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Amy Dowden on future Strictly hopes after latest cancer update

Amy Dowden has revealed her Strictly Come Dancing future after “cruelly” having to have to watch from the sidelines last year while undergoing cancer treatment.

The Welsh professional dancer, 33, was too ill to compete in the most recent series of the BBC competition after she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer last May and underwent a mastectomy.

After her latest health check revealed “no evidence of disease”, she has now set her sights on getting back to the dancefloor.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast on Friday (1 March), Dowden said: “This is the longest I’ve never danced for since May so I need to get my body back into it. And obviously, my body’s been through so much with chemo so it’s building up gradually.

“But I have missed it so much. I used to go and support them and it was bittersweet.

“I was supporting my best friends but I didn’t want anything more than to be on that dancefloor. It was so cruel.

“So that’s the aim, is that they’ll have me back on that dancefloor with my best friends doing what I love most later this year.”

Although she could not compete in the last series of Strictly, Dowden performed in the opening professionals’ dance number during the final in December.

Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden (PA)
Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden (PA)

Last week, Dowden announced the positive health update but said she will not receive the “all clear” for five years due to her “hormone-fed” type of cancer, and that during that time she will continue to receive monthly injections and regular check-ups.

Reflecting on the development, she said: “It’s the best I could have hoped for, I’m smiling, I’ve got a spring in my step.

“I will need treatment once a month for five years, which is normal because I need to shut down all my hormones so it doesn’t feed the cancer, but I’m delighted, life resumes for me.”

Amy Dowden surprises Strictly viewers in dance fans call 'moment of the series' (Strictly Come Dancing/BBC)
Amy Dowden surprises Strictly viewers in dance fans call 'moment of the series' (Strictly Come Dancing/BBC)

Dowden was diagnosed shortly after filming started on the second series of her BBC show Dare to Dance, where she travels across Wales giving people who want the chance to surprise their family and friends by learning a dance routine.

She said she wanted to continue with the series as she did not want cancer to “affect them and their journey”, so they worked “really hard” to film around her treatment.

The dancer explained they completed much of the footage around her mastectomy operation but before she started chemotherapy treatment, and that her Strictly family stepped in to help when she was recovering from surgery.

Dowden said the show was “exactly what she needed”, and she “can’t wait” for viewers to watch the journey of each of the people taking on the dancing challenge.

She added: “It’s so rewarding and going on the journey with them, you have moments where they’re crying and they don’t believe themselves, and then there’s that moment where it just clicks and you can just see and their confidence develops, and they’re watching all their families’ reaction because they have no idea when they come out to perform.”