She wowed the judges in week one with her zippy quickstep - and Strictly Come Dancing's Nicola Adams isn't planning to rest on her laurels...
Last Saturday our Strictly Come Dancing 2020 stars took their first steps onto the dancefloor. Olympic gold-winning boxer Nicola Adams and her partner Katya Jones performed a quickstep to ‘Get Happy’ by Ella Fitzgerald and impressed judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse, who scored the couple 21 out of 30.
Here, Nicola Adams reveals why she’s proud to be making history – and why her boxing training will be an advantage…
How big a challenge do you think Strictly will be for you?
Nicola Adams: “I think this is going to be a huge challenge for me, because it’s just totally out of my comfort zone. I’m used to being in the boxing ring, and this is going to be a completely different kind of ring, a different kind of learning routines. It’s going to be exciting, though!”
Agility is a huge part of boxing – how do you think that has prepared you for Strictly?
NA: “I’m hoping I have the fitness side down. I’m quite light on my feet, I’m used to being on my toes, and I know that in a lot of the dances you have to be on your toes. I’m hoping that gives me a little bit of an advantage!”
How competitive would you say you were when it comes to Strictly?
NA: “I’m super-competitive. I want to be in the final, so I’ll be working as hard as I can to make that happen. But if not, I’ll definitely be giving 110% in everything I do, so I don’t mind if I fall short.”
How important was it to you to be partnered with a female pro?
NA: “Just for diversity, I guess. I wanted to do something different, I didn’t see what the big deal would be with partnering with another female. Girls dance with other girls in nightclubs all the time, the [female] professional dancers dance with girls all the time. I don’t think it’s a big deal.”
You’re representing a lot of different backgrounds on the show – a sportsperson, in a same-sex pairing. Did you want to set an example for younger people?
NA: “Yeah, it’s really good to be able to show diversity for the younger generation, to see someone from the LGBT community when they might be as well. It’s nice for them to be able to think, ‘that could be me one day, dancing on Strictly!'”
How have you prepared yourself for handling the judges’ critiques?
NA: “I’m used to having really tough coaches telling me what I’m doing wrong. I think it’s important to be able to take criticism because that’s how you progress, and you move forward. You have to be able to take that, and then think, ‘okay, the next time I go into this competition, I’ll have worked on all those things that I did wrong, and hopefully improved for the next performance.'”
How do you feel about performing on live TV – is that nerve-racking at all?
NA: “The performance side of things is a lot easier for me. I’m used to performing in front of big crowds, 20,000 people, so at least that side of the training and performance side of things, I’ll have down!”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1 on Saturday 31 October at 7.10pm.