Strictly Come Dancing stars Vincent Simone and Ian Waite chat ahead of their Ballroom Boys: Act Two show coming to Newark Palace Theatre
Eighteen months ago Strictly stars Ian Waite and Vincent Simone were making final preparations for their Ballroom Boys tour — and then everything came to a standstill.
But now the boys are back and about to resume where they left off.
They bring Ballroom Boys: Act Two to the New Theatre Royal, Lincoln, on September 15, and Newark’s Palace Theatre on September 17.
The pair had finished rehearsals and were making final checks ahead of the tour when covid struck and put a temporary halt to their plans.
Vincent immediately headed to the airport to get to his family in Spain — where he has spent all of lockdown — while Ian went back to his home in Berkshire.
But the show has never been far from their minds, and they are now desperate to perform it in front of their fans.
“It was disappointing. We had been working on the show for months and then it was closed just before opening night,” said Vincent.
“The positive thing is that everything was done.”
Luckily, Vincent found a dance partner, Katie Street, virtually on his Spanish doorstep and she has been helping him practise during lockdown.
“Sometimes people would walk past and see us and stop to watch and that made me smile,” he said.
“I’m a performer. I’ve been performing all my life since ten years old. I’ve always had people around me and watching me dance.”
While Vincent was rehearsing in Spain, Ian was tweaking the show.
“The show has changed. I thought it was appropriate to change, to acknowledge what has happened. Our shows are very intimate normally and involve the audience, getting them on stage, so we have had to change that.
It’s my baby. I spent a year before rehearsals writing it and deciding what was going in, the theme and designing the set. Then there was the rehearsing so it has been about 2½ years in production.”
Ian recently travelled to Spain to meet up with Vincent for the first time since lockdown to go through the changes, and now they are ready for their audiences.
I’m so looking forward to being back on the road, it’s been far too long,” said Ian
“I love performing to an audience and seeing the audience reaction.
“I had my busiest year in 2019 and was away from home for 26 weeks of the year and then I was at home doing nothing but watching Netflix and sitting in the garden.
“It was actually, in the beginning, quite nice just be still and enjoy my home.”
Although the show features dancing — as you would expect from two Strictly veterans — it is described as a good old variety show with plenty of songs and laughter.
The pair will be joined on stage by a professional singer and dancers with a lot of previous show experience
“People will think it is just a dance show but our shows are more than that,” said Ian, who reached the Strictly final with Denise Lewis and Zoe Ball.
“There is a lot of dance numbers but it’s a variety show so there is a lot of comedy as well and we talk a lot, give advice and talk about backstage at Strictly.
“I’m 6ft 5ins and Vincent is probably 5ft 5ins so even the difference in height is funny on stage. It’s like Morecambe and Wise.”
Vincent, also a two-time Strictly finalist, said: “I like to play with emotions. People get transported to amazing and beautiful dances and emotional dances and very passionate dances like the paso and Argentine tango — and on top of that we have comedy. There’s something for everyone.
My children came to watch it and out of all my wonderful shows the one with Ian was the most entertaining for them.”
Despite no longer competing on Strictly, both have maintained connections to the hit Saturday night show.
Vincent has choreographed the Argentine tango for the couples while Ian was a regular on It Takes Two, until stepping down earlier this year.
And while they will both be busy on tour during this series, no doubt they will be keeping a close eye on it.