Zara McDermott told to dance in men's shoes for Strictly: 'My feet were bleeding!'

Zara McDermott was told to train in shoes made for men credit:Bang Showbiz
Zara McDermott was told to train in shoes made for men credit:Bang Showbiz

Zara McDermott was left with bleeding feet after training for 'Strictly Come Dancing' wearing men's shoes.

The 26-year-old TV star is paired up with Graziano Di Prima for the latest series of the BBC Latin and Ballroom competition and revealed that her professional partner had told her to start rehearsals without a traditional pair of high heels.

She told The Sun newspaper's TV Biz column: "Graziano told me not to go for the heels but to dance in men’s shoes at the start.

“Off he went and got me them and they’re men’s shoes with a little Cuban heel.

“I told him, ‘It’s not working, I need to take them off’ and he said, ‘No, no you’re fine.

I said honestly it’s hurting and I took them off and my feet were bleeding. I was like, ‘I told you I am not being dramatic!’

“My feet are feeling better this week, I feel like they’re getting harder now.”

The former 'Love Island' contestant danced with the rest of the cast including broadcaster Angela Rippon, TV legend Les Dennis and former Coronation Street actress Ellie Leach during last week's launch show but joked that she performed like a "piece of wood" and promised ahead of the show's first heat on Saturday night (23.09.23) that she has improved.

She said: "Last week I was honestly like a piece of wood but now I have made some progress.

“I’m dancing the cha cha cha and for the dance you need to have totally straight legs.

“I’ve learned that your legs have to be bent back on themselves to be that straight, which is really unnatural.

“It is so weird and feels so unnatural to do it but I am getting there.”