Gleb Savchenko at the MTV Movie & TV Awards earlier this year (Photo: Emma McIntyre via Getty Images)
Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Gleb Savchenko has admitted he regrets not having more fun during his time on the show.
Gleb joined Strictly for just one series in 2015, during which time he was paired with TV presenter Anita Rani, having previously competed on the US version of the show Dancing With The Stars.
In a new interview with OnlineCasino.ca, the Russian-American performer admitted that he found himself “stressed out every single week” during his time on the BBC dance show as he had to come up with fresh choreography every week.
“This is the hardest thing, you know when you’ve been given the music and you try to come up with a creative and an idea,” he said.
“[There are] teams helping you out with music choices and creative stuff, but with the choreography you have to come up with everything yourself, and you want to do something that will push your celebrity – not break her back or something like that, but at the same time... you want to always push yourselves.
“So when I did Strictly I was stressed out with Anita all the time and if you asked her she would be like ‘listen, we worked super hard but we did not have a lot of fun’.”
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko backstage on the Strictly tour in 2016 (Photo: Dave J Hogan via Getty Images)
Gleb continued: “We kind of had fun, but it was more about, ‘OK, boom, boom go’.
“My schedule with Anita was nine to six, so every time we’d come in we’d do a little bit of warm-up, 9.30 we started learning and by, like, one we’d have an hour break for lunch and two to six we’d rehearse. I remember we were so exhausted at some points, but I was like ‘no we have to do it’.
“For her, it was good because she actually improved. If you look at week one and to the semi-final she actually killed it. But if I look back at it, I should’ve given her a little break. I should’ve had a little bit more fun. We should’ve done something differently.”
Gleb and Anita made it to the Strictly semi-finals back in 2015 (Photo: Richard Stonehouse via Getty Images)
Although he only stayed with Strictly for one series, Gleb has since made a return to Dancing With The Stars, where he’s currently competing with RuPaul’s Drag Race favourite Shangela.
In recent years, he’s also danced with Spice Girls singer Melanie C and Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause, with Gleb admitting he now takes a different approach when training with his celebrity partners.
“Now with more experience, I take it easy,” he revealed. “[I tell my partners], ‘This is just week one, we hopefully have another 10 weeks to go. Let’s just pace ourselves because it’s not a race, it’s a marathon’.”
After stepping down from Strictly, Gleb has appeared on UK screens on several occasions, most notably the reality shows Celebrity MasterChef and Channel 5’s Celebs On The Farm, the latter of which he won in 2018.
Strictly returns for its landmark 20th series on Friday night, with the first live show of the series airing on Saturday on BBC One.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.