The loveable, fluffy winner of the 2012 series of Britain’s Got Talent has certainly been busy since he danced away from the hit talent show crowned the winner alongside his owner Ashleigh Butler. In December of last year Pudsey, a border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested cross, brought the house down in a dazzling Bond inspired finale at the Royal Variety Performance, performed before Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Pudsey’s winning routine on the talent show saw Ashleigh train her pet to jump, dance on his hind legs, weave through her legs and Pudsey even ran across the judges’ table! Ahead of his Royal Variety performance however, Pudsey has been a host of American talk shows and his dancing paws have even experienced Simon Cowell’s private jet!
However, it seems the highlight of Pudsey’s year was being the final act as a dazzling duo to perform at the Royal Variety Show, filmed at the Royal Albert Hall. The pair took to the stage, one in his furry uniform and the other in a bright pink unitard, and performed a routine with a 007 theme, devised to mark the film franchise’s 50th anniversary for 2012. The routine was of an acrobatic formation set to a medley of Bond themes, showing off Pudsey’s daredevil tricks and energetic leaps around the stage. Post-performance, it was thought that the double act was a particular favourite of Her Majesty.
The Royal Variety Performance of 2012 was the Queen’s 36th year in attendance, and may even have seen her pick up a few dog-training tips from the pair! Alongside Pudsey and Ashleigh, the Royal Variety Performance also presented some of the other Britain’s Got Talent winners take to the stage.
With the growing trends of dance-related talent shows throughout the media, the trend for wearing socks as a “performance accessory” is also emerging as one that is taking the dance sector by storm. Turn to So You Think You Can Dance, Got To Dance, or Britain’s Got Talent; socks are becoming increasingly popular to aid acts in spins, falls and complex lifts.
Whilst the dancers’ seemingly enhanced talent may be exciting to view and even awe-inspiring, the fact remains that there is a certain level of danger involved in wearing socks to dance, for example, an injury occurring as a result of a slip or fall. The number of YouTube clips presenting many dancers’ falls as “entertainment” are by no means criticising the wearing of socks for dance practice.
Undoubtedly, the use of socks can aid a dancer in class or rehearsals where a floor may not be suitable to dance on; however, the fact remains that during performance, the dancer may not have had sufficient experience of dancing without their socks. A great alternative to socks has been shown through the use of foot thongs, such as by Capezio, with numerous designs emerging as they become more popular.
Additionally, there is without a doubt, the largest range of dance shoes and sneakers on the dancewear market today, with numerous brands spanning a huge range of designs. Whether they are sold for grip, support of the foot, or simply for fashion purposes, brands such as Capezio, Bloch and Sansha have all produced excellent and indeed beneficial shoes for whatever the dancer needs. To observe such fantastic alternatives to the presumable risk of wearing socks to dance provides much hope for the future of dance, in that it will continue to be provided for, regardless of circumstance.