INTERVIEW: Stictly's Ian Waite & Vincent Simone on being Ballroom Boys

Strictly Come Dancing stars Ian Waite and Vincent Simone have joined forces for a new and exciting show which will arrive at the Millennium Forum on 6th June.

The Ballroom Boys promises a night full of dance, song and lots of banter as Ian and Vincent will be joined by two professional female dancers and also a vocalist.

We caught up with the two dance legends as they were putting the finishing touches to the show before the curtains raises on their UK tour.

“It’s going very well and it’s all very exciting” revealed Vincent. “We can’t wait to open the show. We are really happy with the way it’s gone so far and we can’t wait to put it in front of an audience now to see their reactions.”

Ian went on to explain how the idea for the production came about. “I was thinking who I could do the tour with, and last year I had danced with Otlile Mabuse, but she was busy this year with the pro tour so I thought, who’s second best” Ian laughs while Vincent joined in on the friendly joke.

“I was trying to think outside the box” clarified Ian. “Something new that we haven’t seen before from a Strictly show, and then I thought of that old legend Vincent Simone. So I gave Vince a call and he loved the idea.”

Although born and raised in Italy, Derry is the location which Vincent now calls home. “I married a Derry woman, so I live there now and I have two children who go to school there” said Vincent.

The Italian is looking forward to what will be the home leg of the tour for him at the Millennium Forum. “For me it’ll be nice because it’ll be the one time during the whole tour when I can actually go home and sleep in my own bed” laughed Vincent.

Ian revealed that the location also had a helping hand in the current production when quizzed whether he had been to visit. “Yes, I have actually been to Derry” said Ian. “It was in the early stages of the show when we were rehearsing and putting the show together. I went over to Vincent and we kind of created the show really in Derry. It’s where the ideas were born, and the whole concept of the Ballroom Boys began.”

And speaking about the difference between performing on stage and on the dance floor, Ian said: “We really have transferred of all our skills onto the stage now” said Ian. “I’m actually now more used to dancing on stage than a ballroom.

“When we first went on stage when we did the pro tour together about ten years ago, it was the first time really that we had performed onstage and it was so weird because we were dancing to an audience that you couldn’t see. It was all black out there in audience, you couldn’t see their faces, but now we’re so used to it."

Ian Waite & Vincent Simone - The Ballroom Boys

The two guys became household names due to their involvement in the incredibly popular BBC One TV Show Strictly Come Dancing, and both are still full of praise for its creativity and ability to captivate a worldwide audience some 15 years after its conception in 2004.

“It’s obviously the most glamourous show on TV when it comes to the costumes, the presentation, the judges and all of that” stated Vincent. “People love dancing, even if they don't admit it, they do love dancing. Not only are you seeing the skills of the professionals, but you are also seeing your favourite celebrities taking part and learning a new skill and you are following their journey all the way through to the final.”

And speaking about a whether a gap exists between the numbers of boys and girls taking up Ballroom dancing  Ian commented: “I don’t think there is. What Strictly has done, is kind of bring dancing to those little boys growing up. In the old days they wouldn’t necessarily have been exposed to it but now we have lots of footballers, cricketers, rugby players, doing Strictly and falling in love with it.

“Now people are seeing that it doesn’t have to be a feminine thing to do, and it’s really not a feminine thing to do because we have masculine roles in ballroom dancing. We’re leading the ladies. The lady has a feminine role and we have a masculine role and that’s traditionally what it has been built around. It’s a lot different from what people might perceive and you get a sense of that when you watch Strictly.”

Vincent continuing when asked whether Derry is lacking in this regard. “I wish I had more time because one thing that is probably missing in Derry is a proper Latin dance course, or Ballroom dance course, the type of dance that you would see performed on Strictly.

“I think that it would be very popular and I think I would be the perfect person to do it. But because I am still performing, I feel like a footballer, because I can still play football, I want to still play football.

“Whenever the day comes, I would love to open something and maybe teach the kids what I have been taught and create something amazing so that the people from Derry and surrounding areas can try this amazing dance” said Vincent.

And what can we expect from the Ballroom Boys at the Millennium Forum on June 6th? “It’s very much the old school variety show” revealed Ian. “So we have a bit of everything in there. We open up the show with Top Hat numbers, we’ve got an amazing routine from our singer who’s so good, he’s multi talented and so amazing. We’ve got Ballroom dances, vibrant Latin dances, temporary numbers.

"We literally have everything in there. Bublé numbers, we’ve got a funny dance that myself and Vince do together that you will never forget, and there’s audience participation where we get them up and onto the stage to do some dressing up and some dancing. We have a Q & A in there, and we have a disco finale. We also have Vince’s Argentine Tango too which he is so well known for. It will bring the house down and we are so excited about it.”

You can catch Ian and Vincent in Ballroom Boys on 6th June with VIP Meet & Greet Packages available. Tickets here from £29.50

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