With the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween Special falling approximately halfway through the competition, the dancers use the creepy choreography and fantastic costumes in their quest to lift the glitterball trophy!

What is the Halloween Week Special?

The Halloween Special of the Strictly Come Dancing season falls roughly halfway through the competition, and with some of the poorer dancers seeded out, it’s a week of high-level performances entwined with spooky Halloween themes and costumes. Halloween Week sees the professional dancers and their celebrity couples perform a selection of dances inspired by torturous tales and horror stories. The dancers are allocated their dance styles and left to choreograph a spectacular performance to please the judges and gain the public’s vote.

As usual, they are judged on a scale out of 10 by the judges – this year featuring Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas – which will then create a leaderboard. The judges often join in the fun, with Halloween-themed costumes and glittery ghost-shaped scorecards. Over the years, the Halloween special has seen the judges portray many scary characters; Craig dressed from a gothic creature to the joker, and Shirley depicting anything from Cruella de Vil to a blue-haired witch. The public votes, adding to the judges scores, which then puts the bottom two pairs in the dance-off on the results show.

When is Halloween Week?

Halloween Week usually takes place in the sixth week of the competition, when the celebrity dancers have begun to get into the swing of things, and the weaker contestants have exited the show. The dancers tend to score highly in this week, due to a mixture of heavily-practiced routines and the increased entertainment aspects of their performances.

What makes Halloween Week special?

Looking the part is key in to any Strictly specials week, such as Musical Week or Movie Week, but definitely so with the Halloween special. The makeup and wardrobe teams backstage go all out, equipped with bald caps, fully painted faces and elaborate cloaks. Halloween Week sees the best-dressed characters of the competition. This special episode also features some excellent choreography from the professional dancers, paying tribute to the spooky scenes they feature as characters in.

Some of the best dances in the Halloween Week edition of the show have seen Gymnastic Louis Smith go from frightfully bad at the start of the competition, to scarily good in his Halloween Tango as a zombie back from the dead to Disturbia, with partner Flavia Cacace in the 2012 season.

Any frequent Strictly watcher knows that professional dancer, Kevin Clifton, is an expert choreographer and each Halloween he takes it to another level. In 2014, Frankie Bridge joined him in a Wicked-themed Tango to musical number ‘Defying Gravity’, that added the magic to the Halloween special that year. 12 months later, he danced a Paso Doble alongside Kellie Bright to School’s Out For Summer, equipped with a Harry Potter wizardry theme and stunned the judges. More recently, Stacey Dooley danced with this out-of-this-world choreographer, who was dress as a Cyberman, in a Dr Who themed Tango.

In 2018, Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice danced their spectacularly synchronised Couples Choice routine to Fever. Their musicality and their half skeleton half Men In Black themed costumes added to the tricks and lifts of their performance, and cemented them as real contenders for that year’s glitterball trophy.

The Halloween sets are always something that takes TV entertainment to the next level. Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke’s Cruella de Vil performance saw a poor performance but also two adorable dalmatians take the stage. Alison Hammond and Aljaž Skorjanec’s ballroom dance saw Alison angelically descend from the ceiling before twirling around the dancefloor to a Kate Bush ballad. In the last Halloween Special, Oti Mabuse choreographed and electric tango for celebrity partner Kelvin Fletcher, in which he was flown horizontally along the floor on a wire.

Thus, we expect nothing less from this year’s Halloween Special!