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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Touch of Spice

There will be millions watching the final of `Strictly Come Dancing’.

It has been fascinating watching the candidates absorbing the decisions and comments of the judges. Very few people in the world can actually enjoy being told they are pigeon toed or have immobile upper bodies.

On most of the occasions the professionals have got away without comment – unless it has been to hear that they have made the routine too easy or too hard. It has been the celebrities who have borne the brunt of the judge’s opinions.

Very few routines have been awarded a perfect ten. Equally, especially as the show has developed, there have been very few marks around the two or three. I am sure we all gasped with horror when we heard: “As this is the semi-final we expect something better.” The judges then frustrated us by awarding a string or eights and nines.

It is simply extraordinary how much preparation and effort has gone into the routines. The accumulation of so much emphasis on perfect lines, and carefully choreographed steps and gestures, has obviously had an impact. The value of the words: “`Practice makes perfect!’ is certainly evident.

There is much for our eleven plus children to learn. I am sure they have all watched the hugging and kissing with great interest. I bet there is no flicker of emotion at all that unbridled despair and elation. The hours of rehearsal and the insistence on faults being corrected must make an impact. The praise and the adulation must also be heart-warming and encouraging for our children.

We can all applaud the graciousness and demeanour of the losing contestants. In the end it is the public who have the last word. This makes the show exciting and unpredictable.

In the eleven plus examinations our children will be judged on how well they can apply themselves on paper. It would certainly add a touch of spice if each child had to pass the scrutiny of a panel of judges and then the votes of millions before being awarded a place in grammar school.

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