Ian Waite on Suffolk holidays and Strictly ahead of Regent show
PUBLISHED: 13:11 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:41 12 December 2018
Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Ian Waite reminisces trips to Pakefield Pontins and reveals who he wants to lift the glitterball trophy.
Ian Waite joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2005 and was on the show for seven series with celebrity partners including Denise Lewis, Mica Paris and Zoe Ball who he now presents BBC2 spin-off show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two with.
Ian, who specialises in Latin American dance, is coming to the Ipswich Regent in June 2019 with his new show The Ballroom Boys with fellow Strictly star Vincent Simone which will be a high intensity evening of glitz and glamour with dance, song and stories.
What can audiences expect from The Ballroom Boys tour?
Sometimes people expect a full on dance show and yes there is a lot of dancing but it is very much a variety show.
There will also be singing and comedy and I’m quite well known for being funny and Vincent is even funnier.
We are going to have professional ballroom and Latin dancers and singers with a lot of swing and big band.
I decided to put the show together with Vincent as he is a legend in dance and Argentine Tango and brilliant entertainment and also one of the best choreographers I’ve ever worked with.
When I was looking for someone to tour with, Vincent was one of the obvious choices as we are great friends and we are very similar but we look like that movie Twins with tall and small.
Have you been to the Ipswich Regent before?
I have performed there quite a few times and with Natalie Lowe [former Strictly professional partner] a few years ago and I was there for the Strictly Professionals tour and Strictly Confidential.
I used to go on holiday in the area and go to Pakefield Pontins and I remember my mum won the lovely legs competition.
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How did you first get the job on Strictly Come Dancing?
I started dancing when I was 11 or 12 and aged 17 I was the European champion which made me decide to become a dancer as it had been a hobby before that.
I competed all over the world and moved to Holland when I was 26 but seven years later I realised my career was limited there and decided to move back during the first series of Strictly.
Two months after I got a call to audition for it after Camila Dallerup split with Brendan Cole [they were also professional partners on the show until 2004] and asked me to be her partner and put me forward to producers.
It was a tough audition process and when I was on holiday in Ibiza they wanted some up to date footage of me dancing so I got my dad back in the UK to send footage of me dancing in the European Championships on a casette by courier.
They later rang me when I was on the beach and told me I was on the show.
It was amazing to be on primetime TV on a Saturday night and no one knew how successful it was going to be and it has just been a phenomenon and got bigger and bigger.
Who would you want to be partnered with on this year’s show and who was your favourite partner?
I would have to go with one of the taller ones like Faye, she is amazing but they are all so good – some from the beginning like Ashley and some who have grown like Stacey and Joe Suggs who has improved so much – all four deserve to be there.
It’s hard to say as I get on with all of them dearly but I have the most connection with Zoe Ball as we were friends before we danced on the show and I still work with her and we have a similar sense of humour.
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What is it like performing in Blackpool?
The thing is for the pros is that it’s the mecca of ballroom dancing and is steeped in history with the wonderful ballroom in Winter Gardens and the British Championships take place there too.
I think that rubs off on the celebs and it is also a nice break during the series and a road trip to Blackpool blows away the cobwebs.
Do you think there is a Strictly curse?
I think what is difficult is the celebs aren’t used to someone dancing so closely to them and touching each others bodies in a way you may not even touch your partner for 10 to 12 hours every day.
It is very unusual but people do fall for each other, for the professionals point of view we are used to it as dancing intimately is part of our job.
It depends where your head is at - if someone wants to cheat whether with a dancer or someone else depends on if you love your partner and relationship – it isn’t specific to Strictly.
Would you go back on the show?
It would depend on a lot of things like who I’d be dancing with and I’d be happier presenting of judging.
It would have to be an exceptional circumstance to come back.
Ian Waite and Vincent Simone perform in The Ballroom Boys at the Ipswich Regent on Friday, June 14 and you can purchase tickets on the Ipswich Regent website.