Strictly: Greg Rutherford opens up on intense training
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The track and field athlete spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk and reflected on his 2016 Strictly Come Dancing experience. When asked what advice he’d give contestants in the upcoming show, he warned they should be prepared to work hard as there are many contestants who already have plenty of dancing experience.
Former long jumper Greg, 35, has represented Great Britain at the Olympics, World and European Championships, and England at the Commonwealth Games.
He took part in 2016’s Strictly Come Dancing, coming in ninth place with partner Natalie Lowe.
When asked about his experience, he admitted: “It was an incredible experience but a difficult experience.
“It is hard work like, it really is hard, but when they sell it to you, you sit down and have your meeting, I remember I was in America training.
“And I sat on the phone to the producers and they said, ‘Look, you have to give a maximum of about 12 hours a week for the whole week of training.
“And it will be fine blah blah,’ and I thought 12 hours is fine… I did 12 hours a day and I was still c**p!”
When asked what advice he would give the famous faces entering this year’s BBC competition, he said they should prepare to train for more than 12 hours a week.
“I’d say they signed you up under false pretences! ‘Sign you under false pretenses! !” he laughed.
“You really need to train! Unless you’re like… I mean we had Danny Mac and I’ll never forget [that].
“I remember watching like, ‘This guy’s incredible, like genuinely incredible.’ There will be people on there who have that experience previously, and there’ll pick it up far quicker.
“But if you’re like me, with no dance experience, you have to give so much time.
“And be prepared, for the first couple of days, to feel like none of it’s working, I’m never going to be able to do it, have these mini meltdowns and then it all clicks.
“And if you’re like me as well, what I loved more than anything else if I’m totally honest, and I know some people find it a bit odd, but that moment where you’re standing on the dance floor and you’ve got 10 left of the VT before it cuts to you.
“I loved that – the pressure of having to perform! For some it is terrifying. But I don’t know, once you get into it, and I loved this during my athletics career.
“I loved those moments. Of course, you’re nervous, I’m not saying I wasn’t nervous.
“But taking on pressure on that level, I loved it! There was nothing like it.
“And I could always see it in Nat’s face where she was like, ‘I’m not sure, has he got it? Is he going to be alright?’
“I lived for those moments. And the two times I was in the bottom two I was probably the happiest I was in the whole show because I knew I had to perform under pressure and I loved that.”
Greg is currently fronting a campaign for Capital One UK to launch The Happé Café; a multisensory London-based pop-up designed to stimulate the senses and boost feel-good-factor to give people an escape from the post-summer blues.
Strictly Come Dancing’s launch show will air on September 17 on BBC One.
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