Degas and dancing

Hi All!

This week I am loving my Marisota autumn wardrobe. You might have seen me wearing one of the jackets on my twitter profile pic, and you can check out the whole range here: So excited about this season I hope you love it as much as I do!

So this week’s first stop was the Degas exhibition opening at Royal Academy. I went along with my partner which was real treat as he so rarely wants to attend big public events, but being a lover of Degas he decided to venture out with me. I had a great time catching up with Debbie Moore, and also the beautiful Darcy Bussell, who is one of my all time favourite ballerinas. The exhibition was followed by a very long evening at The Wolsey where I bumped into lots of friends. The following day, I managed to sneak away to the country for the last bit of summer, where it was total relaxation, and yes of course, food, and lots of art as it was the H Art, the amazing Herefordshire art exhibition.

Back to London and up and on my way to a shoot with Good Housekeeping magazine for their Christmas special, where Alana was waiting for me, brush in hand. Do keep an eye out for it, as I have never worn anything like the outfit they put me in… I was nervous at first, but after seeing a few of the shots I couldn’t believe how good it looked and I really felt really confident. After I’d finished the shoot I dashed over to the Alan Titchmarsh show where I was going on to talk about my new book, and of course gossip with the lovely Alan! From there I made my way over the OXO Tower to film a little piece for something called Midnight at the Movies, where they are having a dance movie marathon on the 1st October. I was doing an introduction to the film Can’t Stop The Music, which was the film I choreographed starring The Village People back in ’79. It was also the film set that Alana spent the first 3 months of her life on as she was born during filming! Anyone fancy heading down to watch? : Sadly by the time I had finished all these things I was unable to get across town and missed Theatre for Theatres, the Great Ormond St Hospital fundraiser at Cafe de Paris. Do check out the link and see what it’s all about and how you can get involved:

Wednesday I hopped on the train to Woking to watch Grease with many of the original creative team and my office gang, and what an amazing show it was! Danny and Carina who play Danny and Sandy were on top form, the choreography looked immaculate thanks to the dance captain keeping everyone one their toes, but my stars of the night were Ricky Rojas as Kenickie – wow what a voice – and the fabulous Robin Cousins as the Teen Angel, who glided round the stage like a dream. So well done guys, looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Thursday and Friday were much needed amazing catch up days with Coco planning, scheming and organising the next few months. It seems crazy how far ahead I have to plan my diary, but at this point I could tell you what I’m doing practically every day up till the end of November! But of course I won’t, you’ll have to keep up with my blogs…

I spend the Weekend with my girls having a huge clear out so we could donate of all our old clothes, shoes, bags, hats and toys as there are so many who need so much and have so little. I shed a little tear waving goodbye to so many childhood memories. Also I loved spending the weekend with my girls, because as you know family weekends are my favourite thing ever.

So another busy week awaits, and make sure you come down and see me at Henley next Saturday where I’ll be reading from my Alana Dancing Star books and answering all your questions. You can buy tickets here and for more info on the books

SO until next week…
Love Arlene x

Something for the weekend

So I thought I’d make this weeks’ blog a little something for you to read over your morning coffee because if your anything like me you’ll be trying to take it easy this weekend!

So I left you last week with a cliffhanger as I made my way over to the Savoy with the cast of We Will Rock You as they were on their way to perform at the dinner to celebrate what would have been Freddie’s birthday. It’s such an honour to be part of something as fantastic as WWRY, and getting to remember Freddie who was so special and dear to me. The celebration party and concert was a real treat. Tom from Keane, Matt Lucas, Jeff Beck, Ty Taylor, Kerry Ellis and of course the incredible Roger and Brian playing and singing to remind us of the legend that Freddie was.

Tuesday was a day of trying to fit as much in as was humanly possible. The day started with one meeting after another, and of course all at opposite ends of town, then on to a very fabulous lunch at the divine Aqua in Oxford Circus opposite the Palladium Theatre where I was due to have a meeting with the wonderful Michael Crawford who is currently starring in my production of The Wizard of Oz, of course playing the wizard. That done and dusted and yet another meeting straight after with the show’s director, the very brilliant Jeremy Sams, I realised it was 6:30 and I was never going to make it all the way to the South Bank to an art exhibition and back to the Ivy club for a book party at 7:30 so I decided to cut my losses and head straight over. My dear friend Francesca Simon was celebrating her 20th Horrid Henry book. Yummy Horrid Henry cupcakes and plenty of champagne (sparkling water for me!) were on the menu, as well as gossip with Francesca, before making my way over to a charity performance of Mama Mia, and yes I was a tiny bit late! All in all a super busy yet super fun day, and I still had the rest of the week to get through…

Aside from the week flying past basically being packed with meetings about various projects, I managed to find time to have lunch with my friend CJ at the very glamorous Mossimans and of course visit my Munchkins over at the Wizard of Oz again. I wanted to get as much done as possible as the weekend was going to be a busy one as well… I had my family down from ‘up north’ and so I wanted to clear as much from my schedule as I could to spend my time with them. We had dinners and brunches, walks and talks, and overall a fantastic family weekend just as it should be.

Monday I’m proud to say my Abi started her new job, and she will be creating the most beautiful flower displays the world has ever seen! I really am so proud of her. Not wanting to be a clingy mother and visit on her first day, I hotfooted it over to the Cafe de Paris in Leicester Square where the Best Magazine Beauty Awards were being held, and I was very kindly invited! Alana was working backstage with 4 lucky readers who had won a competition to come to London, attend the awards and have a makeover, all from just voting in the which awards with are the only one’s to be 100% voted for by the general public, not industry insiders. Chatting to the four winners after I’m proud to say Alana did a fantastic job with them and they all looked and felt truly amazing.

Tuesday was yet another working lunch, and I rushed off to attend both a meeting and an interview with legendary PR Lynne Franks, to talk about the upcoming charity events I am involved in. I’m hosting the Sense awards on the 4th October, to celebrate the achievements of deaf and blind people and those who support them, something I am truly honored to be doing.

So who’s coming to se me at the festivals? There’s Henley on the 1st of October and Cheltenham on the 15th!

Sat 15 Oct / 1:30pm / Literature / The Playhouse Theatre / £6, Members – 10% discount
Age 6+. If you love dancing, come and meet world-famous choreographer Arlene Phillips, author of Alana Dancing Star – the hottest new series in girls’ fiction. Full of magic, glamour, glitter and loveable characters; every book is a different dance spectacular! Hear the stories and see the dance steps with real dancers. Dance dress optional!

Duration 45 mins.

More Information / Book Tickets / Add to wishlisth AND an adults event

Saturday, October 15, 2011 – 16:00
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We celebrate the transforming power of dance in a discussion with three individuals who have each had dazzling careers in this demanding field. Ex-Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips shot to fame as the founder of the dance group Hot Gossip and is a hit-making West End choreographer.

Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova are the most successful professional couple ever on Strictly Come Dancing, and are the stars and choreographers of the hit show Latin Fever. They are currently involved in the new government initiative Essentially Dance, bringing dance to school children in the UK

So here’s where I’m signing off for my fun weekend before another crazy week begins adn a very early Monday morning start!

Till next time
Love Arlene x

The cliffhanger…

Hi guys!

So I’ve been back in London a week now and what a busy busy week it’s been already! 

My last day in Wales was spent taking a day trip to the beautiful Devils Bridge Falls with the family, and it was a fantastic way to end what has been a lovely summer.  If you should find yourself in Wales it’s another place I fully recommend to visit, along with Aberraeron I mentioned last week.  I’ll really miss the beautiful countryside and fresh air, but definitely not the constant temptation of all the yummy food I’m so frequently having to avoid every time we visit friends here! 

As soon as I got back to London it was straight to work and into hair and makeup with Alana to do some filming for my Youtube channel.  I’m really excited about the competition I’m launching as it involves not just dance but budding musicians as well.  I’m taking open submissions for music that I can use in my competition to search for my favourite dancer.  You can be a soloist, double act, group, crew and style you want.  If you have some original material you think would be good to dance to send it to, all genres welcome.  You can also send in any questions you have to this address so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  I am so looking forward to see and hear what you can come up with… let the competition commence! 

The weekend was given over to Alana’s birthday, I can’t believe she’s 32!  It seems like only yesterday she was born and I was holding her in my arms, and what with Abi turning 21 at the end of the month it makes you wonder where the time has gone!  We had a lovely birthday brunch, the table laid with exquisite flowers arranged by Abi, and laid out wiht delicious cupcakes from Dixie’s Cupcakery  which unfortunately Alana dropped all over the floor by accident – we still ate them though despite looking a little worse for wear they were utterly scrumptious. We went to our favourite place La Petite Maison for dinner and I have to say the chocolate pudding was out of this world, clearly I have done a rubbish job of avoiding naughty food this weekend – it seems it’s not just Wales I have to watch it!  All in all a lovely weekend, the highlight being the little Alana got as a present the we have all fallen in love with.  Follow @alanaroxanne on twitter to see the pics from the weekend.

Monday was a day of meeting after meeting, an interview about my upcoming dance book and a trip over to the Palladium to see how my Munchkins are getting on!  Monday evening it was off to the Jeans for Genes charity event at Kettners restaurant in Soho.  It’s such an interesting charity and one I would love for you all to be more involved in, here’s how…  Come Friday 7th October I’ll have my jeans on and I hope you do to!  I had a fabulous time at the party, and got to have a long overdue catch up with the Bad Boy of Ballroom himself Brendan Cole.  There was a great performance from new girlband Parade, and a very generous gift bag to take home that contained the most amazing denim blue nail polish I shall certainly be wearing on the 7th.  After the party I hotfooted it over to the Dominion Theatre to join the cast for a special performance of We Will Rock You for Freddie’s birthday – but I’m going to leave you on a cliffhanger about that until next week…  Such an exciting night so much to share…

So until then
Love Arlene x