Strictly players here to party

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Dance to the Music - Opera House, Blackpool

Songs, sequins and sizzling hot dancing – that was Strictly Presents... Dance to the Music.

Regular viewers of Strictly Come Dancing will already be acquainted with Dave Arch and – to quote Bruce Forsyth – his “fabulous band” who provide the live music every week.

And this tour sees the band become the stars of the show, with some spectacular dance performances by other well-known faces, professional dancers Artem Chigvinstev, Kristina Rhiannoff and Robin Windsor, along with Strictly Come Dancing 2010 champion, actress Kara Tointon.

It was chance for the band – who Kara Tointon dubbed “the unsung heroes” of Strictly – to have their moment in the spotlight.

They performed a wide variety of styles – jazz, swing, pop, classical and disco – everything from Elvis to a James Bond theme and from Stevie Wonder to Beyonce.

The singers also got in on the act on the dance floor and were surprisingly good movers, as well as having stunning voices.

Everyone took turns to take the mic and talk to the audience in an informal and only loosely scripted way, Artem and Robin with expert comic timing.

Kara, at times visibly nervous, could easily have passed for a professional dancer.

What really came across was the genuine love, passion and enjoyment of music in all its forms, by the singers, the band and the dancers.

It felt like all those on stage were having a party - and everyone in the audience was invited.