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Strictly Come Dancing 2021 | Interview with John Whaite



What made you want to take part in the show this year?

I wanted to take part in Strictly because I like sequins and I like fake tan! I used to dance when I was younger, I did ballet and modern and tap, and I really want to get back into it. I have never learnt Ballroom or Latin so I can’t wait to learn.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge will be to not be too hard on myself, I know that I will get really frustrated with myself if I’m not picking up the steps. I think the key thing is just to relax, take a breath, and come back to it. For me it’s going to be a case of just relaxing into it, being myself, believing that I can do it and just enjoying the process.

Are there any dances in particular you’re excited to learn some?

I can’t wait to learn the samba, salsa and the Cha Cha Cha. I am excited for the Latin vibes and hip movements. I am more nervous for the stiff Ballroom dances because I don’t really have strong shoulders so I think it’ll be hard to hold my posture.

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

I am so excited to be ‘Strictly-fied’. I was wearing glitter in the womb. I am excited for the sheer tops, tight trousers, the spray tans, hair and makeup. It’s glamourous and over the top but it’s a Saturday night!

Do you have any dances from previous series?

I loved Michelle Visage’s voguing and Masie and Gorka’s samba, which were amazing. But equally Oti and Kevin’s samba!

Do you have any previous dance experience?

Between the ages of 10-14, I did ballet, modern and tap. So I may have a few dancing bones in my body, but I’m not necessarily very good rhythmically. Ballet is very stiff and I can do a triple timestep but who knows what I will be like at Ballroom or Latin!

What are you looking for in a dance partner?

I want someone who’s going to be supportive emotionally because it’s going to be an emotional journey. I want someone who will push me, but also someone who is patient because I’m going to want to do maybe 10 or 12 hours a day rehearsing, because when I get into something like this, I give my heart and soul to it. I’m a total perfectionist, which can sometimes be a negative thing as I know I need to relax. So I hope I have a partner who will support that and also someone who’s going to be really good fun.

How are you preparing for the show?

I’m doing a bit more cardio. I’ve done weightlifting now for years, and I’ve really got into bodybuilding in the past 18 months. So I’ve now started to incorporate more stretching and cardio into my routine, and I have been watching what I eat as I want to get more lean.

I am also shaving my chest, a lot more than I ever did!

Have you had any advice from anyone who has done the show before?

Michelle Visage texted me and said to start stretching immediately! Gemma Atkinson said it’s going to be the best thing you ever you will ever do, you’ll have the most fun, so enjoy every minute,

What do you think about the rest of the class of 2021?

I think it’s such a great line-up, I mean to have Adam Peaty is mega, an actual Olympian!

Who do you think is your biggest competition?

I genuinely don’t see it as a competition, in my eyes, you do well and you’ll get through to next week, not based on what everyone else is doing. I think I’ll feel more competitive if I get to Halloween week and beyond, that’s when things will start to get serious.

Are you a competitive person?

I’m very competitive but I always think if someone else is better than you then they deserve to be there. So I am competitive, but I am also a team player, which is a bit of a contradiction.