Ahead of the start of Strictly Come Dancing 2018, we caught up with professional dancer Dianne Buswell to find out what it’s like starring on the nation’s best-loved programme.
New Strictly professionals
‘I am so excited for the new series,’ says Dianne, who joined the cast last year. This season there are three new pros taking to the floor (Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe and Luba Mushtuk) but they’ve got nothing to be nervous about, according to Dianne. ‘It’s like a family at Strictly and it immediately feels like everyone’s known each other for years.’
A typical week for a Strictly dancer
While dancing in sequins in front of an audience of millions sounds like a dream for any aspiring dancer, the life of a Strictly pro is seriously gruelling.
‘First thing on Monday we meet up to learn the professional dance, then it’s on to a train or plane – unless you’re lucky enough to have a celebrity based in London – to meet your celeb and start rehearsing,’ says Dianne. ‘From Tuesday to Thursday it’s more rehearsing, but by Friday you need to have it perfected because you’re then down to the studio for fittings, rehearsals and that spray tan we all love so much! Saturday is an early start – especially for the girls – and then the live show. Sunday is technically our day off, but if you’re still in the competition you need to use it to choreograph your next routine.’ Phew!
Strictly Come Dancing Choreography
Luckily Dianne is a dab hand at choreography thanks to her years of experience and former role as a pro dancer on Dancing With The Stars Australia. ‘Your celeb tends to give you a lot of inspiration, and you choreograph to highlight their strengths and hide their weaknesses. Obviously I was paired with the Rev [Reverend Richard Coles] last year, so a lot of the ideas I might have had weren’t going to work. I went for a different avenue with him!
‘My favourite part of the whole process is seeing your celebrity’s progression, and seeing how much love they develop for dancing.’
How the Strictly dancers stay healthy
As you can imagine, a seven-day work week requires a lot of energy. Dianne keeps hers up with healthy eating, early nights, coffee and ‘Berocca – it’s my best friend!’
But training so hard during cold and flu season can mean germs getting passed around the cast. ‘We work so closely that if one of us has a cold, it gets around. But I tend to feel worse when I lie in bed – when I dance and sweat it out I feel better.’
Dianne’s favourite dance
She reveals she has one regret about last year’s series – that she never got to perform a Charleston. ‘It’s so much fun and cheeky, and every celebrity really embraces it.’
Naturally, she’s very polite about who she’ll be paired with this year, insisting ‘anyone I get, I’m going to have a ball!’ But we hope the Aussie firecracker is paired with someone who can really move.