Strictly Come Dancing professional speaks on ‘intense’ show change ahead of launch

Kevin Clifton discusses Tom Fletcher on Strictly Come Dancing

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Last year, Strictly Come Dancing pulled off a spectacular series despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. BBC bosses went to extreme lengths to ensure the show would adhere to social distancing regulations including having the professionals record all of their group dances ahead of the series launch. In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Ballroom and Latin dancer Luba Mushtuk shared her thoughts on this shake-up to the show format. 

The professional dancers stayed in a hotel for four weeks so that their group dances could be filmed before the series. 

It had been reported the dancers would be carrying out the same process this year.

On Morning Live, Janette Manrara recently confirmed the professionals were staying in a hotel together while they perfect their group dances. 

Sharing her thoughts on recording the routines, Luba said: “Well, it was a great experience.”

Read more: Strictly warning: Bosses set rules for celebrities ahead of launch

“It was August actually and we were doing Christmas with all the decorations,” she said. “We were dressed up with snow on the floor. 

“But, dancing is an art form and we’re artists so we were [doing] it like it was part of a mini-movie. 

“We really enjoyed actually doing all the numbers, because it was so focused and so intense, it was amazing. I absolutely loved it.”

Opening up on being in competition with her co-stars, Luba continued: “Obviously it’s a competition and obviously everybody wants to win.”

“But the beauty of our family is that we are all very supportive of each other,” she noted. 

“We don’t have any rivalries or anything like that we always help each other. 

“We send each other ideas and videos – we’re just always trying to help and it truly feels great.

“It’s like a big family that we have that we can hold on to and have a shoulder that helps you in a hard time.”

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In other Strictly news, it’s been reported Strictly bosses have issued a warning to the contestants about getting too close with their co-stars. 

BBC producers have told the 15 celebrities they’re implementing a “one snog and you’re out” policy.

A TV source explained show bosses want to do everything they can to ensure the 2021 series goes ahead. 

Fans will remember Nicola Adams had to withdraw from the competition when her partner Katya Jones tested positive for coronavirus. 

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They said: “Although the pandemic has eased since last year’s series, the BBC isn’t taking any chances.

“This kissing ban is likely to be part of a package of measures introduced by producers to make the show as safe as possible.”

“They want to minimise the risk of any bombshells, particularly as a studio audience is being brought back into the studio this year,” a source told The Sun. 

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year. 

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