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Five Behind-The-Scenes Secrets About Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Logo
(Image credit: BBC)

As Strictly Come Dancing continues to get more engrossing, here are five behind-the-scenes things you may not know about the dance show…

Every Saturday night, the dancers and celebrities on Strictly Come Dancing serve up some impressive routines. That's what we see on screen - but what about what's going on behind the scenes? We spill the beans on some Strictly secrets...

As Strictly Come Dancing heats up this week, here are five secrets you might not know about the dance show…

Dance Floor Wars

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 - Judges

Every Saturday night, Strictly Come Dancing comes live from Elstree Studios, specifically the George Lucas Stage, where the original Star Wars Trilogy – home to the Death Star and Darth Vader – was filmed. It’s believed that 1.6 million people apply to sit in the audience each week – but only 800 tickets are issued for guests and the public. Sob!


Music maestro

Strictly Musical Director Dave Arch

Arguably the unsung hero of Strictly, musical director Dave Arch is a busy man all week. "I get given the new tracks from the producers the Sunday after each live show, then the pro dancers have to approve these. My job is then to ‘choreograph’ all the musicians in the band in time for the next live show. I do about 200 arrangements a series, so it’s a lot of pressure."


Practice makes perfect…

Strictly Group Dance

The pro dancers and their celebrity partners have to put in hours of training to perfect a routine for a Saturday night – many practise for eight hours a day for three days! And let’s not forget the group numbers. These are all arranged at the start of the series in August then, on a Monday morning, the pros will have a two-hour rehearsal to ‘refresh’ one particular routine.


Fierce competition

Strictly Pro Dancer Aljaz

It seems the male pro-dancers aren’t just competitive ON the dancefloor. "Aljaz has brought the PlayStation into the men’s dressing room, so when we’re not dancing we all play on that," reveals AJ Pritchard.

"You think it’s competitive on the dance floor – on the PlayStation it’s another level!"


Can can tan

Strictly Pro Natalie Lowe

Surprisingly, the costume department don’t use sequins – they’re actually rhinestones or crystals and as many as 4,000 are needed for each dress. Meanwhile, hair and make-up get through 57 litres of spray tan and 504 cans of hairspray every series!

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturdays and Sundays on BBC1.


Victoria Wilson
Victoria Wilson

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!