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Keisha Buchanan steps out of her comfort zone for Strictly’s Christmas Special

Keisha Buchanan and Gorka Márquez are joining forces for this year’s Strictly Christmas special.

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Sugababe Keisha, familiar with the spotlight but new to the world of dance, shared her feelings about the experience: “I’ve been here before to perform with the Sugababes for the main show, but this is a very different feeling. Now I feel like I’m here as a student.

“It’s definitely a learning experience, a very humbling experience. I’m enjoying the feeling, everyone’s made it so comfortable for me.”

When asked what prompted her to take part, she revealed: “Mutya and the girls in general, have always said ‘you’ve never done anything outside of the group. Why don’t you?’”

Despite her fame, Buchanan candidly admitted: “A lot of people don’t know this about me, but I’m actually a bit of an introvert and extrovert. They call it ambivert, so I am kind of shy and self-conscious, and I just never thought that I would do this. But the girls gave me courage.”

Addressing her nervousness, Keisha said: “Well, I feel like I have struggled and haven’t had that much time to rehearse. I definitely think that’s one thing that I am nervous about.”

Keisha Buchanan and Gorka Márquez performing on Strictly's Christmas special

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Gorka added: “Keisha had to learn another two dances so I might get to the point where I play the music and she’s going to go ‘what am I doing?’”

Keisha continued: “It takes me a while I want to be complimentary on Gorka’s arm. I take my studio sessions and my writing seriously, like the dancers do with their careers, so I want to do well. You have to focus, you have to act when you don’t get it right and I want to do well for Gorka. I’m very hard on myself.”

Discussing their partnership, Gorka described their training as “Irresistible, unforgivable and sensational,” while Keisha shared: “Gorka is very similar to me, he takes his art very seriously. He’s just really honest and straightforward, but also encouraging. And I feel like when he tells me I did a good job, I believe him. This is very good for the soul for me.”

For their performance, they’re embracing a festive theme, with Keisha revealing: “Gorka is wearing white, as am I. We have an ice Queen and snowman theme. Sia – Snowman is our song.”

Their goal isn’t just to impress the judges but to bring joy to the audience.

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“It’s about bringing joy and happiness to people at home during Christmas Day and entertaining,” said Gorka. Keisha shared her simple aim: “I just want to do my best. I am so in ‘la, la land’, its Christmas, I’m not a professional dancer, so I am welcome to hearing all of their feedback to help me improve.”

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day at 4:40PM

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