When Natalie Lowe announced she was leaving Strictly Come Dancing in May this year, it was to pursue other opportunities, and they don't come much bigger than this weekend. The popular dance professional has choreographed a group dance which she will perform for Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the royal family at the Royal Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, which will be broadcast live on BBC One.
"It will be such an honour," says Natalie who has choreographed the routine which involves four couples dancing a tribute to Dame Vera Lynn, and sung by tenor Alfie Boe. "I have a real respect for the past, I’m quite traditional at heart, and that was a time when people truly loved to dance. We are in gorgeous antique gold flowing dresses and the men are in military. It will be amazing to dance on the floor of the Royal Albert Hall, rather than on a stage."
Natalie Lowe announced she was leaving Strictly earlier this year
When she left Strictly, she said it was with "a heavy heart" but everything that has happened since has been amazing. "I have had such a full year, and I pinch myself some days," says Natalie who has only recently finished a hugely successful tour of the 1950s-themed show Rip It Up with former Strictly champions Jay McGuiness and Louis Smith. "My memories of Strictly are so special and I do miss being a part of it but I am so honoured that it gave me the opportunity to go on and do so many different things."
She is a fan of head judge Shirley Ballas. "I think she is unbelievably good, a true professional, and has an educated eye. She really knows what she is talking about."
Following the Remembrance Weekend, Natalie has a busy few weeks, including teaming up with her friend, former Strictly professional dancer Ian Waite, for a day of FitSteps masterclasses (the dance programme they devised together) and a Christmas party (for ticket details see below) on 3 December in Birmingham before she flies out to her native Australia to spend Christmas and finalise plans for her wedding in January.
Natalie and her fiancé James Knibbs will marry in January
"What better time to get wed than the Australian summer," says Natalie who became engaged to company director James Knibbs in 2015. "It's the first time I've been able to spend Christmas with my family in nine years as I've always been so busy with Strictly so we are going to fly out a few weeks before, catch up with friends and family, and get a bit of summer sun tan. We might even fit in some wedding cake tastings!"
To find out more on how to support The Royal British Legion visit britishlegion.org.uk
For details of FitSteps masterclasses and the Ultimate FitSteps Christmas Party visit https://ez137.infusionsoft.com