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Strictly Come Dancing tribute for show's star who once performed for troops in Oman

10 November 2018
Sailors and Royal Marines removed desert boots and put on their dancing shoes for tonight’s edition of the BBC One show Strictly Come Dancing.

Personnel winding down Britain’s involvement in the largest military exercise staged in Oman since 2001 tried their hand at ballroom dancing in an effort to spur contestant Faye Tozer on to victory.

Seventeen years ago, the singer was part of headline act Steps who performed to thousands of UK personnel in Oman at a concert laid on specially for participants in that year’s Exercise Saif Sareea.

In 2018, around 5,500 Brits returned to the Middle East ally for the third incarnation of the joint military exercise.

Some decided to offer a belated ‘thank you’ to Faye and wish her luck by demonstrating their dancing skills in the Omani desert.

It was a great way to support Faye 17 years after she entertained the troops during the last Saif Sareea. Keep dancing!

PO Sam Weir

“None of us have ever danced before, but after a few hours training in the sun and sand we were good to go!” said Lieutenant Commander Jamie Weller from the exercise HQ, who took to the desert (dance) floor with partner PO Sam Weir.

Sam said: “Who doesn’t want to dance like no one is watching in the middle of the desert? It was a great way to support Faye 17 years after she entertained the troops during the last Saif Sareea. Keep dancing!”

WO1 Mark Hamer stepped out with the RAF’s Lt Melanie Chapman. “Faye gave her time and effort to visit exercising troops during Exercise Saif Sareea 2 to say ‘thank you’ for their contribution, so it was only fitting that we did something for her – in the Strictly spirit – to wish her Good Luck for competition.”

A video clip showing the sailors and marines dancing in the desert was played just before Faye's dance on tonight's episode of the programme. After watching the clip, she said: "It was just so lovely and especially because it's coming up to Remembrance Sunday. I'm a bit overwhelmed."

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