Say It With Sequins: The Rumba follows Julia Cooper, whose failing acting career could be revived by a stint on Who Dares Dances, a show aiming to rival smash BBC hit Strictly Come Dancing. It’s only 59 pages, but it’s a fast moving book, documenting from start to finish of the competition.
It has what you imagine goes on behind the scenes at Strictly – the emotions, the competitiveness from both the contestants and the professionals, the pain of being the ‘joke’ of the show, the spark (or lack there of at times) between dance partners, the pressures to do well to salvage a career. Even the characters are diverse: the gruff dancer, the tough judge, the generous judge, the kids TV host looking to transition to mature work, the young fame hungry girl who latches onto any male for attention.
And in that much, it is enjoyable. It has its controversy, and clauses surrounding relationships. But it lacks in the detail. For a book supposedly focussed on the dancing, very little of it is touched on. You feel like there would be at least a little detail about the dances touched on other than “We’re doing this”/”We did this”.
The passion in being dance partners is really highlighted when Julia is paired with Harri Morgan, and various complications and conflicts of interest occur. It has its spark, and for those who like fast-paced romance stories, this will be highly enjoyable; more so if you’re a fan of the show.
As someone who hasn’t followed Strictly for quite some time (blame the student life!), it felt lacking detail on the actual dance and show, and at times felt like a backdrop rather than a hook. Still, a very quick and enjoyable little ditty!