THE longstanding success of Strictly Come Dancing is probably down to the glittery costumes as much as the dancing.

And, having spent most of her life in the ballroom, Erin Boag knows how vital those costumes are. "When I walk onto the dancefloor, I have to feel a million dollars. That's important to any dancer," says Erin. "I love the styling of dance, it's exciting."

Erin is styling the look and costumes for her new live tour with dance partner Anton Du Beke, celebrating their 10th year on the road together. The nation's favourite ballroom couple have been dancing together 20 years and shot to fame as popular professionals on Strictly Come Dancing. Erin competed in 10 series of Strictly, her celebrity partners including athlete Colin Jackson, with whom she was runner-up, comic Julian Clary and rugby player Austin Healey.

Erin left Strictly in 2012 to start a family - she's now mum to Ewan - but remains a fan of the show, and has been a regular on BBC2's sister programme, It Takes Two. With the Strictly final taking place tomorrow, what does she think of this year's crop of celebrity contestants?

"Those who've made it this far all deserve to be in the final, and each has their own story. When you get this far, you've gone all the way and, believe me, you want to win," she says. "But it's great to make the final. To get knocked out at the semi-final stage is the most heart-wrenching feeling.

Adds Erin: "What's saddened me this year is reading things in the Press about contestants that must create added pressure. People don't realise the time, effort and sheer hard work celebrities put into this show - it's not just the dance you see each week; they also have to learn ensemble dances, then there's all the extra footage, appearances on It Takes Two and other shows, interviews. It's a full-on schedule, and some have 'day jobs' too.

"Strictly is great entertainment and has done so much in getting people dancing. It's made it cool to dance."

At the end of December, Erin and Anton start rehearsals for new tour Broadway to Hollywood, which sees them dancing to such classics as Cry Me a River, Mr Bojangles, Couple of Swells and Libertango. They'll be joined by six world-class ensemble dancers, vocalist Lance Ellington, who sang on Strictly, and the 25-piece London Concert Orchestra. "You can't beat dancing to a live orchestra. I'd hate for the music to come from the push of a button," says Erin. "And with a live show you see the whole dance, not just bits of steps from various TV camera angles. It's a whole different experience; you see the speed and feel the energy."

The show also features an audience Q&A. When the pair came to the Alhambra earlier this year, Anton was taking suggestions for names for his baby twins, which were about to be born. "I went to see them last week, they're adorable," says Erin. "I love the Q&A, we get quirky questions thrown in. It keeps us on our toes."

Born in New Zealand, Erin started dancing aged three. After moving to the UK she teamed up with Anton, winning many international competitions. Two decades on, the pair are still dancing. "Each tour is fresh. We sometimes return to favourite numbers, but overall we offer something new each time," says Erin. "Some dances tell a story, with others like the waltz you can just appreciate the dance.

"I love the live shows, and the Alhambra is such a beautiful theatre. This show is like a Hollywood movie; very golden age glamour and timeless music. I've been selecting costumes this week, they're gorgeous. We use the same company that creates the Strictly costumes, they're beautifully made and designed to move with you when you dance.

"The only thing about starting a tour in the new year is that I won't be able to eat too much turkey this Christmas..."

* Anton and Erin...Broadway to Hollywood is at the Alhambra on Wednesday, March 14, 2pm and 7.30pm. Call (01274) 432000.