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Strictly's Maisie Smith opens up about battling nerves: 'I'm not confident in myself'

Maisie Smith, Gorka Marquez - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Maisie Smith has opened up about struggling with nerves on Strictly Come Dancing.

The soap star was in the bottom two for the second week in a row last weekend, having to perform against Caroline Quentin to stay in the competition.

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In a new interview ahead of her latest performance, Maisie has spoken about battling with nerves on the show.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the actress also hit back at claims she was "cocky" and "arrogant".

She said: "People forget I am a 19-year-old girl. I’d ask people maybe not to judge my character on certain faces I pull when I’m dancing and maybe don’t be too quick to guess who someone is.

“I’m not confident in myself at all and I’m trying to be more ­confident, let’s not hate."

Maisie explained: "When I was asked to do Strictly, as much as I was so excited, part of me thought it wasn’t the best idea for me because I’m too shy.

"Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve put on a confident front to cover up my nerves and maybe that came across in a different light than what I intended."

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And she suggested: "I think sometimes, with young girls in particular, maybe people don’t like to see such a confident, outgoing young girl. Maybe someone a bit older or a boy might get looked at differently."

Maisie previously told how she burst into tears after facing the Strictly Come Dancing dance-off for the first time earlier this month.

"Some people have had it in their heads that because I’m a good dancer that I would be safe every week. But that’s so not the case," Maisie confided in OK! Magazine.

She explained: “It was so, so scary. It wasn’t a nice feeling at all. You didn’t see it on camera, but as soon as I was saved, I just burst into tears...

"It knocked my confidence. I’ve been trying so hard – we all have. But I’ve had to keep reminding myself not to take it so personally.”

The 19-year-old has also hit back at criticisms over her dance past.

She 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."

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The actress told 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.”

Strictly Come Dancing is back tonight on BBC One.