Strictly: Mike Bushell ‘can actually dance’ says Joanne Clifton
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Joanne Clifton burst onto the screens of the nation in 2014 after signing to become a professional dancer on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. However, despite her love and passion for the show, Kevin Clifton’s younger sister decided to walk away in 2017 after taking home the prestigious Glitterball trophy alongside Ore Oduba.
I just feel like if I do that I might not be able to dance the same again
Now, Joanne can be seen participating in Eurobeat: The Pride of Europe, ahead of the upcoming Eurovision contest.
Grimsby born Joanne, 37, has exclusively opened up to Express about her osteoarthritis diagnosis, which has left her requiring surgery on both her knees.
Following her diagnosis, the Latin and ballroom dance star had been encouraged by medical staff to slow down – something which she is putting to the back of her mind.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes joints to become stiff and painful and is the most common type of arthritis in the UK.
While the severity of the condition varies in each patient, factors believed to increase the risk according to the NHS include joint injuries, age, family history, being a female and other underlying health conditions.
Speaking of her ordeal, Joanne told us: “I need operating on on both [knees] because they’ve all worn away, all the cartilage and stuff’s got all holes in it and everything like that.
“So I need a little surgery on them.”
Joanne continued: “I just feel like if I do that I might not be able to dance the same again.”
Following her concerns surrounding her dancing career, Joanne admits that while dancing is a passion, her condition is seeing her progress to working in musical theatre.
“This is why I’m moving more and more into the singing and acting side, because you know that singing and acting doesn’t matter if you can’t really dance as much anymore,” she admits.
The star, who appeared as the lead role in the UK tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie, went on to say: “I am 37 I’m not gonna be dancing the best I’ve ever danced you know.
“I’m not going to be able to dance forever, am I?”
Joanne’s arthritis almost wreaked havoc during her time on Strictly Come Dancing, when she along with show bosses believed she may not be able to participate in a final performance.
Recalling the flare-up, she explained: “Even in the Strictly final, there is a picture online somewhere of my knees in the dress run that we do and I’ve got them all strapped up and stuff.
“We were actually worried whether I could actually go on and do the final that year, they got the backup, I think it was Karen [Hauer], to learn my routines ready to go on if I just couldn’t walk anymore.”
The international star went on to add: “I think mine [arthritis] is just general wear and tear but I go against them [doctors], I’m bad, really, I go against their advice and I do more than maybe I should.”
While some find exercise to cause flare-ups, Joanne continues to push herself and believes that it helps her condition.
“I actually find it better to do more, the more I carry on dancing and the more I go for long walks every morning now and running.
“I was absolutely advised against running but if I don’t keep active, they [her knees] would get worse.”
She added: “So I just keep on going and yeah, I get moments when they do hurt and stuff like that, I’ve got to take supplements and all sorts.”
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