As noted above, Dance to the Music verges on misrepresentation as it is really a concert by the Strictly band and singers with fewer than hoped for dance performances. At times it was a bit like attending a wedding reception with highly accomplished live entertainment. A large proportion of the packed house at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend were there to see the return of home town sweetheart Kara Tointon. Kara (a product of two of the posher private schools in Leigh-on-Sea before she became an Eastender) was palpably delighted to be back even if her extra nerves were clearly evident. In truth, although she is a very good amateur dancer she could never hope to stand comparison to the professional partnership of Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor and a couple of their routines provided real highlights. The second half was much better than the first as all the dancers were given the chance to engage with the audience and Windsor in particular radiated camp charisma. Putting aside any disappointment with the format of the show the sheer quality, professionalism and enthusiasm of everyone involved made the last night of the tour terrifically entertaining. - David Baxter
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