When I reviewed Bruno Tonioli's book, I wrote:
"I like to torture myself with autobiographies. I like to read about other people's journeys to the top, and ponder how my life could have been different if only I had the drive, and luck, that these people had."
In Camilla Dallerup's new book, Strictly Inspirational: How I Learnt How To Dream, Act, Believe & Succeed, Camilla mixes traditional autobiography with techniques on how to achieve your dreams, even if you might think the ship has already sailed.
Since leaving Strictly Come Dancing following her Series 6 win with Tom Chambers, Camilla has made a career as a motivational speaker and life coach, as well as starting an acting career.
For a Strictly fan like myself, I was most interested to read the autobiographical parts of the book. Camilla tells her story from her early days dancing in Denmark, to moving to London, establishing a partnership and relationship with Brendan Cole, her Strictly career and her life after Strictly. She talks openly about her painful breakup with Brendan, how her celebrity partners helped her through, and finally moving on and meeting her husband Kevin.
In parallel with telling her story, Camilla talks through various techniques for achieving your own life goals - or dreams - by acting to make them happen, and believing that they can be achieved.
Personally, I am a bit of a skeptic about life-coaching, and I wasn't sure if I would enjoy reading the book. There are a couple of exercises in the book, and I have to admit that I didn't do them. But Camilla's advice is pretty sensible, and more importantly, accessible. And as Camilla would suggest, what's the worst that can happen if you read a little life-coaching advice? You might unlock something inside yourself. And if you don't, you should enjoy reading Camilla's honest account of her life.
So, back now to my quote about Bruno's book. How could someone like me, with the responsibilities that a job, a mortgage and a husband bring, achieve the dreams that never went beyond wishful thinking?
Camilla's advice is simple: "It may well be too late to do exactly what you've dreamed about, but you can still find fulfillment doing something similar." She tells the story of a friend who dreamed of becoming a professional dancer, but felt it was too late. That friend went on to become a successful dance teacher.
I never became a professional dancer either. But I still dance every week, and often think about other dancing I want to return to (I guess it's time to act on that). And by watching Strictly and writing this blog, I get to talk about dancing all the time, too.
Strictly Inspirational: How I Learnt How To Dream, Act, Believe & Succeed by Camilla Sacre-Dallerup is published in hardback today by Watkins Publishing.