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Dance with James and Ola at Sandals

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We find the recent reports about Ola Jordan extremely hard to believe, here at HELLO! Online. Having had the pleasure of spending four days being taught to dance by the professional pint-sized star, we can vouch that she is extremely patient and kind – especially when tackling our clumsy, amateur dance moves! HELLO! Online was lucky to sample the new Strictly Dance at Sandals with Ola and her husband James Jordan.

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From 29 April to 13 May 2015, the two charismatic professional ballroom dancers will host two week-long dance workshops – in Jamaica, no less! The workshops, featuring three masterclasses during which James and Ola will guide couples through a series of ballroom dance steps and routines, will take place at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort in Ocho Rios. Shrugging off our jetlag and nerves – we were, after all, about to bare all on the dance floor in front of two of Strictly Come Dancing's veterans – with one (or two) Jamaican Smile cocktails, we kicked off the dancing in a gloriously sunny and stunning Caribbean setting.

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We started off clumsy and uncoordinated – the Waltz moves seemed particularly unnatural and difficult to master – but guided patiently and expertly by James and Ola, we soon found our feet. Once the workshop is over for the day, relaxation is a must, and the hotel offers a wealth of different ways to do so. Set within 100 acres of lush greenery and beautiful landscape, you can choose the beach, with crystal-clear blue sea and white sand, or one of the pools – their high-octane swim-up poolbar was one of our highlights from the trip.

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If you still have some energy to burn off after your dance workshop (and if you do, you have far more stamina than us), you can enjoy a sunrise yoga masterclass with one of the island's yoga gurus on the pier, sweat it out in the state-of-the-art fitness centre or try one of the array of watersports on offer. Guests on the Strictly Dance package will be treated to poolside villa with their own 24/7 personal butler. This is a major luxury – on arrival, you are greeted by your butler who offers to unpack for you and hands over a mobile phone with which you can contact him or her for anything, at any time. The staff in general are a major asset to the wonderful Sandals resort – they are extremely attentive and on hand at all times to make your stay as magical as possible.

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Suffice to say we put on several kilos during the trip – with 15 restaurants on site, the food choice is vast and incredibly tasty. You can choose from Japanese, typical Jamaican, Italian, American grill and our personal favourite – stunning French cuisine at Le Papillon. After your meal, you can head to one of the 10 bars the hotel has to offer and enjoy traditional Jamaican entertainment – a talent show put on by younger members of the staff had us mesmerized for a whole hour. After four days of dancing and practising our newly learned moves, we started to feel far more sure of ourselves on the dancefloor – cocky, even. A private performance by James and Ola, who left us all speechless with their incredible and extremely complicated blink-and-you'll-miss-it dance moves, might have brought us back down to earth just a tiny bit, but we left Jamaica vowing to go back home and take up regular dance classes. The ‘Strictly Dance at Sandals’ package costs £1,599 per person for travel on 29th April – 6th May or 6th May – 13th May 2015 and can be booked from Friday 26th September 2014. for more information visit The package includes: seven nights’ accommodation in a Poolside One Bedroom Butler Villa Suite, return flights with Virgin Atlantic from London, No. 1 Traveller Lounge passes, return airport transfers in Jamaica, three dance masterclasses with professional dancers James and Ola, an exclusive private one hour welcome cocktail reception with hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and open bar, an exclusive gala dinner with James and Ola in a private location complete with a dance performance from the dancing duo and a pre-gala dinner photo session, plus one complimentary photo to take home.

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