My Week: Arlene Phillips

The former 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge reveals that choreographers can have burlesque for breakfast


Monday


I have a day of meetings, and they're never in the same place. My first meeting is in north London, so I'm going against the traffic. I drive a little car, and I love to drive myself.

Then I have a meeting in Oxford Street and then another in Covent Garden. The meetings are all about possible work and opportunities that are coming up. My real career as a choreographer already means that my diary is pretty full, so fitting anything else in doesn't seem possible unless I'm absolutely passionate about it – but it's very nice being asked to do many things.

Tuesday

It's another day of meetings, with one very, very early talk about creating a new show, a kind of late-night, burlesque-style show that hasn't been seen here before. I spend most of the day discussing a show that I'm doing in the O2 in December called Sacred Flame, which I'm directing. Everyone – from music to set design, to costumes to our producer, to choreographers and associate choreographers – is coming in and out. I don't stop talking until about four o'clock – I can talk a lot – and it was just non-stop. Then I leave for a photo shoot in Kentish Town for a magazine, and I had to stop and slow down to get the hair and make-up done. I'm not very good at being still.

Wednesday

I have more early meetings and then, joy of joys, I jump into the car with my family and head down to my cottage in Herefordshire to spend a couple of days just taking some time out. Then in the evening the story starts to break about my work with Andy Burnham [joining a dance champions group promoting fitness dancing], so the phones are ringing. I just think: "No, I'm just going to leave all of this until tomorrow. I'm going to be very calm." Instead we go to a wonderful local pub for a family meal, and that sort of calms me down. It's very nice; we know everyone there and it's sweet and friendly.

Thursday

I start the day with a quick phone call to Andrew Lloyd Webber, and then I'm straight into hair and make-up as I've agreed to do a certain amount of news interviews specifically on my role with the Dance Champions Group. I always say if people can walk to music, they can dance to music. Our first big meeting is in September to work out how much everyone is involved, and how we'll go about it. It's going to take time, but we're looking to get it really working by 2012.

Friday

I have an entire day off, an entire day for myself, just to relax and prepare for the meetings that I've got over the weekend for the show. And if I have a day off what do I do? Pretty much nothing. I just sit outside and try to find a way to stop myself pacing. I walk around, read the newspapers, read a book, and watch my daughter bouncing on the trampoline, getting herself fit and healthy. A lovely day with the family; what more could I ask for?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence