A stage show featuring two of the lead dance stars from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing is coming to Watford and St Albans.
Somewhere In Time – An Audience With Ian Waite & Natalie Lowe is a new production, following on from their first UK tour in 2016.
Ian, 45, from Reading, and Natalie, 36, from Sydney, Australia, have created an entire new show with specially choreographed routines of their favourite Ballroom and Latin dances, styles which the couple specialise in – Ian in Latin American and Natalie in Ballroom.
I spoke to Ian and Natalie to find out more about them…
Tell me how you first got into dancing?
IAN: I was 10-years-old when my mum and dad got divorced and my dad was told there were lots of single women at the local dancing school so he went along. He loved it so much he wanted me and my five-year-old brother to go to a class. I wasn’t too keen, as I was playing rugby and football for my school team but after taking my brother for a few months they got me up for a Gay Gordon’s (a folk dance) and the rest is history, as they say.
NATALIE: My next door neighbours introduced my family to ballroom dancing. We were invited to the local rotary club where they were teaching ballroom dancing and instantly fell in love with it. My elder bother and sister also loved it so watched them for a couple of years before I was old enough to to have my first try out. I was five and I started competing, by the time I was eight I was asked to represent Australia in Taiwan.
Did you always know you wanted to do it professionally?
I: As soon as I started winning competitions I knew this was what I was destined to do and when I because European Champion at the age of 18 it me the credibility I needed to move into the top six dance couples in the world.
N: Yes I always knew this what what I was meant to be doing. Although dad made me study something else in case my dancing didn’t take off. Once I finished school I trained to be a makeup artist and beauty therapist for over 12 years. This allowed me to still keep training weeknights and left my weekends free to travel, compete and represent in other countries around the world.
What was your career path that led you to Strictly?
I: I had moved back from living in Holland for seven years and Strictly had just started their first series in the UK. After thinking it was perfect for me as I was just about to retire from professional competing and I had grown up teaching beginners right through to professionals. Six months previously I had been second in the world show dance, the perfect combination to be able to do the show.
N: My dance partner was begging me to to dance with him when he was asked to try out for a new dance program that was going to start in TV. I said if you ring my boss to give me time off work for the audition I’ll do it. He did and and my boss reluctantly said he will give me the morning off only. So I went to this audition and danced with him and found myself being asked lots of questions by the producers. I wasn’t actually auditioning but I received a call a few days later to ask if I would like to be apart of the first series of Dancing With The Stars In Australia, I said yes and then went on to do five series. The producers asked me to try out for Strictly in the UK or DWTS USA. The UK felt more like home than USA and Strictly felt more traditional and respected in the ballroom world.
Who was your favourite dance partner on the show?
I: Well it’s difficult because they were all fantastic in their own way but Zoe Ball will be the most remembered and I also got to dance and choreograph two dances with Darcey Bussell this was a dream come true.
N: I’ve had many but I loved Scott Maslin, Jack from Eastenders. He was so lovely to dance with and fun in the training room.
Who was the worst?
I: No comment!
What would you say to aspiring dancers?
I: I would say that if you are passionate about something you have to stick with it because one day it will pay off, one way or another.
N: Perseverance, a good attitude, passion and dedication is the key to a successful future. Follow your heart, stay true to yourself, never give up believing in yourself or your dreams and always remember to enjoy the path you pave along the way.
Somewhere in Time, An Audience with Ian Waite & Natalie Lowe, at the Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, WD17 3JN, Saturday, April 15, 7.30pm. Details: 01923 571 102
The Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, AL1 3LD, Friday, April 21, 7.30pm. Details: 01727 844488