09/11/2017 10:56 GMT

'Strictly Come Dancing': Oti Mabuse Addresses Racism In Ballroom World

'I’m determined to not let my skin colour become a hindrance.'

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ professional Oti Mabuse has opened up about overcoming racism within the world of ballroom.

Oti, who is currently competing on ‘Strictly’ with celebrity partner Jonnie Peacock, has said she feels as that as a black woman, she needs to work extra hard to make sure ballroom judges see more than just her skin colour.

Gareth Cattermole via Getty Images
Oti Mabuse

Opening up to Pride magazine about performing on ‘Strictly’, Oti said: “I don’t look like the [other professionals], but I train day and night to be at the top of my game.

“I don’t have the same body movements, or the same body type, but I work really hard. I like to be so good, that no-one can have anything to say about me; my dancing speaks for itself.”

She continued: “When you are different, that can lead to judges not marking you right because they think you look ‘odd’ – and that’s in any competition. I work very hard to make sure that won’t happen.

“I’m determined to not let my skin colour or the fact that I come from Africa be a hindrance.”

BBC/Guy Levy
Oti and Jonnie over the weekend

Oti was the first black professional dancer to sign up for the show when she joined in 2015, and was partnered with Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo.

After being eliminated from the show, Antony criticised the BBC for pairing them together, claiming: “I honestly thought they would spread the minorities around.”

The following year, Oti made it to the final with ‘Hollyoaks’ actor Danny Mac as her partner.

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