It’s hard to realise the enormity of history when we’re in the moment when it’s happening, but there was a neat little twist to Serena Williams’ record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam singles title of the Open era. For the presentation ceremony, she donned some specially-made shoes with a big number – 23 – on them made by her clothing supplier. But the shoes aren’t new – they were made five months ago in expectation that the younger Williams would win her 23rd major at the US Open. She seemed a shoo-in to break Steffi Graf’s record of 22 at Flushing Meadows, but lost to Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals. “Those shoes have a lot of air miles on them, they’re like platinum members,” she said. “They flew all the way to the [US] Open and all the way here. I had no idea it was happening, so I guess they’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.”
Those returning to the Strictly dance floor once again are Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole, Kevin Clifton, Neil Jones, Pasha Kovalev, Gorka Marquez, Aljaž Škorjanec, Giovanni Pernice and AJ Pritchard; alongside Karen Clifton, Chloe Hewitt, Katya Jones, Janette Manrara and Oti Mabuse.
Dianne Buswell is an Australian Open Champion and four-time Amateur Australian Open Finalist. She has appeared on Dancing with the Stars Australia and has been part of the Burn The Floor production on Broadway since 2011. She said: “What an honour it is to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing! Words can’t describe how excited I am to take on this amazing challenge and give it my everything! See you on the dance floor!”
Nadiya Bychkova from Ulkraine is a two-time World Champion and European Champion in Ballroom and Latin ‘10’ Dance. She is a multiple-time Slovenian Ballroom and Latin Champion and has taken part in the Bosnian version of Strictly. She said: “I’m extremely happy to be joining the Strictly Come Dancing family this year. One of my biggest dreams is to be part of this great show and I can’t wait to get started!“
Amy Dowden is from Caerphilly, South Wales and began dancing at the age of eight. She is the current British National Champion and one of the highest-ranking Ballroom and Latin American professional dancers in the UK. Amy is also a four-time British National Finalist and in 2015, she reached the semi-final of the World Championship. She said: “Becoming a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing has made my wildest dreams come true, it does not feel real! I have always been proud of my Welsh roots and feel so honoured to be the first Welsh professional dancer on the most loved show on TV!”
Our three new professional dancers will replace Joanne Clifton and Oksana Platero who are leaving the series, along with Natalie Lowe who previously announced she was not returning. Strictly thanks them for their contribution to the show and wishes them all the very best for the future!
Louise Rainbow, Executive Producer, Strictly Come Dancing said: “We’re delighted with our line-up of pros for this year’s series. They are all brilliant dancers and wonderful teachers and Strictly is so lucky to have them. I would like to thank Natalie, Joanne and Oksana for their hard work and the amazing contribution they have made to the show and wish them all well for the future.”
Joanne, the current Strictly champion, will return to the Strictly ballroom one last time. She will perform the winners’ routine with her celebrity partner Ore Oduba at the start of the new series. Joanne said: "Being part of the Strictly experience has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I will miss the show so much. It’s been a tough decision but I am looking forward to facing new challenges and focusing on my musical theatre career.”
Oksana said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone involved with Strictly. Last year was my first season and I had an unforgettable time working alongside such amazing dancers and an even better time with Judge Rinder. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I will never forget it. Thank you so much for the memories.”
At the time of her announcement, Natalie said: “This was a very difficult decision for me not to accept the invitation to appear on this season of Strictly. It is with a very heavy heart that I have arrived at this decision. I’ll be forever grateful for the amazing time, opportunities and memories Strictly has created for me. My time on the programme has been everything that I dreamed it would be and more, from the friendships I developed, the amazing dances I was able to perform in and the experiences that Strictly provided me. It truly has been an incredible and extraordinary experience.”
This is really, really long but it would mean the world to me if you took some time to watch this video! Or maybe even read the post. Thank you so much guys.
Hey guys! I’m Lucy. I’m fifteen from Canberra, Australia. Cheesecake is my life even though my body doesn’t agree with it. I love Taylor Swift, sunsets, nature walks, the smell of wood, fresh stationery and binge watching things on the internet.
Most of all , I freaking love music. I love performing, I love songwriting. So much that I’ve decided to pursue a career in it. People call me crazy and naive but hey, it’s what my heart and mind are set on and nothing can stop me trying.
In September of last year, I got to play at the Canberra TEDx Conference at the Canberra Theatre. IT WAS INSANE AND ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY LIFE. You can listen to it in the video above! It was an amazing day, and all the speakers and other performers inspired me so much. I got to play 3 songs I’d written that I was really proud of and talk about them in front of a sold out crowd of 600 (ok, it’s no 76,000 but it was THE BEST FEELING). Afterwards, people told me that the songs made them feel something. They said they laughed, cried and felt inspired. That is the goal for me, I want my songs to make people feel something. I was so honoured that people took to the songs I’d written and the whole day was such an incredible blur.
Walking off the stage after I sung was one of those ‘holy crap, that was a thing I just did’ moment. I got real deep inside my mind and realised it would’ve never happened without Taylor.
Let me explain.
In late 2008, I heard Love Story from my friend’s MP3 player. My mind was blown. I then went onto discover the entire Fearless album. My mind was blown even more. This girl called Taylor Swift was writing and making music as well as performing for a living. Seeing a young girl do that made me realise I could maybe do that too. The reason I started this whole music thing was because of how inspired I was by Taylor. The she holds herself on stage, in person, in interviews and as a songwriter is so inspiring. Taylor is true to herself, her art and just writes how she’s feeling and writes the truth. That’s the greatest thing to me and something I hope to emulate one day.
I started out by going busking in the city as a 9 year old who could play 4 chords on the guitar. Now, I’ve done so many things I never thought I’d do and. I played at a TEDx Conference. I released an EP. I sold out my EP launch. I became an Australian National Busking Champion. I I grew as a person. I finally found a group of awesome people to hang out with. And most of all, I found my passion. I went from someone who wouldn’t talk and was too scared to go into shops to buy things to someone who was confident in themselves and proud of who they are.
For these past 8 years, Taylor has been by my side. Her hardwork, growth, humour, talent, honesty, intelligence, selflessness, confidence and most importantly kindness inspires me every single day. Taylor’s journey has inspired me to work hard at my dreams and to never ever give up. And I’ve seen so many other girls my age doing music and slaying life after being inspired by her. Taylor’s lyrics and beautiful songs have made me laugh, cry, lie down on the floor to reflect on life and dance. I’m so incredibly proud that Taylor Swift is my role model.
So yeah, the video on this post is my TEDx performance. I’m really proud of it! The first song is about my dreams, the second about my life and the third about the world. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I can’t believe my life is turning out in such an awesome way.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read all of this! It really means a lot to me. I’m like 110% there for meeting new people on tumblr so feel free to send me a message to talk about life. I love life chats.
PS. Taylor, if by some magical chance you’re reading this: thank you for everything. Thank you for giving me the chance to feel that rush you get when you finish a song you’re proud of and when you’re playing your songs in front of people. Thank you for being so wonderful to all of us and for standing strong when they build you up to knock you down. I love you so much.
I thought I’d share one more picture from this extraordinary collection that will soon be featured in an exhibition in London. I think some of these fabulous vintage Black people, like boxing champion Peter Jackson, are worthy of their own movie. Where are you Idris Elba? Jamie Foxx? From The Guardian:
“Peter Jackson, December 2, 1889. Born in 1860 in St Croix, then the Danish West Indies, Jackson was a boxing champion who spent long periods of time touring Europe. In England, he staged the famous fight against Jem Smith at the Pelican Club in 1889. In 1888 he claimed the title of Australian heavyweight champion. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
On this day in 1981 Serena Williams entered the world and would later become one of the most unstoppable forces in tennis. Throughout her career she has left a legacy of greatness; dominating the competition and activism; championing equal prize money for female tennis players, female empowerment, education, and bringing awareness to the issues of domestic violence, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and equality.
Just a few of her numerous accomplishments…….
– 7-time Wimbledon singles champion (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016)
– 6-time US Open singles champion (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)
– 6-time Australian Open singles champion (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015)
– 3-time French Open singles champion (2002, 2013, 2015)
– 6-time Wimbledon doubles champion (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016)
– 4-time Australian Open doubles champion (2001, 2003, 2009, 2010)
– 2-time US Open doubles champion (1999, 2009)
– 2-time French Open doubles champion (1999, 2010)
– 3-time Olympics doubles gold medalist (2000, 2008, 2012)
– 2012 Olympics singles gold medalist
– Wimbledon mixed doubles champion (1998)
– US Open Mixed Doubles champion (1998)
– Became the second African-American woman to win a Grand Slam title by winning the 1999 US Open.
– 4-time Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year (2002, 2009, 2013, 2015)
– Named Sports Illustrated “Best Female Athlete of the Decade” in 2009.
BMW Art Car Number 7: Michael Jagamara Nelson M3 1989.
“A car is a landscape as it would be seen from a plane – I have included water, the kangaroo and the opossum.” Michael Jagamara Nelson
After seven days of hard and meticulous work, the Australian artist Michael Jagamara Nelson had transformed the black BMW M3 into a masterpiece of Papunya art. However, the geometric shapes only appear to be abstract. To the expert they reveal kangaroos or emus. Papunya paintings embody religious myths (“Dreaming”) passed on for thousands of years by generations of Aborigines in the form of rock and cave paintings. They constitute their cultural roots and are a source of inspiration for the future. The artist, who was born in Pikili, Australia, in 1949, is a member of the Warlpiri tribe and grew up in the Aborigine tradition. He learnt the ancient painting techniques used by his ancestors from his grandfather and developed a new style based on them. Since the mid-eighties Nelson has been considered the leading representative of the Papunya-Tula movement. His outstanding work includes a large mosaic, which stands in front of the Australian parliament building in Canberra, and an impressive looking wall in the foyer of the Sydney Opera House.
Michael Jagamara Nelson – The BMW M3 group A racing version
four-cylinder in-line engine
four valves per cylinder
twin overhead camshafts
displacement: 2332 cm³
power output: 300 bhp
top speed: 280 km/h
The M3 designed by Nelson comes from BMW Australia’s motor racing section which was then headed by the well-known racing driver Frank Gardner. In 1987 Tony Longhurst drove this car to victory in the Australian AMSCAR Championship. The M3 was employed by the Mobil 1 racing team in 1988. It was driven by the Australian several-times champion Peter Brock.
Discover all the BMW Art Cars at: http://www.artcar.bmwgroup.com.
So while you were sleeping or perhaps just waking up, just know that World No. 1 Serena Williams beat World No. 2 Maria Sharapova for the sixteenth time to win her 19th Grand Slam at the Australian Open … and she was visibly a little under the weather. ONE OF THE GREATEST ATHLETES OF ALL TIME; DISPUTE ME I DARE YOU 🏆