We went along to UEA Strictly and the judges were seriously sassy

Just more ways we’re better than Essex


UEA got its dancing shoes on at Strictly Come Dancing on Monday night.

Our best sportsmen and women braved the stage to perform for an excited audience in the LCR.

Paired with professionals from the Latin and Ballroom Dance Society, 16 UEA sports club members danced their hearts out – and anyone that was lucky enough to watch will agree that the night was very entertaining.

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The judges were harsh – with their back-handed compliments and sarcy comments they were almost as brutal as Craig Revel Horwood.

Their “constructive criticism” included telling the dancers to “keep their legs closed”. The best remark of the evening came when one of the male judges told the audience he had a man crush on Ultimate Frisbee player Andy Charlwood… before writing his phone number down with his score. Smooth.

Annie performing the Cha Cha Cha

Annie performing the Cha Cha Cha

Dances ranged from the Waltz to the Cha Cha Cha, our sports players showing their talent doesn’t end with Derby Day.

But what’s a night without a few hiccups? I’m sure those on the sound board would agree, having had multiple props hurled at them (with one danger apologising halfway through the dance).

Partners were also dropped on their heads, and the overall winners – Kendra Tye-Page and Michael Reed – literally fell at the last hurdle.

The Finalists

The finalists

The dancers didn’t hesitate to reassure us that they enjoyed every minute of the experience. Andy Charlwood from Ultimate Frisbee said: “From the moment I met my partner we had good chemistry. Dancing has been really fun.

“Under normal LCR circumstances you can find me getting low and shaking my booty, but sadly this isn’t exactly the technique needed for samba. I’ve struggled with the hip movements, but we hope we wooed the crowd.

“Knowing that the audience are looking for a good show, we tried to add some jazzy moves to the piece. Trainings was sweaty, hard and long. Each session consists of lots of hip shaking and booty bumping. I hope our samba seduced the crowd.”

David Morales, who is in the Tai Kwon Do Club, said: “Practice went very well, considering we only had four weeks. We made good progress, and it was all thanks to the amazing teacher that Sophie is. Through our practices I learned to dance and Sophie has learned Tae Know Do.”

Annie Lane from Women’s Rugby said: “The whole experience was amazing. Adam was a celebrity on the show last year. We had loads of fun rehearsing, though Adam is a bit of a diva, and more of a girl than me! I’m really proud of what we achieved.”

The overall winner was Kendra Tye-Page from Lacrosse dancing the Paso Doble with Michael Reed.

Winners of UEA Strictly!

Winners of UEA Strictly!