Strictly Review: Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse vs Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton

Last weekend it was Movie Week on Strictly Come Dancing and we were treated to not one, but two Charlestons. Actor Kelvin Fletcher and his dance partner Oti Mabuse scored an almost perfect score which included two 10s whilst Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton were voted off the show. Do you agree with the results and the scores? Let’s taken a deeper look at each dance.

First up, was Kelvin and Oti. Before I go into the critique of the routine and the actual choreography I would like to say that Kelvin is obviously a very talented dancer clearly with a dance background. They executed the routine perfectly with leaps of character. Out of all the themes from the night the routine, music and costume came together the best.

My niggle with this dance is that it felt more like a Couple’s Choice routine rather than a Charleston. This is not a criticism on the performers but the choreographer, Matt Flint, who didn’t include that much actual Charleston content.

If we look more closely at the routine, the first 25 seconds is scene setting. At 0:26, there are some Flapper Walks forwards then more scene setting and dancing around the lamp posts but they don’t break into their dance section until 0:54 and the first Charleston doesn’t happen until 1 mins which is quite a long time to wait. After the Charleston they go into a series of lifts followed by Charlestons to the front with jumps at 1:10. The only other classic Charleston moves we see are Bunny Hops at 1:25, a few kicks at 1:30 and at the very end a Hitchhike into a mini Boogie Drop with toe taps into flapper walks and cartwheel.

There are so many great Charleston moves you can use to travel around the stage, to dance in hold and on the spot that there was not enough content in this routine for me. It felt more like a Modern Jazz routine with a dash of Charleston. 

Judges: 9+9+10+10

Our Score: 8

Moving onto Anneka and Kevin, this routine was far too fast for a novice dancer and she really struggled to execute the moves. The same choreographer, Matt Flint, opened the routine with a weird stick flight then they broke into the Charleston, Butterfly Swivels and Helicopters but she really struggled to keep up with the speed. After some more stick flighting, they break into a lindyhop style Charleston with some side-to-side Charlestons but she very stiff and uncomfortable throughout the whole section. There are some Bunny Hops in hold at 1:22 but Anneka loses steam at the end with the Butterflies next to the orchestra which precedes the final position.

Kevin is one of my favourite Strictly dancers and the critique is not of them but more of the production team behind it who gave her a weak theme, difficult music and a tempo which was too fast for her. Previous Charlestons on Movie Week have included for example Bugsy Malone which is much more in keeping with the style of Charleston so I think she got given the short straw which exposed her lack of dance experience.

Judges scores 2+3++3+3

Our Score: 3