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Strictly Come Dancing 2021 | Interview with Adam Peaty

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What made you want to take part this year?

It’s just about pushing myself and having a different challenge. I think it’s important to continue to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. So, I signed up to Strictly with no dancing experience… probably minus dancing experience actually!

What do you think will the biggest challenge that you’ll face?

I honestly don’t know what’s about to hit me! I’ve been kind of laissez-faire about the whole thing and kept it very simple in my head that’ll I’ll just turn up to training and do a couple of dances!

I think the training is going to be extremely intense. I enjoy the hard work so I don’t think that’s going to be the challenge.

It’s probably the performance side of things, because it’s so different from what I do. For me, I’m an individual athlete so having to work with a partner to perform, being able to read them and for them to read you will also be very different.

Are there any dance styles in particular you’re excited to learn and perform?

I love ballroom and I’m really into classical music so I’m looking forward to that. I’m a fan of all types of music but I love anything with big energy.

How do you feel about being ‘Strictly-fied’?

Honestly, I can’t wait! It’s just going to be different. I spend my whole life in swimsuits and if I’m not doing that, it’s photoshoots covered in oil so now I get to change the oil to glitter!

What has the reaction been like to you taking part in Strictly 2021? How have your family and friends reacted?

Oh, absolute madness! It started off as a joke with my partner Eiri, that I might go on Strictly, and got more and more serious. So, as the talks when on, I said why not! So many people have messaged me to wish me luck and have been asking for tickets to come and watch so it’s been really positive. Some people think I’m retiring from swimming which isn’t happening just yet!

Do you have any previous dance experience?

Absolutely none. I like to dance though. I like to move my hips… but that’s about it!

What are you looking for in a dance partner?

Confidence and humour as I rely on humour a lot in my day-to-day life. Someone who knows how to be strict and also when to be relaxed is very important. For instance, my coach who I’ve been working with almost 15 years can be very strict, but she also knows when to have a laugh. So, humour with a bit of strictness, I guess.

Would you say you’re a competitive person?

Extremely, extremely competitive. But, as the audience decides each week, we’ll just see how it goes and take each day as it comes. I’d like to think I’ve got a one up on a lot of the other contestants in terms of my sports performance head, but then again, this is a very different kind of sport so really, I’ll be starting from nothing!

What do you think of your fellow contestants? Did you know any of them previously?

I knew Dan Walker and Ugo Monye before. Ugo actually asked me the other night if I wanted to meet up for a couple of beers, although it could be tactical! I’m just looking forward to making new friendships and having fun.