I’m thrilled to be able to post the following exclusive review on my blog. Huge thanks to Camilla and her team for sending me an advanced copy. Do reblog/retweet if you like it.
Camilla Dallerup is only the second Strictly professional to have penned a book but this is no standard autobiography. Since leaving the BBC series in 2008 she has trained as a life-coach, hypnotherapist and here she not only hopes to share her story but help improve your life too.
The vast majority who will pick up Dallerup’s book are likely to be Strictly fans interested in hearing her story rather than fans of this kind of motivational writing and fortunately the book is predominantly her experiences and how she has learned from them. This is interspersed with how what she has learned can help you and little techniques you can do to help yourself in your everyday life. A nice combination that mostly works.
Strictly Inspirational is, at times, unputdownable which I was not expecting. Anyone who has been a Strictly fan since the beginning will find the descriptions of her relationship with Brendan Cole fascinating, the background of which we’ve never fully known about. At the time, of course, there was a media frenzy with Brendan left her when he met his dance partner for the series, Natasha Kaplinsky. Happily, it feels like safer ground for Dallerup to discuss now that all three concerned parties are married and settled in their own lives.
The public (including me) seemed to forget about Dallerup and were whisked away in the showmance of Natasha and Brendan, their obvious chemistry and their lack of any kind of attempt to hide it was compulsive viewing at the time.
Interestingly, Dallerup never mentions Natasha by name and I wonder what her reasons were for this. Perhaps to imply the insignificance of her in Dallerup’s present life which is far happier than the turmoil she experienced in 2004?
Aside: It struck me how absorbing it was to hear Dallerup’s thoughts on her experiences with Strictly as she was part of it before the social media age. She mentions how she never took any photos backstage apart from on the night of the final of Tom Chambers. These days, everything is documented on Twitter, Facebook and more, even the smallest minutiae of the Strictly experience is exposed. I can’t help but wonder how Strictly Series One would have played out if lived now.
Until now, I hadn’t formed much of an opinion of Dallerup. She wasn’t my favourite, nor my least favourite Strictly professional but having completely immersed myself in her book for the last 3 days I have a new found respect for her. I like that she’s had to graft for what she’s got which makes her current life and success now all the more sweeter.
Her stories of working in a Mulburry store for £6.50 an hour, with a 90 minute commute either way just so she and Brendan could make ends meet are oh so familiar to so many young girls who’ve just had to burn themselves out in order to support their dreams and she talks about these times with a great deal of honesty.
It would be unfair to only talk about the Strictly side of Dallerup’s book. These days she is a woman with many strings to her bow, actor, singer, life coach, choreographer, hypno therapist … However, to achieve all of these she has learned from others and from her own mistakes. I like that she believes in fate and that she’s made big life decisions based on her gut instinct too. She’s brutally honest about how she was “needy” when her relationship with Brendan broke down and how before she met Kevin (Sacre) she took herself a bit too seriously.
Dallerup now emerges as a far more rounded character than the person she described in earlier chapters. She’s an aspirational and motivational figure. I’d certainly recommend this book to young girls in their teens who dream of going into the arts to show them how hard work can pay off.
Many autobiographies are written when someone’s life is in a state of flux, but with Camilla’s offering you really do get a sense of the inner calm she has now reached which is warming to find, having been taken through the previous heartaches and challenges she has experienced, and how now she has subsequently come out of top.
Camilla Sacre Dallerup – Strictly Inspirational is on sale now, available on Amazon.