A dream that some day the whole world will know their name.”

Holiday festivities… spending time with family and friends, eating too much and of course some yuletide entertainment. A pantomime, Nutcracker ballet or Christmas TV special. The kids have grown out of pantos, and my wife has put a moratorium on the Nutcracker, so the Strictly Come Dancing grand finale is our performance highlight. And a highlight it was with simply the best final line-up ever.

Perhaps not surprising given the elite pedigree of the Finals. Except for gymnast Louis Smith, who spent his childhood honing a more acrobatic performance skill, all of the other finalists were stage school graduates. While the stereotype of stage school is one of gifted prodigies cosseted in their protected conservatories, but Emma Brocke’s piece “My Love of Fame” in the Guardian illustrates that it was quite the contrary…

  • “The curious thing, looking back, is how the suggestion and even the dignity of failure was incorporated into the show. In modern incarnations such as High School Musical, self-doubt is permitted because it flatters the performers when they overcome it (and they always overcome it). Self-deprecation is something else entirely. The original Fame was practically unconstitutional in the way its characters were allowed to fail in small ways every week without dying. The school was divided into dance, drama and music departments, ensuring that as well as being brilliant, everyone was rubbish in at least one class. Non-singers were made to sing; Leroy was made to read; Doris, Mr Shorofsky pointed out with heavy sarcasm, ‘played the violin like Rubinstein’. While everyone was serious, they were deeply scathing, too, about themselves and each other, in a way the self-esteem movement would more or less outlaw.”

It’s the dance…and the constant reminder of failure.”