Swept off our feet by Brendan - I give it a ten

Brendan Cole Live and Unjudged, Ipswich Regent, Thursday night

ONE Suffolk youngster probably didn’t think she’d end up stage in a hip hop dance-off with the Strictly Come Dancing star.

But that’s where 13-year-old Cassie found herself after issuing the challenge during the revealing question and answer portion of the show - which covered everything from Cole’s career highs and childhood memories to pigeon poop and fake tan.

Those present more than made up for the surprising amount of empty seats, getting swept off their feet by Cole and co’s infectious party spirit.

A masterclass in musicality and choreography, nobody put a foot wrong during this two-hour tour-de-force.

The bad boy of ballroom was funny, engaging, self-deprecating – highlighted by his fake walk-off after only scoring seven for his rendition of Sinatra’s I Got You Under My Skin – and was happy to let his fellow dancers shine. There was no one star here.

His brother Scott, Andrew Cuerden, Hanna Haarala, Izabela Hannah and Nicole Cutler were equally faultless; it may not have been the sweeping stage they’re used to, but they danced like they didn’t have a care in the world.

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The 14-piece band and singers Iain Mackenzie and Julie Maguire were fantastic – their renditions of Prince’s Purple Rain and Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing, in particular, suited the dances perfectly. I’d happily pay to see just them.

Everyone on stage was clearly having the time of their lives; it was a feeling shared by the audience who were up out of their seats more than Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood came in for some light-hearted ribbing and Cole’s hilarious impression of fellow professional Vincent Simone was sublime.

We were treated to all the dances from the show – a passionate paso doble kicked things off, followed by a tango, Argentine tango, rumba, cha cha, quickstep, samba, foxtrot, American smooth, Viennese waltz, a waltz and a jive.

Cole wasn’t joking when he said the audience were as much a part of the show as the performers on stage, getting everyone up for a salsa before the interval. Even I gave it a go – and I didn’t dance at my own wedding. My chair may have had more rhythm, but the atmosphere was so electric it didn’t matter.

There was a heavy collective sigh of disappointment when the show came to an end, we could’ve danced all night.

A criminally low turn out for such an amazing show, if you get the chance to catch it elsewhere do. A fantastic night out – I give it a ten.

Were you the youngster on stage? Call Wayne Savage on 01473 324728.

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