Strictly Come Dancing celebs reveal past dance experience ahead of launch show

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Strictly Come Dancing’s stars have shared their past dance experience (or lack of it!) ahead of the show’s launch.

Fifteen celebs have signed up for the new series and it seems some are more prepared for the challenge than others.

Opening up about their past dance experience, this year’s cast have revealed how ready they are to step into the ballroom.

Shares singer and presenter Kym Marsh “During my time with Hear’Say, I found thedance element really hard, we did a tour and doing all the dance routines for that was tricky! The choreographer used to laugh at me because I would always say ‘I can’t do it’.

The Strictly line up (L-R) James Bye; Kym Marsh, Hamza Yassin; Tyler West; Tony Adams; Kaye Adams; Jayde Adams; Helen Skelton; Fleur East; Richie Anderson; Molly Rainford; Matt Goss; Ellie Simmonds; Will Mellor; Ellie Taylor.
The Strictly line up (L-R) James Bye; Kym Marsh, Hamza Yassin; Tyler West; Tony Adams; Kaye Adams; Jayde Adams; Helen Skelton; Fleur East; Richie Anderson; Molly Rainford; Matt Goss; Ellie Simmonds; Will Mellor; Ellie Taylor. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

“I was in Saturday Night Fever for six months in the West End, but I had a part that required little dancing, and that was kind of on purpose. So not loads of experience, a little bit, but not enough to count myself as a dancer.”

Actor Will Mellor has also performed on stage, revealing: “I met my wife on stage at a musical called ‘Oh What a Night’ about 23 years ago and that was the first time I had to learn routines and lifts. It was very out of my comfort zone but I got through it. I haven’t done anything like this which is one of the reasons that I’m doing it, it’s a challenge!”

And soap star James Bye said: “I have been lucky enough to take part in Children in Need with EastEnders where we did a little choreographed dance, but I ended up in A&E as my meniscus snapped and I was rushed off to knee surgery. That was about four years ago now!

For Bros star Matt Goss this won’t be his first time in the Strictly ballroom.

Meanwhile, Fleur East says Strictly is very different to what she’s done in the past.

The X Factor star said: “Apart from dancing in the club, and when I’m singing on stage, no. I’ve had no technical training, I didn’t go to stage school, so I’m just going to be thrown into the deep end when it comes to that. It’s going to be really different for me.”

He explained: “I did the Christmas special in 2013 which was incredible. Beyond that I have been on stage for two thirds of my life, I love to dance and make music. Music is like my first language, I understand rhythm and accents, so hopefully that gives me an advantage.”

Other celebs say their dancing experience didn’t last past childhood.

“When I was a kid I tap-danced, but that’s it! Slow, calm, considered and measured dancing is not me,” Helen Skelton said while Ellie Simmonds added of her past dance experience: “Only as a kid when I did ballet and dancing at school but I stopped about when I was five or six!”

Strictly Come Dancing judges (L-R): Anton du Beke; Shirley Ballas; Motsi Mabuse; Craig Revel Horwood
Strictly Come Dancing judges (L-R): Anton du Beke; Shirley Ballas; Motsi Mabuse; Craig Revel Horwood. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

Jayde says she has “13 years of freestyle disco dancing from the age of five” while Ellie Taylor “retired from tap and ballet dancing aged seven”.

For some of the stars however Strictly will be very much their first time properly dancing including Tony Adams.

Kaye Adams says she was kicked out of a ballet class: the dance teacher told my mum that I might be better at doing something else as I have kipper feet… whatever they are.

And asked about his experience with dance, Hamza Yassin added: “I like dancing in the shower, just the same as singing in the shower, I think I sound amazing and I think my dance moves look cool, in my own personal time. But professionally, no, absolutely not. I don’t know if I’ve got two left feet or two right feet, but we will soon find out.”

Strictly Come Dancing launches on Friday, 23 September on BBC One with the live shows starting on Saturday, 24 September.