Shirley Ballas said joining 'Strictly Come Dancing' was 'terrifying'

·Contributor
·2-min read
Shirley Ballas was nervous when she started on <em>Strictly</em>. (BBC)
Shirley Ballas was nervous when she started on Strictly. (BBC)

Shirley Ballas has revealed she was terrified and sweating on her first day at Strictly.

The dancer joined the BBC ballroom show in 2017, following Len Goodman's exit.

And she's now confessed that she battled some serious nerves before her first show.

Read more: Fleur East says late dad sent good luck message ahead of Strictly debut

"I will go to my grave remembering that first day!" she said.

Picture Shows:  Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
The TV star on the panel of the show. (BBC)

"The zip on my dress broke and I was perspiring profusely.

"I was more nervous for that than any World Championship I’ve ever danced in, because when you dance in a World Championship you are familiar with your audience.

"When you go on Strictly, you are in front of a 15 million person audience and you don't know what people are going to think about you! Fortunately I was accepted and welcomed so warmly by the British public, which I will forever be grateful for, but it was terrifying."

Ballas is back for the new series, alongside fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke.

Strictly Come Dancing judges Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse will all return. (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing judges Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse will all return. (BBC)

Discussing some of her highlights from over the years, the 62-year-old said her best memory was the time she danced the Samba in the first series she was on.

She said: "I didn’t want to wear a Latin dress at 57 and I didn’t want to put on a pair of shoes, which I hadn’t worn in 15 years.

"I was persuaded to do it and it was the best decision, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it."

The star also shared that, while she loves her seat on the panel, she wouldn't have minded another Strictly role.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Shirley Ballas during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. Picture date: Thursday October 8, 2020. See PA story. Photo credit should read: PA Media on behalf of So TV
Shirley Ballas would have enjoyed being a pro on the show. (PA Media on behalf of So TV)

Asked if she ever wish she danced on the show as one of the professionals, she said: "Yes, I would’ve loved that!"

Read more: Will Mellor suffering from knee trouble ahead of Strictly

The new series of Strictly starts on 23 September.

Watch: Strictly Come Dancing 2022 trailer