Countdown to the best Strictly Come Dancing performance ever
Entertaining millions of people every Saturday night in autumn, Strictly Come Dancing is one of the most watched programmes in the country. Originally on the BBC from 1950 to 1958, the show came back with its current format first airing in 2004. Since then, hundreds of celebrities have danced across the ballroom floor to face the judges and public votes each week to win the competition and be crowned the Strictly champion. Occasionally, there’s a routine which is FAB-U-LOUS, standing out from the rest. We count down ten of the best Strictly Come Dancing dances ever and celebrate just how good these dances are.
Ten of the best dances from Strictly Come Dancing
10: Louis Smith’s Showdance
The Olympic athlete’s gymnastics-inspired showdance helped him take the Strictly trophy in 2012. Dancing to “Rule The World”, the routine starts with Louis showcasing his gymnastic capabilities, later lifting his partner across the floor in a dance that demonstrated his dancing ability with an added flexible flair. Ending with a daring lift, this dance helped Louis Smith beat off the competition and lift the trophy.
9: Alexandra Burke’s Jive
Kicking and flicking across the floor, Alexandra Burke’s jive earned 39 points in the middle of the competition. Scoring the most “10’s” out of any competitor in the history of the show, Alexandra channelled Tina Turner in this fast, energetic routine that she reprised in the Strictly final in 2017. After touring the country as part of the Strictly Live Tour, she then returned to musical theatre in 2018, playing Svetlana in Chess and Roxie Hart in Chicago.
8: Ed Balls’ Salsa
It may not be one of the most technically advanced dances, but Ed Ball’s salsa to “Gangnam Style” got everyone talking. The routine combines salsa choreography with the recognisable moves and blue suit from the music video into a dance that’s both hilarious and packed with content. Ed Balls didn’t make it to the final in 2016, however it’s a stand out routine from the series.
7: Mark Ramprakash’s Salsa
Mark Ramprakash won the show in 2006, but he won the people’s hearts with his perseverance to keep going with his salsa. Bringing the fun to the studio, the routine was all going well until a costume malfunction meant everything came to halt. When Mark asked to sort out the issue and dance again, the audience burst into applause as they took to the floor once more to perform this “Hot Hot Hot” routine, which scored 36 points.
6: Joe McFadden’s Samba
You may not immediately associate the music in Cabaret to a samba, but Joe McFadden’s performance to “Money Money” fused sambas and musicals into a perfect combination. Tackling complicated steps, the blend of Latin moves as well as his devilish performance as the emcee made sure that this routine was a knock-out success. He earned 37 points for this dance, beating Alexandra Burke, Debbie McGee and Gemma Atkinson to the title of Strictly champion.
5: Ore Oduba’s American Smooth
Bringing a touch of class to the competition, Ore Oduba’s American Smooth brought a sprinkle of Hollywood glamour to Elstree Studios. Gliding across the floor, the dance is a perfect homage to the movie that was praised by Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward. Performing at such a high quality throughout the series, Ore went on to win the competition in 2016 and now hosts the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour.
4: Tom Chambers’ Showdance
Dancing to the Sweet Charity tune, Tom Chamber’s showdance was a celebration of his ballroom capabilities. Starting off by himself, he confidently moves around the floor in a Fred Astaire style, with his partner complimenting him. Tom didn’t hang up his dancing shoes forever, originating the role of Jerry Travers in Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre. This dance is a joyous routine which didn’t have to face the judge’s scrutiny, but we’d definitely give it full marks!
3: Danny Mac’s Samba
The only Samba to ever score full marks, Danny Mac’s dance was an African-inspired routine, jam-packed with plenty of technique. As the routine built up the tension, it intrigued audiences. When the drum beat kicked in, the routine exploded into a carnivalesque celebration that showed off all of Danny Mac’s talents. Since appearing in Strictly, Danny’s starred in On The Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and a UK tour of Sunset Boulevard.
2: Jill Halfpenny’s Jive
Nail a jive on Strictly and you’re bound to do well in the competition. This can definitely be said for our top two dances ever on Strictly. Just shy of the top spot is Jill Halfpenny’s jive, which was the first routine to ever score full marks. Performed to Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”, the routine was executed sharply and is still recognised as one of the best dances ever by the judges. Jill Halfpenny did an exhibition performance of her jive in 2008, but this routine is a timeless classic that all Strictly fans love.
1: Jay McGuinness’ Jive
Dancing to “Misirlou” from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, Jay McGuinness’ jive is a Strictly phenomenon. Performed in week 3 in 2015, Jay captured the essence of John Travolta’s character in 90 seconds in a routine that showcased his dancing ability as well as his clean lines. Even though it was performed so early in the series, the public remembered just how good this dance was and his popularity rocketed. He reached the final, winning the competition in 2015, but he never performed this routine again.