Darcey Bussell on Strictly Come Dancing
Darcey Bussell has been invited onto the judging panel alongside Len Goodman, Craig Revel-Horwood and Bruno Tonioli for the 2012 series. So, what does she make of it all ?
How does it feel to be the new judge on Strictly?
I am so excited. I love the show. I was lucky enough to be a guest judge on Strictly a couple of years ago and so it feels incredibly special to be asked to be a judge permanently. I am also feeling nervous and of course you feel under pressure, but I am really looking forward to this amazing opportunity.
What kind of judge will you be?
I am not shy and I will give constructive criticism. I want to make the contestants feel they have got something they can work on to make it a better performance. I don’t want to put people down. I will be looking for how a celebrity moves and how they tell a story. I have always loved the theatrical side of dancing and so I will be looking for that aspect in a performance. It’s such a buzz to be on the panel. The other judges are all so lovely and they have been incredibly charming to me. They have all been so welcoming.
You are a trained ballerina and ballroom dancing is obviously very different. Have you done any preparation in the run-up to the series starting?
I decided I wanted to learn some of the latin and ballroom dances so that I could have a really good understanding of them, so I took myself off to a studio to have some dance lessons myself! I have been working really hard on getting to know the nitty, gritty side of ballroom and latin dancing and all the different techniques. One of the professional dancers, Ian Waite, has been helping me a lot. I know him well. It’s exciting and what I like about Strictly is the fact that there are no negative vibes.
What advice would you give to this year’s celebrity contestants?
To trust your partner and to put your faith in them. It is important to learn how to come out of your shell. Most importantly, have some fun.
Do you know many of the professional dancers?
I have known Ian for a long time but last year, I was in a show, Hollywood Dance, and I interviewed them about their own heroes. So yes, I do know many of them already. I know how much work they put into Strictly and how tiring it can be.
You have moved back to Britain from Australia to take the Strictly job. Are you pleased to be back?
Yes I am. I lived in Australia for four and a half years. It’s nice to be back with my friends and family and what a job to return to. Incredible. I was also lucky enough to perform at this year’s Olympic Closing Ceremony, which was just so brilliant. My children are really excited about me being on Strictly too and my husband is very supportive. Hopefully the celebrities will enjoy the experience. They will go on quite a journey but I hope they will think it is an amazing one.
And finally, are you secretly envious of this year’s contestants? Don’t you wish you were taking part?!
No. I am very happy to be in my judging seat! It’s going to be so much fun and I would never have taken on this job if it weren’t so. Bring it on!