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Strictly Come Dancing: Live Tour 2013

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Nice To See You, To See You Nice
It's Strictly season again. At the end of December, my mum and I go into withdrawal symptoms because Strictly Come Dancing has finished for another year. We literally count down the months until the new line-up will be announced, and we can resume our weekend watch. Sometimes it could be hard thinking about how long we would have to wait, but then someone came to the rescue. They put on the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour.

The tour will be going into its sixth year, travelling across the UK between the 18th January and 10th February 2013. My mum and I have been to four of the tours, and never left disappointed. Each time, we went to one of the final performances at the O2 Arena in Greenwich. If you decide to go to the same venue, here are some tips:

1. Bring a packed lunch.

The food bars are hideously expensive and the food is atrocious. The first time we went, we bought panini which cost over 6, were uncooked, and the content rubbery and tasteless.

2. Bring spare bottle caps.

For some weird reason, if you take a bottled drink with you, security confiscates your bottle caps. This means you are at constant risk of knocking your drink everywhere. Also, by the end of the show, if you haven't finished your drink, you'll probably have to leave it behind as it will be difficult to carry all the way back home.

strictly come dancing live tour
Chris Hollins, 2009 winner

Before the show starts, there is a warm up man, who honestly does not get enough (or any) credit. He really gets you in the mood for the show. After a couple of jokes he gets everyone out of theirs seats to perform a mexican wave, then there is a 'dancing' competition. The person who is most enthusiastic gets a programme signed by the dancers or a signed biography of one of the judges.

If you are in the vertigo seats don't expect to get anything. The gift usually goes to a little girl in the front stalls. You can also buy the programme before the show. At 10 it is expensive, but it is also very comprehensive, with biographies of all the dancers and celebrities, and the scores they got for their dances on the TV show.

strictly come dancing live tour
Score cards

Then there is the show itself. The music is outstanding. It blares out all around the arena, and makes the dancing come to life far more than is possible on the television. After their performance, the couples are greeted by the judges, who, after a few quips, give their scores. The judges scores are just a guideline though, as it is the audience who makes the call. Numbers are given at the end of the show, which you can phone or text with your mobile. If you are like me, and part of the 1% of the population without a phone, you can still join with score cards that come with the souvenir programme.

This tour, Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood, and Bruno Tonioli will be returning as judges. The dancers and celebrities have yet to be announced, but there is usually a balanced selection from the contestants of the past and current series, including whoever wins this year's show. Tickets are between 35-65

Keep Dancing.
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Why? Ease your Strictly withdrawal symptoms
When: 18th Jan - 10th Feb
Phone: 0843 316 1155
Where: Across the UK
Cost: 35-65
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