REVIEW: Dance To The Music, Sheffield City Hall

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FOR anyone needing an early ‘Strictly fix’ here was a teaser for die-hard fans counting down the weeks to the start of the annual feast of sequins and spray tan.

In fact there was so much of the latter that Strictly professional Robin Windsor had to explain to a bemused City Hall audience evening why his white shirt was looking suspiciously orange in places – probably not helped by a couple of steamy routines with fellow Strictly regular Kristina Rihanoff.

Billed as ‘Strictly unleashed’ and an opportunity for the dancers to showcase what they could do without judges or rules, Dance To The Music arrived on the final leg of a 23-date UK tour, the latest spin-off from the BBC show returning to TV screens in the autumn.

Windsor and Rhianoff were joined by 2010 winner Kara Tointon and her professional dance partner-turned boyfriend Artem Chigvintsev who performed to a string of hits from Nina Simone to Dean Martin as well as songs from the shows courtesy of the resident Strictly band and singers led by musical maestro Dave Arch.

Apart from the guaranteed ‘cheese’ factor, forget the familiar format of the TV show and hugely-popular arena tours. This time around the shows singers were given the chance to have their share of the limelight – a move that hasn’t been popular with some fans who reckoned there was less than 50 minutes of dancing during the two-hour show.

But if that fake tan-inspired wardrobe malfunction was anything to go by, this easily had as much heat and excitement as a Spain v Portugal penalty shoot-out.