Fleur East Explains How Strictly Come Dancing Training Is Even More 'Overwhelming' Than Viewers Realise

"You think everyone’s got a week to learn the dance but you’ve actually only got a couple of days."
Fleur East dancing with her Strictly partner Vito Coppola
Fleur East dancing with her Strictly partner Vito Coppola
Guy Levy/BBC via PA Media

Strictly Come Dancing star Fleur East has opened up about training for the competition, admitting it’s already becoming “overwhelming” two weeks into the current series.

The former X Factor finalist is one of 15 celebrities taking part in the new series of the long-running BBC show, where she’s partnered with newcomer Vito Coppola.

Fleur was an early frontrunner when she was first announced for Strictly, and despite a few critiques for her Cha Cha Cha at the weekend, she still came near the top of the leaderboard on Saturday night.

She is now training for her Viennese Waltz on Saturday night, and revealed on her Hits Radio show that rehearsals are even more intense than viewers realise.

Fleur in her official Strictly press photo
Fleur in her official Strictly press photo
Ray Burmiston via PA Media

“Every day is merging into one day – I’ve got no concept of time or place and I just feel like I’m dancing all the time,” Fleur explained.

“My brain gets tired because you’re having to process all these steps and techniques. And as for my body, let me tell you, my neck is aching so much from being stuck out to the side and it just feels really unnatural. Every move about this dance is unnatural!”

The Sax singer continued: “When you watch it at home you think everyone’s got a week to learn the dance but you’ve actually only got a couple of days.

“You come in on Monday, learn it all, then Tuesday you have to clean it up and send a tape to the production team so they can see your routine and they know what’s happening for filming. So by Tuesday, you have to have it done.

“On Wednesday and Thursday you’re doing rehearsals but press as well so you don’t really have time to learn it, at that point you’re just polishing it, so you really only have two full days in the week.”

Fleur added: “You get to a point, especially on a Monday, when you’re learning a new routine and your mind just goes blank. You feel really overwhelmed and think, ‘I just can’t do this’ because it’s a whole new style and there are new steps and you’ve got to dance this in five days live on the television!

“But once you start to get it you think OK, this is going to be fun, it’s going to be fine.

The first live show of the new series saw actor Will Mellor and wildlife presenter Hamza Yassin winning the most points from the judges, with football legend Tony Adams at the other end of the leaderboard.

Saturday night will see all 15 couples performing again, with the first elimination airing in Sunday’s results show.

Strictly returns on Saturday night at 6.30pm on BBC One. Check out what all of the celebrities will be performing during the show here.

The Hits Radio Breakfast Show with Fleur East airs every weekday morning. Listen live at hitsradio.co.uk


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