Strictly Come Dancing contestant Denise Van Outen is finding the rigours of training for the show a lot harder than she’d expected to, and in fact, her feet are so sore and blistered from hours of dance rehearsals, she’s having to go barefoot!
And Denise hopes that the fact that she’s finding things so tough right now will show critics who claimed she has an unfair advantage on the show – because of her former role in West End productions such as Chicago – that she in fact isn’t any better equipped to cope with the ballroom dancing than any of her fellow contestants.
Of the claims – one of which was made by Chris Evans – Denise told What’s On TV, “This competition is not musical theatre, it is ballroom, and this is a world that I am in no way familiar with.”
She added, “I have to say that I was quite upset at the criticism that I’ve come under from the press about my involvement with the show due to my previous dance experience.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express that I have danced at theatre school as part of my training, and I did appear in the musical Chicago where I had one dance number…
“But apart from that, my dance experience is very basic, and secondly, I am not the only competitor that has appeared in the show that has had basic training.”
And on her own blog, she recently wrote, “I feel that I’m at a slight disadvantage this week as my feet are so badly blistered due to dancing in heels, that I can’t even get my shoes on and I’m having to practise barefoot until they heal.
“Even so, I wouldn’t change a thing as I’m loving every minute of it.”
Strictly returns to the BBC on October 6th with the live shows.