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Dancing On Ice | Interview with Rachel Stevens (Contestant)

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What is the biggest appeal about doing the show?

Have you watched over the years and always fancied having a go? I love a challenge. I’m so excited to get stuck in and learn the routines and meet the whole team, the costumes, just the whole thing. I was lucky enough to do Strictly so I know it will be fun.

Why have you decided to take part in the show this year?

The opportunity came up this year and it just feels like it’s come at the most perfect time. Starting in January with something that’s brilliant and fun, it’s such a brilliant time to get stuck into something like this. I’m super excited.

Have you ever skated before?

When I was ten [years old] I skated. I got really into it and I got my own boots. I used to go with friends and I really fell in love with it but you know when you’re that age you have no fear. I moved on to something else and didn’t stick with it but I really loved it. When I got back on the ice recently for the first time for Dancing On Ice I was definitely wobbly. It was only 15 mins on the ice but it was lovely and super relaxing and calm.

Do you have fitness goals?

Always, doing something like this I love the fact that it’s going to get you fit and strong. I feel lucky to be learning a new skill and feel really fortunate to be able to have this opportunity to get fit especially after this last year of no exercise. It will be great to get stuck in.

With your background, is it going to be nice to learn choreography again and get all the glitz and glam?

I’m so excited to do that. I love dancing so much and just the thought of getting into something and having a routine and a structure and working with a team, working with the pros – I just feel really lucky to have the opportunity to experience it.

Are you going to enjoy working with a skating partner?

I love that I’m going to have my partner in crime. I love everything about this kind of show, you get to work as a team and I do love that. I’ve come from working with a group and this industry is all about teamwork. I can’t wait to learn all of the routines although I am a bit scared about the headbanger.

Scared about the headbanger? How about the lifts too? Do they all strike you with a bit of panic?

The headbanger fills me with fear. I’m fine with heights but it’s one of those things, until you actually do it you don’t know. I have no idea how I’m going to be and how I’m going to feel. All I know is, I want to go for it and have fun. That’s the thing. I’ve always been quite a perfectionist but with this I really want to go for it. It’s about having a laugh and having fun learning a new skill along the way.

Would you say this is the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Or are you a bit of a daredevil – if so, what other daring challenges have you taken on?

I’m a controlled adrenaline junkie if that makes sense. I recently went to Alton Towers with the kids and I like fast rides. I don’t like things that are upside down so I might not be great with those sort of headbanger kind of moves but you’ve got to go into this [show] with an open mind.

How competitive are you and are you in it to win it?

I am naturally a really competitive person for sure. I don’t like losing but I’m a team player and I know that with this is a show, you all support each other and it’s super fun so that’s what I’m really excited about. I’m in it to experience all of it.

How do you think you’ll react to potential criticism from the panel?

I think I’ll be fine, it’s all fun and games isn’t it. I think constantly in life be aware that the child in you doesn’t come out. It’s all part of it and you’ve got to take the criticism with the lovely comments, it’s all a balance.

If you had to describe your strengths and weaknesses to your professional partner, what would they be?

My weaknesses would be that I’m a perfectionist, I don’t like getting things wrong. I find it hard when I’m learning new things because I’m the type of person who feels like I need to know what I’m doing straight away. These are things that I’m really excited about, it’s about learning and trying to get past those things. I just want to throw myself into it and I’m being open minded.

Can you pick up choreography quickly?

No, I don’t think I can. I think it will take me a while. Once I get it then I’m like ‘done, great’ but I don’t pick it up super quickly. I can be quite tough on myself sometimes because I’m that person that’s like I should know it right away but I just don’t.

Do you think that you might have a slight advantage over other contestants because you are an experienced performer?

No, I don’t actually. It’s a very different type of performance from being on stage on TV as a pop group. Then you add the ice element into it and it’s a whole new ballgame. Before Strictly I’d never danced with a partner, it was always as a group and I’ve never had any formal dance training. If anything it’s the opposite because people expect you to know what you are doing but I think we all start at the same place with something like this.

And would you want to skate to one of your own songs?

Yes. I think something like ‘Never Had A Dream Come True’ would be gorgeous to dance to. That would be perfect. It’s all Christmassy.

What do your family think about you taking part in the show?

When I first told my mum she was like, ‘really?’ I think I just filled her with fear instantly. Now she’s really excited. My kids [aged 10 and 7 years old] are beyond excited. My husband’s always really supportive. I haven’t told many people, I’ve only told my closest group but everyone’s excited.

Do you know anyone who has taken part in the series and have you chatted to them about their experience?

Yes, Denise [Van Outen] but I haven’t spoken to her since she’s done it. We recently did a cabaret show that she’s still in so I saw her at the end of last year and I thought I should message her and catch up.