Still busy!

Hey all,
I Had some very exciting book news last Friday – I wish I could tell you about it but I’m not allowed… but make sure you watch this space!
I wanted to say a massive thank you to all those who took part in my £5 a follow campaign, I decided to get involved and do a special donation for comic relief and what a donation it was – so thank  you to all 1892 followers  – and so I topped it up with my own personal donation. Let’s say thank you to David Tennant for such a powerful appeal that made me jump to my feet and do something. Also many thanks to all those who bid on my twitrelief auction, I hope you like the prize!
Over this last week I have been in lots of meetings and doing masses of press for my new projects! Earlier this week, t I had just finished a meeting at the BBC and as I was leaving a huge school trip bombarded me for photographs and autographs they were so adorable and very sweet.
Had lunch with  Debbie Moore at the Ivy, all we do is sit and gossip and laugh over the early days of Pineapple, such great memories. Speaking of catching up I held a great big family brunch on the weekend, it was my sister AND brother in law’s birthdays and all the extended family came for breakfast. It was one of those rare opportunities that I love so much to spend time with everyone and see all my nieces, nephews and their children.I’m very excited about the new SYTYCD series starting this Saturday, so make sure you tune in!  Here’s the webpage for details http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tqp9yYesterday was SUPER busy, I met with the people who help make my clothes and showed them all my ideas and designs, it went really well and I can’t wait for my new season’s collection to come out! Then I went straight off to film the Alan Titchmarsh show (which goes out on April 8th!) with Vincent and Flavia to talk about their show, Midnight Tango, which I’m co-producing  – It opens in Jersey on the 2nd April and then is off on tour to somewhere near you so keep you eyes peeled for details and I’ll post some up in my next entry. Once I’d finished that it was upstairs to film a good luck message for Blue who are our bold and beautiful Eurovision entry. I love the song ‘I Can’, and they’ll be performing it live out there so I want to again wish them all the luck in the world!  I had a fascinating meeting on Tuesday with Wayne Mc Gregor the amazing resident Choreographer at the Royal Opera House. Listening to him talk about choreography is riveting ! It was also great to see the brilliant Kate Prince and Chantal Spiteri from Zoonation.Tonight I’m going to the opening of the Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the Gielgud Theatre, my great friend Etta Murfitt choreographed it and I can’t wait to see her and her work, having known her since she was a child! More about this and who was there in my next blog, 
Don’t miss my next twitter competition which is on until 2pm tomorrow, where the penultimate set of my children’s books and personalised signed photo will be up for grabs…
Until then stay happy and healthy, and much love to all!
Ax

Busy busy!

So as promised last week I wanted to talk about the fun I had speaking for International Women’s day.  I spoke at two events, the first in Sheffield and then a few hours later over in Manchester, where of course I always love going back to.  It was quite nerve racking to stand up in front of hundreds of people and just tell my life story, but being around such amazing and inspirational women made my nerves fall away and I had a fantastic time.  One of the other speakers was Katie Piper, who’s courage and positivity never ceases to amaze me, I hope that all involved had a great day.

I finally managed to have a few days out of london with my family which always revitealises me – even if I do spend most of the time doing phone interviews and answering emails ( it NEVER stops! ).  I also managed to catch up withe two very dear friends, Louanne who came all the way over from Las Vegas has assisted me on shows all over the world including Germany, New York and Las Vegas, and a mutual friend of ours Julian who is now a big deal in the world of 3D films! We sat over tea and cakes just catching up on love and life and it was a blissful afternoon.

I had a great few days working on my fashion line for Marisota  http://bit.ly/g5UW8P making the final fittings to the pieces I’ve designed and then a full on shoot with the brilliant photographer Grant Sainsbury for my current collection. Of course with Alana doing my makeup I felt fabulous as always, everyone should have a daughter who’s a makeup artist! She swears by the Armani foundations for my skin. They’re not cheap, but a little goes a long way so I think a great product to invest in.

Now, watch out for my fashion jewellery collection on QVC on the 30th of March at 3pm, but you can also buy them anytime online as well  http://bit.ly/htme9Q

On Sunday it was back in dance mode as off I went to the MOVE IT dance festival to do a signing, there are two new books out soon in the Alana Dancing Star Series Stage Sensation  and Twilight Tango – you can pre-order them at a discounted earlybird price on a few sites already including Amazon http://amzn.to/gmNmSC. I’ve got some more Book events, coming up in the next few months, these are the confirmed ones so far, where there will be some great dance performances as well as my readings and signings too, and I always love seeing and meeting everyone so make sure you come along!
Cambridge Wordfest  –  17th April  – http://bit.ly/fu5TZn Shrewsbury Festival – 1st May  –  http://bit.ly/eKGchR  Salisbury Festival – 1st June  –  http://bit.ly/ereTX3 Edinburgh Festival – 15th August – more info to follow!

Talking of books, Well done to Danny Foley who won my second twitter competition for a set of my first 4 books and personalised signed photo -but don’t despair, there’s another chance coming up soon, and there’s also another chance to win with The Stage http://bit.ly/hojIyK so check it out…

What’s everyone up to for Comic Relief? Are you doing something funny for money? Apart from my little cameo in Let’s Dance with the adorable Ed Byrne, I’m taking part in Twit Relief –  you can bid here: http://bit.ly/fWlTDS for a Tangotastic Dance bundle, where 100% of the sale goes to Comic Relief. 

It’s not long now till So You Think You Can Dance is back on BBC1 and I can’t wait to start! There’s time to put your name in the hat to get some audience tickets –  apply here : http://bbc.in/dVrZDn and come down and watch the show live where not only do you get to see the dancers and the judges, but we’ve got some amazing celebrity performances lined up as well so it’s going to be an exciting couple of months and well worth coming along for!

And finally as I rather enjoyed leaving you all with a teaser last week, I’m working on a new project so coming up with lots of steps and routines, but I can’t tell you what yet…

Until then…
Love to all!
Ax

Out of the woods…

HI all,

So finally the big night arrived and the Wizard of Oz opened! It was such a fantastic evening, a real glamorous West End opening night with celebs and critics a plenty! I loved catching up with the very fabulous John Partridge, who I have know since he was 16 and gave him his very first job! I saw all the Dorothys, Philip Schofield, Barbara Windsor, Duncan James and had a lovely chat with Tamsin Outhwaite, who I have also know since she was a teenager in my production of Grease many years back… ah how time flies!

Last Saturday Brian May, Anita Dobson and Matt Lucas all came to watch the show and when I asked Matt what character he would want to play he replied ” Probably the Scarecrow, but I can’t dance” which made me very proud of Paul Keating who has worked so hard to characterise the movement of the Scarecrow.

Work wise it’s been busy as usual, with book signings at Guildford and Bluewater for my Alana Dancing Star Series and I’d like to thank all of you who came along for your support. My next one will be at the MOVE IT exhibition on Sunday 13th of March 11:15 at the Kensington Olympia : http://www.moveitdance.co.uk/page.cfm/link=105 so look forward to seeing more of you there!

Last week I launched a competition to win a set of 4 of my books on twitter, well done everyone who got the right answer, and @Dilly4 for being the lucky one I drew out of the hat! It was such fun, I’ll be doing another one shortly! So watch out!

I filmed the TV Book Club last week with Jo Brand, Laila Rouass and Dave Spikey and hosted by Meera Syal, we were reviewing Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor, it’s a very heavy book – not a light holiday read – but beautifully and poetically and very thoughtfully written.

Friday night was great as I got to meet up with my old friend Kenny Ortega, we go way back from when he had his group ‘The Tubes’ and I had Hot Gossip, wow those were crazy days! He has had an amazing career and was the creative director of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It”

I’ve been living in the leather jacket from my Marisota collection, it’s so comfy and just goes with everything. I’ve also been trying much harder to do the two things my eldest daughter keeps nagging me about – taking my makeup off at night and using my skin products, which range from Boots to E45 to Creme de la Mer…

Today is International Women’s Day, so check in next week to see how I spent my day with an amazing bunch of Forward Ladies….

Until then…

Love Arlene x