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Maisie Smith hits back at Strictly Come Dancing critics over 'professional' dance past

Gorka Marquez, Maisie Smith

Maisie Smith has hit back at her critics on Strictly Come Dancing.

Maisie has already received big marks on this year's series but some viewers have accused the actress of having an unfair advantage due to past dance experience.

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Responding to the complaints in a new interview, Maisie said: "Everyone has said in the past, ‘You shouldn’t be allowed to go on Strictly if you’re a trained dancer’.

"But being a trained dancer and being a ballroom and Latin dancer is completely different."

She explained to The Sun newspaper: “I am used to doing free dancing, where you just move your body around. Dancing on Strictly is like learning another language.”

Maisie went on to open up about struggling with stage fright on the BBC One show, admitting: "I am putting on the biggest performance of my life every week just covering up my nerves."

“If I go wrong filming for EastEnders, I can do it again. But with this you just have to go with it. My face makes it look like I might be finding it easy. I come across as confident, but inside I am struggling."

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Maisie is partnered with Gorka Marquez on this year's competition.

This week the pair will dance the American Smooth to Into The Unknown by Idina Menzel from Frozen II for Strictly's movie themed live show.

Other couples still on the series after last week's first exit are Jason Bell and Luba Mushtuk, Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer, HRVY and Janette Manrara, Nicola Adams and Katya Jones, Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe, Max George and Dianne Buswell, Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden, Clara Amfo and Aljaž Škorjanec and Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice

This week they will also dance again for Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood before those watching at home get their say.

In the results the bottom two pairs will have to dance again before another one is eliminated.

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Strictly Come Dancing 2020 airs on BBC One.

You can catch up on the series via BBC iPlayer.