Dancing holidays

Lorna Cowan / 05 September 2016

Inspired to dance now Strictly is back on TV? Advice and tips on how to try a special interest dance themed holiday?



Last weekend, the 15 contestants of Strictly Come Dancing 2016 found out the identity of their professional dance partners. Ed Balls, Lesley Joseph, Naga Munchetty and Will Young – they’re just four of this year’s stars who’ll brave the dance floor, and the Strictly judges, hoping to lift the coveted glitterball trophy at the end of this Series 14.

If Strictly fever puts you in the mood for dancing, then there are a whole host of holidays to consider, whether you’re keen to learn to dance, improve your technique, or simply watch others take centre stage. Here we look at ideas for fans of ballroom, latin, ballet, jive and more.

Ballroom

If you love ballroom dancing, there’s really only one place to go - Blackpool Tower Ballroom. With its impressive sprung dance floor, stunning crystal chandeliers and a history dating back to 1894, no wonder dancing here is a highlight for all the Strictly contestants.

Dance enthusiasts from around the world flock to Blackpool to see the iconic ballroom, and dancing holidays in the famous seaside resort are popular. Saga offers ballroom breaks – with the chance to enjoy a bit of Latin American too - in Blackpool and on the south coast in Bournemouth. Both holidays include dance tuition sessions, as well as social dancing evenings.

Related: Experience a ballroom dancing experience with Saga.

If you fancy going further afield to learn to dance or brush up your skills, then Saga also offers a dancing holiday in Cyprus. Staying in a dance-themed hotel, you’ll be worthy of a ‘10 from Len’ in no time!

Related: Enjoy ballroom dancing in Cyprus.

Latin

Strictly fans relish seeing the celebrity couples perform latin dances, and not just because everyone loves hearing Craig Revel Horwood pronounce ‘cha-cha-cha’. Viewers watch with bated breath wondering whether the contestants will be a hit, like EastEnders’ Jake Woods dancing the salsa in 2014, or more of a flop, such as sprinter Iwan Thomas’s cha-cha-cha last year.

The lively salsa and sensual rumba both have their roots in the Caribbean island of Cuba, and on a holiday there you’ll stumble upon locals dancing to music in the streets. Watch and learn, then have a go yourself – there are no judges giving you a score.

Related: Discover the history of Latin dancing on a Saga holiday to Cuba.

Closer to home, HF Holidays offer short breaks for all levels of dancers who like latin dancing (and a bit of ballroom) – complete beginners as well as those can confidently shake their stuff. Holidays are available in the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Dales and South Devon.

Argentine tango

When it comes to dancing the Argentine tango, no one does it better than former Strictly professionals Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone. Stars of the show for over six years, they wowed viewers with their passionate dance routines complete with dynamic locks, kicks and flicks.

Originating at the end of the 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, lovers of the tango may want to learn more about the dance in Argentina’s capital, and Dehouche offer a tango experience in the city. Holidays to Argentina are also available from Saga.

If your holiday budget won’t stretch that far, you can still enjoy the tango in the UK. A host of classes and events take place around the country. To find out your nearest venue, see Dance Near You.

Related: Discover the routes of the Argentine Tango on a holiday to Argentina.

Jive

Anyone who watched last year’s Strictly Come Dancing will recall the jaw-dropping moment when, on film week, Jay McGuiness danced the jive, recreating a scene from Pulp Fiction. It was only week three, but it was evident then that the singer was more than capable of winning the glitterball trophy, which he did.

The jive is a dance style that emerged in the late 1920s in the southern states of America and was very popular with younger dancers at the time. Perhaps that was down to the fact you needed plenty of stamina – in competitions it’s danced at a speed of 176 beats per minute.

There’s no need for you to move quite so fast if you get the chance to take to the dance floor on a holiday in America’s south. Saga’s Taste of the Deep South tour takes you to Nashville, New Orleans and Memphis, where music plays night and day. Pack comfortable dance shoes. You’ll be tapping your toes too on Saga’s Rhythms of the Deep South trip. Highlights include a visit to Graceland, the Johnny Cash Museum, a live blues performance, and if you time it right, you’ll catch the Jazz Fest.

Jive Addiction also organises holidays for jive fans in the UK, including weekend breaks in Hemsby, Norfolk, and week-long holidays to the Canary Island of Fuerteventura.

Ballet

Although the great British ballerina Darcey Bussell sits on the judging panel on Strictly, sadly we don’t see contestants perform pirouettes or fouettés on the show. Then again, with ballet it’s probably best to leave it to the professionals. Dancers from the Russian State Ballet and Opera House are visiting the UK this November, and Saga are offering ballet fans the chance to enjoy not one but two ballet classics – Swan Lake and The Nutcracker – in Llandudno, Wales. Talks prior to the performances are also included.

Related: Experience a Saga ballet break.

Or perhaps you would like to visit Russia itself, and try to attend a ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Related: Saga offers holidays to various destinations in Russia.

Paso doble

Whether your favourite Strictly paso doble was performed by Susannah Reid in 2013 or Frankie Bridge the following year, you’ll know it’s a fast-paced dance that emulates the drama of a bullfight. Paso doble means double step in Spanish, and the tempo is brisk throughout until the theatrical climax.

While you may not want to witness an actual bullfight, bullrings are a common sight in many Spanish cities today, including Seville, Granada and Malaga, and are often beautiful interesting buildings. On a holiday to Andalusia, it’s worth taking time to make a detour on a walk and take a look.

On Saga’s Magic of Andalusia tour, you’ll also get the chance to attend a flamenco show in the caves at Sacromonte, Granada.

Related: Discover Saga’s Magic of Andalusia tour.

And for the ultimate Strictly fan…

If you just can’t get enough of Strictly Come Dancing and feel at a loss when the show is over for another year, don’t worry, you can go on a Strictly Come Dancing themed cruise, arranged by P&O Cruises. With four departure dates to choose from, and different routes, you’ll be able to dance to your heart’s content, and rub sequinned shoulders with some Strictly stars.

Saga has a range of dance related holidays available. Find out more today.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.