Review: Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals at The Lowry is ‘glitzy, glamorous and dazzling’

Experience the glitz, glamour, and undeniable talent of the professional dancers from the unstoppable BBC TV hit Strictly Come Dancing!
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Following the Coronation, the UK is getting ready to celebrate the Eurovision in Liverpool and what a party that will be.

In the meantime, Salford has its own glitterball extravaganza and for fans of the unstoppable BBC TV hit Strictly Come Dancing, this is their chance to see the pros strut their stuff and show us why they are all champions.

The professional dancers are the mentors, coaches, teachers and confidantes, and they wear these many different hats on the show, working all hours to train the celebrities, so that they can be the best dancers and hopefully, take home the trophy.

Here you get to see them shine and deliver and if you are a big fan of the group dances that open the TV show, then you are in for a real treat.

The 10 fan favourites; Dianne Buswell, Vito Coppola, Carlos Gu, Karen Hauer, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Jowita Prystal and Nancy Xu clearly love performing on a stage and this is evident from the minute they click their heels on the Lyric Theatre stage at the Lowry.

They each bring something unique to the table.

Karen brings the intensity, prowess and performance, as she is as invested in the dance, as you recall on TV.

Dianne makes everything seem effortless as she glides across the floor with elegance and movie-star glamour.

Relative newcomers Carlos, Nancy, Nikita, Vito and Jowita bring something fresh and exuberant to the proceedings.

Gorka is beloved in Manchester, as he and his family live here. Luba has a same-sex couple dance with Karen and it is a real highlight.

Lastly Neil is self-deprecating but is a far better dancer than he lets on.

Many of the dancers left home when they were very young, to train as professionals and this meant leaving their families and the country that they love.

These stories of determination and resilience, in pursuit of something they had a passion for at a very early age, are very moving.

The show itself, directed and choreographed by Jason Gilkison has a huge amount of variety.

From a Disney celebration, a tribute to all things 1980s, Beyonce Vs Barry Manilow, the great American Songbook and the professionals’ own favourite dancers are all explored here and they do not put a foot wrong.

At times, you do wish the routines and sections were a tad longer or had a proper finish.

There are moments when we move onto something new, like a child swiping a tablet and we are still living in the moment of the last number, as there is not always a defined close before the next one begins.

There are many dazzling moments though and these more than make up for the erratic elements.

The highlight for me is a group Paso Doble, it stuns because each dancer not only has all the moves, but they also bring the performance and the passion.

You really appreciate how dance is not just about following the steps, you have live the dance in that moment and each routine, whether jokey or serious is given the same amount of commitment by these gifted pros.

Tara McDonald and Patrick Smyth are terrific singers and they and the brilliant band provide a superb platform and soundtrack for these dancers to tell many stories, through their marvelous moves.

The ‘talking’ from the dancers does provide you with a sense of who they are beyond their terrific talents but at times, it does interrupt the flow of the piece, as it feels as if we are stop/starting at the very beginning.

Strictly Come Dancing has always been about the celebrities ‘journeys’ from L Plates (in most cases) to glitterball trophy, and more importantly self-belief, as there is nowhere to hide, when you are on that dancefloor in front of millions of people every Saturday night.

This excellent night out gives credit to the professionals and allows them to do what they do best, dazzle, entertain and shine on stages all over the UK.

As much as I can’t wait for Strictly to return in September, this show could also become an annual event, as it makes you feel damn good and ready to hit the floor and do a Tony Manero, yourself.

Keep Dancing!

Strictly Come Dancing – the Professionals is at the Lowry until 10th May and tickets can be booked here. For other tour dates, please click here.

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