP Weekend Breaks where these sizzling stars will teach you how to dance and perform exceptional shows for you – you’ll also enjoy VIP access to meet them backstage after the show. And who better to teach you to dance than the Strictly Come Dancing Professional Dancers themselves; be captivated as they perform spectacular shows just for you.
Strictly audience members recent experience…
David Swan; Had the great pleasure of managing to get 2 tickets for last Saturdays show (29th October 2016 – Halloween show). All I can say is, it was Brilliant. There is no comparison to seeing it live than on the TV. Seeing how everything is recorded (the group dances, the Guest on the Sunday results show and then the dreaded end bit of the results show. So much more tense in the studio than watching on TV). And the biggest surprise, how much smaller the dance floor looks in real life, than on TV.
Long day though. We had to be at the studio for 3.15 and recording didn’t finally finish until 10.20 with only 1 real break between 8.15 and 9.00. Although we did get a free KitKat and a small carton of Juice from the BBC.
Registration for this years shows are now closed (they shut at the beginning of September). For those wanting to apply for next year. First you have to register on the BBC website (I think its on the Strictly section). In August, they send out a reminder to everyone who’s registered. Once registration is open, you then get the choice of which shows you want (put them all down). You will get confirmation of your registration. Then I’m afraid its pot luck.
I kept getting e-mails from the BBC to say my registration had been unsuccessful, then out of the blue (about 3 weeks beforehand), I got one to say, I had been successful and my tickets were attached. This year there was 5.5 million applications for tickets and they only allocate about 550/600 tickets per show. And it doesn’t end there. Even if you are lucky enough to get tickets, it doesn’t guarantee you will get in.
On the day you have to go to the studios to validate your tickets. We arrived at 1145 to be told we had the very last 2 guaranteed seats (449/450). So if you are so very lucky to get tickets, you have to get there very early in the morning to get them validated. The first 100 get on the studio floor (which you never see as they are behind the cameras). The rest are allocated to the upstairs balconies (You can see most of the dance floor). The 1 thing I did want to try and get over was the thing about validating your tickets. Apparently they over subscribe by between 100 & 150 per show and its only the 1st 450 who turn up are guaranteed seats. We tried to imagine what it would have been like, driving 170 miles only to be told we had missed out by a few minutes. Just shows how some people think though. The person who got ticket 1 on Saturday was at the Studio at 1-30 in the Morning. Validation didn’t start till 9 oclock.
We were sat directly opposite the judges so had a brilliant view of them (including Craig, Darcy and Len arguing like hell after Craig gave Greg Rutherford a 4 and upset Natalie). All those seats directly behind the judges and the others opposite on the studio floor and all for invited guests/VIPs.
Hopefully, those who wish to apply, this has given you a bit more insight on how the process works. And if you do get them, it is so much worth it. Good Luck. Believe you me, if you enjoy it on the Tele, you’ll absolutely love it live.
Best of luck with your application for Strictly audience tickets..
We have exciting news to share with you! We’re launching our fabulous online Ballroom and Latin Dance Lessons today and we’d love you to join us and dance your way through lockdown!
Now that you’ve mastered Zoom and FaceTime, learnt a new language or two, exhausted all crafts imaginable, sorted every cupboard and spruced up your garden, why not expand your skill-set by learning to dance?!
World class dance tuition at home
From the comfort of your own home you’ll be able to enjoy the very best of our Dancing With The Stars Weekends thanks to our new fun and easy to follow online dance lessons.
They’ll be brought to you by some of the UK’s finest dance teachers who’ve taught at our Dancing With The Stars Weekends, including World Ballroom Champions Warren and Kristi Boyce, leading Argentine Tango teachers Leandro Palou and Maria Tsiatsiani, rising stars David Cockram and Rosie Ward, and internationally acclaimed instructor Andy Wong. And of course both Amy and I will be part of the incredible line up bringing exceptional dance tuition into your very own home!
Dance your way through lockdown
Whether you’re an absolute beginner, a regular social dancer or somewhere in between, we’ll be offering a variety of styles to suit all levels of dance ability. Every month you can enjoy 20 new online dance lessons covering new steps, dances, choreography and technique, including nine Beginner Lessons, nine Improver/Intermediate Lessons and some fun Latino In Line.
All of our Ballroom and Latin Dance Lessons are accompanied by a fabulous soundtrack courtesy of Ross Mitchell, his band and singers which will have you up on your feet in no time. During each 45 minute dance lesson we’ll teach both the lead and follow steps solo, before demonstrating and practicing in partners. Plus our brilliant Bonus Technique Lessons will help you perfect your hold, posture and style. And with unlimited access to the monthly dances you’ll be able to give them all a go or just the ones that appeal to you most.
Learn to dance whenever and wherever you want at home
Our monthly online dance lessons are available On Demand and can be viewed on a variety of devices which means you can stream them whenever you want and on whichever device you choose. So it could be on your Smart TV in the lounge, your iPad in the kitchen, your laptop in the bedroom or your mobile in the garden! It’s entirely up to you. Plus you can pause, rewind and play the lessons at half speed to really master those all important steps and techniques. All you need is 2 square metres of clear space and you’re good to go!
What dances can I learn this month?
This month our amazing dance teachers will transport you into the wonderful world of dance where you’ll be able to learn the Waltz with Warren and Kristi Boyce, the Argentine Tango with Leandro Palou and Maria Tsiatsiani, and perfect the Cha Cha, Waltz, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Latin Line with Paul and Amy Donahey. Plus master the Foxtrot with David Cockram and Rosie Ward, and learn the Rumba and Tango with Andy Wong. Sounds good, eh?
How much does it cost?
For just £29.00 a month you can experience the joy of dance and unlimited access to world class dance tuition all from the comfort of your own home. That works out at just £6.45 per week when paid monthly. Plus you can even sign up as a household and gently increase your fitness levels together and have loads of fun whilst doing it!
The good news is there’s no lengthy subscription, you just pay per month and enjoy the lessons at a time that suits you and as often as you like. You can cancel at anytime and you’ll still be able to access and enjoy the lessons for the remainder of that month’s subscription.
How do I sign up?
Dancing is a great form of exercise that hits the spot for both physical and mental wellbeing, so why not give it a whirl and learn a new skill that you can enjoy beyond lockdown?
Our monthly lessons are available On Demand – so you can enjoy them whenever’s convenient for you.
Quality Dance Lessons
Both lead & follow steps are taught solo, then we demonstrate and practice in partners – just like a fabulous Donahey’s class.
You can enjoy all our dance lessons on your Laptop, iPad, iPhone, Android devices, plus stream to your Smart TV.
45 Minute Lessons
Our lessons will last & feel just like a regular dance class.
All our lessons use music courtesy of Ross Mitchell, His Band & Singers. Plus each lesson finishes with a practice demonstration for the full length of the music – just perfect for practicing & dancing along with.
We’ve included excellent Bonus Technique lessons covering Hold, Posture & Style – perfect for honing those dance-floor skills.
20 Dance Lessons
Every month we’ll present 20 new dance lessons for you to enjoy. You can expect 9 Beginner lessons and 9 Improver/Intermediate lessons, plus some fun Latino In Line for all. Each month we’ll try and cover most of the core Ballroom & Latin dances for you, plus you’ll have unlimited access to all 20 dance lessons so you can try as many or as few as you like – ideal!
Unlimited Pause, Play, Rewind
You can pause all the lessons, rewind & even play them half speed – just perfect for picking up the steps & technique.
Who’s partnered with who in the Strictly Christmas Special?
The Strictly final is fast approaching and that means once this year’s champions have lifted the Glitterball trophy we’ll be treated to the Strictly Christmas Special. So who’s taking part?
1. Gorka fans will be over the moon to see him back for the Christmas special. He’ll be dancing with girlfriend, Gemma Atkinson, who made it all the way to the final in 2017 with partner Aljaz Skorjanec.
2. Joe Sugg will be partnered with his girlfriend, Dianne Buswell, who he danced with previously in 2018. As runners up, the couple just missed out on winning so perhaps they can snatch the Christmas title instead.
3. Chizzy Akudolu will be dancing with Graziano Di Prima, having previously competed with Pasha Kovalev in 2017.
4. Mark Wright, who partnered Karen Hauer in 2014 and made it all the way to the final coming fourth, will be dancing with Janette Manrara.
5. Funny man, Richard Arnold, will have another shot at the crown with Luba Mushtuk, having danced with Erin Boag in 2012.
6. Debbie McGee will partner up with Kevin Clifton, having made it all the way to the final in 2017 with Giovanni Pernice.
Can these former competitors bring the same calibre of dancing to their Christmas routines as we enjoyed before, or will Richard Arnold swoop in and take the coveted Christmas title from under their noses? We’ll just have to wait and see.
When’s the Strictly Christmas Special on?
The time has yet to be confirmed, but if you tune into BBC1 on Christmas Day in the early evening your festive celebrations will be complete with an ample helping of Strictly. Sticking with tradition, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will host and judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Bruno Tonioli will dish out lashings of constructive feedback.
Once the six couples have performed their dances the studio audience will vote and the champions will be crowned for another year. Past winners include Aston Merrygold, Katie Derham, Melvin Odoom, Harry Judd, Jill Halfpenny and John Barrowman.
The ultimate Christmas gift for Strictly fans
Looking for the perfect gift for a Strictly fan? Then why not make their Christmas truly memorable by treating them to this once in a lifetime opportunity to spend the weekend with Strictly pros Aljaz Skorjanec, Janette Manrara, Anton Du Beke, Erin Boag, Katya and Neil Jones, Karen Hauer, Gorka Marquez, Giovanni Pernice, Amy Dowden and Pasha Kovalev?
Our fabulous Weekend Breaks at Alton Towers Hotel & Spa, De Vere Beaumont Estate and Celtic Manor Resort in 2020 include workshops hosted by the pro dancers, as well as the chance to see them perform up close and personal. But that’s not all; you can also enjoy their fun Q&A sessions and Red Carpet Photo Calls, plus all the amazing facilities our 4* and 5* venues have to offer during your stay. So, that’s your Christmas present buying sorted!
With only a few weeks of Strictly left to satisfy our huge appetite for all things sparkly and dance orientated, we at least have the additional joy of Strictly Children in Need and the Strictly Christmas Special to look forward to.
Who’s taking part in Strictly Children in Need?
This year four members of the EastEnders’ cast will partner up with some of our favourite pro dancers and compete for the coveted Pudsey Glitterball trophy.
Gorka Marquez will make a much welcome return to our screens as he takes on the challenge with partner Louisa Lytton. Louisa first took to the Strictly dancefloor in series 4 when she was just 17. As the youngest ever celeb contestant to compete, she wowed us with her dance ability and made it all the way to fourth place with former Strictly pro, Vincent Simone.
Luba Mushtuk will also be back and hoping to nab the trophy with partner Ricky Champ. Her time in this year’s series was short lived when she and James Cracknel l became the first couple to be voted out of the competition.
New girl, Nancy Xu, will get to show us what she’s made of when she partners Rudolph Walker.
And Kevin Clifton may have just finished his stand in duties for an injured Neil Jones, but he’s already back in the training room with partner Maisie Smith.
When’s it on?
This year’s Children in Need is on Friday 15th November and will be hosted by Tess Daly, Ade Adepitan, Graham Norton, Mel Giedroyc, Tom Allen and Marvin and Rochelle Humes. Tune into BBC1 from 7.30pm for a fun-packed evening of fundraising and a sparkly slice of Strictly.
Do your thing for Children in Need
Did you know that to date the British public have raised over a £1billion for disadvantaged children? Visit the BBC Children in Need website for more information on how you can raise vital funds and support this worthy charity.
Well, Strictly Movie Week definitely didn’t disappoint with an inspired opening number featuring Anton, Katya, Janette and AJ in red spandex as The Incredibles and a fab Group Dance celebrating iconic moments from our favourite movies. And not forgetting the amazing Pixar tribute and Nadiya and Anton’s stunning routine to Harry Connick Jr’s performance.
The ‘Glam Squad’ and Vicky Gill’s team certainly transported us to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood with Red Carpet worthy outfits and exceptional hair and makeup. Plus the celebs and pro dancers really got into character and delivered some memorable routines.
And the Movie Week Award goes to…
There were many contenders for performance of the night, from Katya’s amazing stunt falls and Anton’s marvellous portrayal of Austin Powers, to Craig’s hilarious false teeth faux pas – oops. But the worthy winners were Kelvin and Oti who racked up the first 10s of the series with their Broadway-esque Charleston to Trip A Little Light Fantastic. Their incredible score of 38 points rocketed them straight to the top of the leaderboard.
Despite a nasty bump to the head, Dianne and Dev’s Couples’ Choice routine to Friend Like Me secured second place with a hugely impressive 36 points. Hot on their dancing heels were Michelle and Giovanni with a show-stopping Quickstep to Cabaret and Catherine and Johannes with a beautiful Rumba to Shallow.
If there was ever a Strictly Lifetime Achievement Award we’re pretty sure Anton deserves it, not just for his dazzling smile, but for his brave wardrobe choices and participation in 17 series of the show.
Who ended up on the cutting room floor?
She may have fallen in love with dancing, but Anneka’s lack-lustre Charleston only earned her and Kevin a score of 11 and a place in the dreaded dance-off. Unfortunately she went into battle with David and Nadiya and lost.
This weekend on Strictly
So, what will Week 4 bring? Well, the pros and celebs will definitely be upping the ante in the hope of taking the top spot on the leaderboard. And despite there not being a theme to get our teeth stuck into (sorry, Anton), we’re hoping for more surprising dance routines to impress us. So, here are the songs and dances we can look forward to:
Alex and Neil: Tango to Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
Catherine and Johannes: Charleston to Single Ladies by Beyoncé
Emma and Anton: Viennese Waltz to Send In The Clowns by Barbara Streisand
Emma and Aljaz: Jive to Kids In America by Kim Wilde
Michelle and Giovanni: Salsa to Quimbara by Johnny Pacheco & Celia Cruz
Saffron and AJ: Couples’ Choice to Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion
Chris and Karen: Jive to Saturday Night’s Alright by Elton John
David and Nadiya: Quickstep to From Now On by Hugh Jackman
Dev and Dianne: Cha Cha Cha to Dancing With A Stranger by Sam Smith feat. Normani
Karim and Amy: Tango to Paradise by George Ezra
Kelvin and Oti: Rumba to Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers
Mike and Katya: Quickstep to Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners
Will and Janette: Foxtrot to Señorita by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
Coming to a luxury venue near you!
Did you know that every Donahey’s Dancing with the Stars Weekend is a star-studded affair? When you book your places at either our fantastic Weekend Breaks or Short Breaks in 2020 you’ll be rubbing shoulders and polishing your dance moves with the real stars of BBC Strictly Come Dancing.
That’s right; the A-list Strictly pro dancers will be there in all their magnificent glory, from attending our Red Carpet Photo Calls, hosting dance workshops and Q&A sessions to performing sensational dance showcases, all for your enjoyment. But that’s not all, you’ll also be pampered in style as you enjoy all of the luxury facilities on offer at our 4* and 5* venues.
More exciting news!
If a whole weekend is simply out of the question, why not treat yourself to one of our new Short Breaks with your favourite pro dancers instead?
Our new Short Breaks mean you can now spend ‘One Night with Aljaz and Jannette’ at the luxurious 5* Celtic Manor Resort on Sunday 26th April 2020 or ‘One Night with Anton and Erin’ at the swanky 4* De Vere Beaumont Estate on Sunday 29th March 2020. You’ll be able to enjoy fab up close and personal performances and learn to dance with them – all in one night!
Well, that was a phenomenal show for week one of Strictly!
We think Bruno summed it up perfectly when he said, ‘Tonight was one of the most exciting, surprising premieres of Strictly Come Dancing…everybody came out with something I wasn’t expecting!’ We couldn’t agree more. If the calibre of dancing on Saturday night’s show is anything to go by, we’re in for a fantastic season of entertainment.
Which couples look promising?
Now that we’ve finally seen all of the couples dance, a few stood out for all the right reasons. Kelvin and Oti topped the leaderboard with an impressive score of 32 for their amazing Samba to La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz. Karim and Amy were just one point behind with their energetic Cha Cha Cha to If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes. Hitting the highs with a score of 30, Michelle and Giovanni wowed us with their Cha Cha Cha to So Emotional by Whitney Houston and Dev and Dianne graced us with an elegant Foxtrot to Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations.
As if that wasn’t enough, there were plenty of firsts too. For starters, Craig got out his 8 paddle more times in one night than we usually see during the whole season. And Bruno not only used his to score, but also to swat a pesky fly! Plus Kelvin and Oti’s score of 32 was the highest for a Samba in any first week of the show in five years and Will and Janette’s score of 26 was the highest for a Quickstep in any first week of the show ever.
Even more surprisingly Anton managed to stay off the bottom of the leaderboard! Thanks to a slick Jive to Honey Honey by ABBA with partner Emma, they found themselves nestled amongst the high scorers. Neil’s four-year wait to dance with his own celeb partner on the show finally paid off with a pretty decent score of 21 for his Quickstep with Alex to I Get a Kick Out of You by Frank Sinatra. And new kids on the block, Catherine and Johannes, were close behind with a score of 20 for their Viennese Waltz to I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher. That’s pretty good going for their premiere performances with a celeb partner, don’t you think?
Which couples underwhelmed the judges?
With the highs came the lows, but fortunately none of the couples felt the sharp edge of Craig’s tongue this week. However, Emma and Aljaz, David and Nadiya, Anneka and Kevin, Chris and Karen, and James and Luba all found themselves on the bottom half of the leaderboard. Still, at least they had plenty of encouragement and constructive criticism from Shirley and Motsi – wasn’t she great?
Week two’s songs and dances
It’s a new week so that means there’s a new playlist and dances to master. So just what are the Strictly Celeb’s and their Professional partners dancing this week?
Anneka and Kevin: Waltz to Run to You by Whitney Houston
Alex and Neil: Cha Cha to What I Did For Love by David Guetta feat. Emeli Sande
Catherine and Johannes: Samba to Let the Groove Get In by Justin Timberlake
Emma and Anton: Foxtrot to Sunshine of Your Love by Ella Fitzgerald, Ernie Heckscher Big Band and Tommy Flanagan
Emma and Aljaz: Tango to Sucker by Jonas Brothers
Michelle and Giovanni: Viennese Waltz to That’s Amore by Dean Martin
Saffron and AJ: Cha Cha to One Touch by Jess Glynne and Jax Jones
Chris and Karen: Charleston to Out of Our Heads by Take That
David and Nadiya: Paso Doble to Espana cani
Dev and Dianne: Jive to Dance With Me Tonight by Olly Murs
James and Luba: Jive to Tutti Frutti by Little Richard
Karim and Amy: Foxtrot to The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra
Kelvin and Oti: Waltz to What the World Needs Now by Burt Bacharach
Mike and Katya: American Smooth to Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell
Will and Janette: Salsa to 1-2-3 by Gloria Estefan
Missing Gorka and Pasha?
Of course we all missed Pasha and only got a fleeting glance of Gorka in the opening number and in the ‘Clauditorium’. But not to worry, if you book our Dancing with the Stars Weekend at 5* Celtic Manor Resort you can see them both up close and personal in April 2020. Gorka will be performing with Karen Hauer and hosting brilliant dance workshops, whilst Pasha will dazzle you with his talent and even teach you to dance.
If you book your places now you can benefit from our great Early Bird Discount safe in the knowledge that our Weekend Beak Transfer Flexibility allows you to switch weekends should another engagement pop up. How’s that for accommodating?!
100% peace of mind
And just so you know, when you book one of our Dancing with the Stars Weekends we provide full financial protection for all your deposits and payments through the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT).
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You just have to look at the latest Strictly celebs to get your answer. Not only are we loving how much their dance ability has improved during their Strictly journey (sorry), but we’re also hugely impressed by their personal transformations.
And we’re not just talking the weekly skills applied by the costume, hair and makeup departments, no; we’re talking the vast benefits of dance revealing themselves in all their wonderful glory.
Incredible weight loss
With the celebs putting in so many hours in the training rooms, it’s no surprise that they’ve improved their general fitness levels, stamina and core strength. Whether they’re perfecting a low-impact Waltz or mastering a cardio-driven Samba, the rigorous training has led to substantial weight loss for many and they couldn’t be happier.
Graeme Swann recently revealed on ‘It Takes Two’ that he’s already lost 2.5 stones. He also told the Mirror that his wife was keen for him to lose weight before appearing on Strictly and even bought him a pair of running shoes. She said, “Right, you can get fit, you’re not going on telly all chubby.” He said, “I suppose she would be pleased, if I ever saw her!”
His Strictly partner, pro dancer Oti Mabuse, also confirmed on social media how dancing has got him into shape, “The body transformation that @bbcstrictly has had on @officialgraemeswann has just been incredible.”
But it’s not just the male celebs who are relishing the positive effects regular dancing can have on the body. Kate Silverton revealed on ‘Lorraine’ that she can now fit into her wedding dress, previously worn eight years ago when she got married in 2010. Which is no surprise considering the Strictly costume team have already had to take her dresses in twice. She also told the Mirror, “I think I’ve lost a stone already, it’s the Aljaz school of weight loss and my husband is very happy about that… nudge nudge. I feel liberated too! I was looking at my thighs today and I’m getting so much definition.”
Faye Tozer is also reaping the rewards of dancing. She told New! magazine, “I’ve definitely dropped a dress size. I was between a size 10 and a size 12 and now I’m a size 10. I thought I was fit before but you’re literally on your feet for at least six hours a day.”
But it’s not just the body that benefits from dancing, the mind does too. Pretty obvious really when dancing is so much fun and boosts your happiness.
Dancing on Strictly helped Lee Ryan give up more than just a little weight. With the encouragement of his Strictly partner, pro dancer Nadiya Bychkova, he ditched the alcohol and shed weight during his Strictly training after she told him, “You should just knock it on the head.” He reportedly told the Press Association at the beginning of October, “If anything I’ve lost a lot of weight, I haven’t weighed myself but my clothes feel massively different and I just feel great. I’ve stopped drinking, I’m on the wagon. It’s good, though, because I have in the past dabbled and struggled and gone to rehab and stuff so I’ve just decided that drink is not good for me and it’s a really good thing (quitting). It’s really good for me, it feels like quite a turnaround for my own mentality, which is not just for the show but for me personally as well.”
Another positive effect of dancing was confirmed by Katie Piper in an exclusive interview with Hello! a week before she was eliminated from the show. She said, “I took part in Strictly as I knew I still had areas in my life where I don’t feel as free and confident and this is one of them. I wanted to use the show as a tool to learn how to let go and feel sexy. I used to feel like this some years ago and would like to get a small bit of it back. Dancing definitely doesn’t come naturally to me but it’s about letting go and enjoying yourself – and that’s what I did at my wedding and now on Strictly, but this time in front of millions.”
So there you have it, dancing is good for the mind, body and soul.
Learn to dance
If you want to become the best version of yourself (thanks, Stacey Dooley), have a go at dancing and improve your fitness levels, lose weight and have loads of fun along the way. As well as our fab 2020 Weekend Breaks with the stars of Strictly, where you can learn to dance with the shows incredible pro dancers, we also hold brilliant Ballroom Classes.
Our weekly Ballroom Classes are perfect for both beginners and improvers. You’ll learn to dance the Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Jive, Argentine Tango and many more with our team of highly trained dance teachers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Too busy to commit to weekly lessons but really want to learn to dance? Then why not Learn to Dance in a Day with our fab 1-day Ballroom Dancing Lessons in Manchester, Solihull, Reading and Bristol? Our 4 hour daytime workshop will have you dancing your favourite Strictly dances in no time and loving it.
Why not make learning to dance your New Year resolution and set the wheels in motion by booking a class today?