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Johnny Ball dancing with Ian Waite

johnny Ball is taking to the dance floor with another bloke after his female partner fractured her ankle. Pro dancer Aliona Vilani was injured after her and the veteran telly host got their legs tangled in rehearsals.

She has been ruled out of next weekend’s first live show so dancer Ian Waite has stepped in to help Jonny do the MAN-go and practise his steps while bosses hunt for a female replacement.

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Dance yourself fit!

The toned bodies of Strictly Come Dancing's professionals are one of the joys of the show.

But can mere mortals like us ever reach such heights of physical perfection? Dance pro Ian Waite, who has competed in six series of the show with celebrities such as Zoe Ball and Jodie Kidd, says we should all give it a go.

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Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite

It’s time to get up close and personal. That’s the message from Ian Waite, one of the stars of the Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals tour.

The tour comes to the Liverpool Empire on June 21 and promises to be a spectacular show featuring the top 10 dancers from the popular BBC show.

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Dance the night away with Ian

Strictly Come Dancing fans don’t have to wait for the new series to see Ian Waite, as the Reading lad is hosting a dance masterclass.

Twinkle-toes Ian will return to his hometown next month to host a special Strictly Dancing event at stately home Trunkwell House in Beech Hill.

“It’s great it’s taking place in the local area and that people will have the chance to spend the whole evening enjoying, watching and participating in dance,” said Ian, from Lower Earley.

“It’s always nice to work in the local area and to spend time with local dance enthusiasts.”

Guests can enjoy a three-course meal, dance cabarets and a Jive Dance Masterclass with Ian himself.

Ian added: “They will learn some moves from the Jive – lots of kicks and flicks – and there will be no need for a partner. Anyone can join in.

“There will also be a Latin display to observe from professional dancers James and Anna.”

But for those who can’t make it, Reading’s own professional dancer will be back on our screens from next month with a new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

This year Ian is teaming up with Olympic athlete and two-time Commonwealth Games and European Championship silver medallist, Jade Johnson.

Jade is the second athlete Ian has taught to dance, after teaming up with Denise Lewis for the second series.

“I’m delighted to be working with another athlete. Being so fit and enthusiastic about training they are fantastic to work with,” he said.

“Jade is gorgeous, tall, athletic and a lovely girl.”

But trying to come up with different dance routines each week can prove tricky, so Ian is lucky to have step-mum Mary Richardson on hand who runs County School of Dance in Southampton Street, Katesgrove.

The popular family show is now in its seventh series, although it is Ian’s sixth series as a professional dancer.

His first appearance on the show in series two saw him scoop second with Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis, and in series three he came third with TV presenter Zoe Ball.

He was booted off in week two of series four with singer Mica Paris and in the last series he was coupled with photographer and model Penny Lancaster. The pair lasted six weeks.

The new series starts on Friday, September 18.

- The Strictly Dancing event takes place on Saturday, September 12 from 7.30pm to 1am. Tickets cost £59 but are currently on offer at a special promotional price of £39, for a limited time only. Call (0118) 988 3754 to book.


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