Update: I’ve managed to file away my dance routine-related panic in a locked cabinet at the back of my mind. It rattles slightly – sometimes aggressively – but I am ignoring it. Right now I have bigger issues:


I’ve been to Blackpool to watch David compete a couple of times – the girls are all a mesmerising blur of tanned skin, glittering dresses, big eyes, and shiny, lacquered hair.

The guilty part of my brain keeps telling me to stop thinking of what eyeshadow brand I’m going to buy, or whether I should get blue flecks or diamante on my nails, and bossily orders me to instead think about my quickstep routine and how to be a banana in the waltz (see here).

But, look, I like dresses and glitter and make-up – I just do. And clearly appearance is a HUGE part in the ballroom world. I doubt I’d get noticed if I just strolled onto the floor with a messy bun, a dab of concealer and my black practice skirt (or maybe I would, but for all the wrong reasons).

So I’ve been making a list of everything I need to do before the big first comp on December 3:

  • Know the routines
    Should probably put that here first as it is quite important.
  • Practise dancing in ballroom shoes
    I’ve never owned a pair of ballroom shoes, just Latin (the main difference, I think, is ballroom shoes are closed toe, Latin are open). I’ve worn my lovely new Supadance pair (apparently Supadance is the Gucci of dance shoes, ooh) only once, so should probably waltz around the living room in them a bit.
  • Get a dress
    Ok, I’ve sorted this one. David used to compete with his sister, Nicola, and she’s lent me one of her ballroom dresses. It is a royal blue, gemstone-laced, sparkly, swishy masterpiece and I might not be able to return it because it is simply too beautiful.
  • Learn top make-up skills
    From what I’ve seen at other comps/Strictly/YouTube, ballroom make-up needs to be BIG. You can’t go halves. My eyes need to be massive and sparkly but my larger-than-most nose definitely needs to be contoured into a tiny Disney princess nose. And I need to shimmer. I’ve arranged to do trial runs with Nicola stat (incredibly thankful to have her in my life).
  • Create a shiny hair helmet with military precision
    Various ballroom websites I have stumbled upon through Google say hair should apparently stay still as a stone but also look magnificent and shiny. With gemstones or flowers in preferably. The most I’ve done is a low bun covered in half a tin of freeze hold hairspray for my medal test. But have you seen some of the hairstyles at Blackpool?! I need to up my game.

    The results of my Google search. I’m hoping a neat and tidy bun with lots of sparkle will suffice…?
  • Head to the Caribbean and spend a few days sunbathing
    Or, if penniless because you spend all your money on expensive eyeshadow like me, get a fake tan. My hairdressers’ do an all over body tan for £20. Sorted. I don’t want to look like a ghost.
  • Have lovely sparkly nails
    I’ve been wearing acrylics for the past few weeks and I think I’ve fallen in love with them. And I need nice nails to go with my tanned skin, lacquered hair, crystal dress, and poppin’ eyes. I’m thinking maybe another French manicure with gemstones, and blue detail on the ring finger to match the dress. This blog is getting very girly, I hope you haven’t tuned out yet. We’re nearly there I promise.
    This is pretty important, despite being bottom of the list. Have to make sure I keep my dance partner/real life partner well fed and watered and must remember to put him in the car safely (with a flask of coffee) on comp day. Because it really wouldn’t do to forget him.


Four lessons to go…

New to this blog? Here are a few more of my ballroom tales:


Ballroom comp training update: the basement is my home now

DAY 14: September Blogging Challenge – 80 days to go until my first ever ballroom competition