By News Team
Last Updated: 29th September 2021
With 18 series of Strictly Come Dancing already under our belts, and the calibre of dancing that the professionals bring out of their celebrity partners, it can be tricky to pick out the show-stoppers.
So here’s a list of our ten favourite Strictly Come Dancing performances.
Stacey Dooley & Kevin Clifton Show Dance (series 16)
This dance has to be the latest and greatest of the Strictly performances. The pair danced to ‘Land Of A Thousand Dances’ around a set that depicted the Strictly show itself; equipped with makeup rooms, a backstage area and the stage element as well.
This Show Dance captured the audience’s need for entertainment with its high energy and well-placed acting sections, along with Stacey’s hip shakes – loved by judge Bruno. Kevin’s choreography also provided the required technique, both in the separate in-sync sections as well as the in-hold sections. The dance was even equipped with Kevin throwing Stacey over his shoulder not once, but twice!
Rachael Stevens and Vincent Simone’s Argentine Tango (series 6)
Lead by the king of Argentine Tango, Rachael and Vincent’s dance was squeaky clean from technical errors, with each elbow precisely positioned, and each step deliberate. They danced to Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’ and scored 39 for their efforts in this semi final performance.
Vincent was known and well-loved for the care he took in choreographing spectacles suited best to the strengths of his celebrity partners, and he did no different with Rachael.
Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace’s Show Dance (series 10)
This dance is one of the most memorable dances, not only due to featuring Olympic silver medallist gymnast Louis Smith who had, earlier that year, put on a spectacular performance at the London Olympics. The dance featured lifts and acrobatics that showed off the raw strength that gymnasts need; Louis used his previously learnt skills to hold himself up in gravity-defying positions, as well as throwing his partner Flavia around like she weighed absolutely nothing.
The key to this emotional performance was the balance between the gymnastic acrobatic display, and the acknowledgement that this was still a dance performance, with the execution of clean footwork originating from the Tango.
Alesha Dixon and Matthew Cutler’s Cha Cha Cha (series 5)
Alesha’s memorable Cha Cha Cha performance not only resulted in her lifting the glitterball trophy at the end of series 5, but it later secured her a place on the judges panel for many Strictly Come Dancing series to come. The pair danced to Beyonce’s ‘Crazy in love’, with a mixture of high energy, charismatic engagement between the two dancers and smooth twists and turns.
What makes this dance deserving of a place on the list of the greatest Strictly dances ever, was Alesha unleashing her inner Beyonce and loving every moment – a spectacle of pure enjoyment to showcase what the TV program and competition is all about.
Jake Wood and Janette Manrara’s Salsa (series 12)
When the ex-EastEnders actor danced a classic Salsa to ‘Mambo No5’, he sure put on a show! His solo dance introduction brought out his cheeky character that is somewhat hidden in the other ballroom dances.
Whilst Jake didn’t make the series final, his Salsa was a standout dance in the early stages of the series, securing a standing ovation from the audience. With an impressive lift to finish, this dance deserves recognition for a performance that was not an easy execution in just the second week of the competition.
Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup’s Show Dance (series 6)
With the Show Dance having next to no rules, this performance was a quirky and mesmerising dance, full of story, character and personality, brought about by Tom’s skilled acting accompanying his dance. In series 6, Tom became one of the audiences’ favourites and even came back to feature on the Christmas Special episodes of the show.
Tom showed strength in hold, as well as on his own and ended up winning the series. The dance must also be recognised due to its perfect chorography; the moves in time with the comedic musical beats resulted in a change in pace but no loss in attention from the audience.
Chris Hollins and Ola’s Charleston (series 7)
Chris won the series seven glitterball trophy after capturing the hearts of the audience with his down-to-earth humility. His Charleston was no different in the way he provided the judges and audience with seamless flicks and kicks, as well as the consistent entertainment value that Chris always showcased.
Chris was a contestant that provided evidence that real life emotion is just as important and being in step with the rising standards of the dancers’ technique. His Charleston with Ola was full of fun and life, as well as advanced choreography that was executed perfectly.
Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani’s Quickstep (series 9)
Harry earned a reputation of being one to watch very early on in the season, however his best performance was when he sailed around the dancefloor during his final Quickstep. The pair secured their highest score of the season dancing to ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ by The Pretenders.
The light-hearted yet technical dance focused solely on the dancing and showcased why he deserved his place in the competition – a perfect chance to make such a point in the final of the competition.
Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse’s Samba (series 14)
Since his week one performance of a Cha Cha Cha to ‘Cake By The Ocean’, Danny Mac brought his personality to every single dance he performed. He danced the Samba to ‘Magalenha’ by Sergio Mendes in the series 14 final which has gone down in the history books as the only samba to score full marks to date.
It was a spicy Samba full of high energy and left the audience in awe. Danny didn’t put a foot out of line and performed a party dance that’s worth celebrating.
Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett’s Jive (series 2)
This dance earnt Jill her glitterball trophy and the chance to come back four years later to remind us why this dance should go down in the history of strictly best performances. These champions of series 2, still hold the highest score of a Jive in Strictly history.
As the performance went on, it became hard to determine the professional from the celebrity, with clean footwork and arm flicks, the dance was also full of fun and character.