The show dance (sometimes referred to as the freestyle) is the only dance in the series where there are no rules! It is only performed in the series final, and the couples are asked to dance a no holds barred, show stopping routine, incorporating whatever styles of dance they like, and often including a whole variety of lifts and spectacles for the viewers and judges to delight in.
The judges haven't always awarded marks for the show dance. The first series finalists routines were scored, but from series 2 to series 6, the show dances were merely a chance for the finalists to go out with a bang, and perhaps garner favour with those swing voters who hadn't quite made up their mind who to give their vote to! The scoring of the show dance returned from series 7 onwards.
Demonstrations from professional dancers who specialise in show dances (including Hanna Karttunen who was one of the Strictly professionals in the first series) have shown routines to be very heavy on lifts and with an almost gymnastic style of dancing, but the contestants have produced a wide variety of routines in the history of Strictly. Early series saw show dances which reflected the dances the celebrities had learned through the series, followed by a move towards more theatrical and disco themes, and we've even seen some attempts to emulate the professional style.
The best of Strictly
As not all the routines have been marked by the judges, it's often down to personal preference as to which are the best and worst performances so far, so more than any other dance page on this site, this will be the most subjective! There are a couple of showdance routines that stick in my mind more than any others, so these are the two I will single out from the rest and both are from the final of series two. Denise & Ian gave a joyous, exuberant performance to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" while Jill & Darren's routine danced to "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" was a wonderful mixture of latin dances from throughout the series. The added glamour of being performed in the Tower Ballroom at Blackpool made for a fantastic final and two very memorable show dances.
And, in a very close final, the three couples dancing at Blackpool again in the series nine final, gave three very high scoring routines, but with a costume changing, charleston, quickstep, jive combination which suited them perfectly, it was the first perfect 40 of Strictly for a show dance for Jason & Kristina.
The worst of Strictly
There are two routines that have failed to hit the mark with most fans of the show. The first, and probably most infamous, is the disappointment of "Muppetgate" in series three when Erin chose to prove to the judges how Colin Jackson could dance on his own by using lifesize dolls to allow them to dance a ballroom routine as two separate couples, but unfortunately it was a bit of an anti-climax to a great competition for Colin, and Arlene claimed it was like a show you'd see at the end of a pier. It was quite a while before there would be another show dance to rival it, but when Brendan decided to take inspiration from the professional show dancers for Lisa Snowdon's routine in series six, but it just didn't feel like a Strictly dance and a routine with more familiar content may have suited Lisa better.
Details of all Show Dance performances:
|Natasha & Brendan||(I've Had) The Time Of My Life||Series 1, Final||8||9||9||9||35|
|Christopher & Hanna||Fame!||Series 1, Final||4||6||7||5||22|
SERIES 2 to 6 (no scores awarded)
|Julian & Erin||Take My Breath Away||Series 2, Final|
|Denise & Ian||I Wanna Dance With Somebody||Series 2, Final|
|Jill & Darren||Can't Take My Eyes Off You||Series 2, Final|
|Zoe & Ian||America||Series 3, Final|
|Colin & Erin||You're Easy To Dance With||Series 3, Final|
|Darren & Lilia||A Night To Remember||Series 3, Final|
|Matt & Lilia||Say A Little Prayer||Series 4, Final|
|Mark & Karen||Shout||Series 4, Final|
|Matt & Flavia||Are You Gonna Go My Way||Series 5, Final|
|Alesha & Matthew||Holding Out For A Hero||Series 5, Final|
|Lisa & Brendan||I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)||Series 6, Final|
|Rachel & Vincent||Flashdance...What A Feeling||Series 6, Final|
|Tom & Camilla||If My Friends Could See Me Now||Series 6, Final|
|Chris & Ola||Do You Love Me?||Series 7, Final||9||9||9||10||9||46|
|Ricky & Natalie||Last Dance||Series 7, Final||10||9||10||10||10||49|
SERIES 8 to 9
|Matt & Aliona||I Like The Way You Move||Series 8, Final||7||9||9||9||34|
|Kara & Artem||Don't Stop Me Now||Series 8, Final||9||9||9||9||36|
|Pamela & James||(I've Had} The Time Of My Life||Series 8, Final||9||9||9||10||37|
|Harry & Aliona||Great Balls Of Fire||Series 9, Final||9||9||10||9||37|
|Jason & Kristina||Dancin' Fool||Series 9, Final||10||10||10||10||40|
|Chelsee & Pasha||One Night Only||Series 9, Final||9||9||9||9||36|
|Denise & James||What A Feeling||Series 10, Final||10||10||10||10||40|
|Louis & Flavia||Rule The World||Series 10, Final||10||10||10||10||40|
|Kimberley & Pasha||Crazy In Love||Series 10, Final||9||10||10||10||39|
|Dani & Vincent||Bohemian Rhapsody||Series 10, Final||8||9||9||9||35|