Dreams Come True

For a long as I can remember I have loved everything girly and anything sparkly. I am pretty much a magpie when it comes to glitz and for many years, since it first began, I have always watched and loved Strictly Come Dancing. The dancing, those amazing costumes, the music and the celebrity stars make the show one of my favourite things about Autumn. And as much as I have always dreamed of watching the show live, it was something I knew would be pretty impossible to get to but as this is my wish list I decided to write it down and see what magic happened.

And that dream came true….

Yesterday myself and my friend Heather were not only in the audience for the live filming of the show, our tickets had been provided by Kevin Clifton himself so they included access to the friends/family tent after the show where we were able to hang out with and chat to the starts of the show. A magical experience.

The day began with a good lunch before making our way to Elstree Studios. We had been told to arrive after 3.20pm which gave us plenty of time to get some prosecco at the bar while we eagerly awaited our access call to the main studio. Our phones were taken off us at this point also as we were not allowed them on us whilst in the studio.

We finally were taken through to the the Ballroom at around 5.40pm. It was beautiful although it seemed smaller in real life than it looks on telly. Everyone is sat in their allocated seats and we were lucky to have seats opposite the judges desk and 2nd row back so we had a fantastic view.

The atmosphere was pure excitement. Everyone was chatty and smiley which was great to see. The pro dancers came out to see us all and wowed us all with their group routine which was such fun to watch. We then were treated to a song by the amazing Jess Glynne who was fantastic to hear live before the wait for the live show to kick off.

Bring in the audience makes you realise just how much goes into these shows. Not only are all the celebrity’s, judges, pro dancers and band a huge part of the show, there are also hundreds of bodies running around bringing new sets on to the stage, touching up the makeup and sweeping the floor in between dances. Such a slick process and so much more than what you see on the TV.

All the dancers were amazing to see and my hands were red raw with clapping so much throughout the night. The live show finished allowing us a 15 minute break before they began to film the results show where we were treated to another amazing performance from Paloma Faith and saw the dance off between the 2 couples in the bottom 2. Sadly Vick Hope’s time was up with the strictly family after losing out in the dance off but she was brilliant and such a beautiful person.

After all the filming had finished we made our way back to the exclusive tent where we spent the next 2 hours talking to and getting photos with all the stars. I must say they are all so lovely. Faye had a long conversation with us and was a delight to meet. Vick was sad to be going but was still chatty and smiley for us. We also spoke to so many others (many whom we got photos with too). And we finally got to introduce ourselves to Kevin as he was the one who made the experience happen in the first place. After a chat and a hug we also got a photo with him and Stacey. It was just amazing how each and every one of them had the time and energy to chat after such a long day dancing and filming.

A huge thank you to Hiten (from Bbc Radio 2) for being the driving force in making this experience happen and to Kevin Clifton for making my strictly dreams become a reality.


to see the rest of my list please follow this link – lauraslifeisforlivinglist

Horse Riding

For one of my 30th birthday treats, my friend Oa’s mum Joc wanted to treat us to my activity of horse riding so on a beautiful, Autumnal day the 3 of us went to Squirrel Wood Equestrian Centre for an afternoon of fun.

We began the afternoon with a yummy picnic on the farm whilst we waited for our 2pm booking. The sun was shining which was so nice and a great way to start the day. Once the picnic was over we made our way over to the farm office and met the owner, Lisa.

After a short introduction we were straight in to getting up and close to the horses. We started with grooming, learning all about the different types of brushes as we helped to make their coats and manes all neat and tidy. Once we had finished this it was time for our ride. I hadn’t been on a horse for over 12 years and so I was quite nervous but it didn’t take long before I felt amazing being back in the saddle.

We took our horses for a walk around the woods and lake which was so beautiful. We had helpers walking with us to ensure we were in safe hands and eased us back into being on a horse slowly. I certainly want to go back to have a proper lesson to learn how to control the horse again properly so I do not need to be lead.

Once back from here we got off our horses and got them ready to go back out into the field for the night. We got to walk them back to their fields, sorted out their food and finished a few jobs before our day was over.

It was so lovely being up close to the horses again and a real treat so a huge thanks to Joc for organising it for us. It certainly won’t be the last time I do it. x