Strictly Come Dancing star Lauren Steadman has revealed that dancing with partner AJ Pritchard has really boosted her confidence, admitting that she feels sexy for the first time. The champion paralympian, who was born without her lower right arm, told The Sun of AJ's support: "We'll do moves and he'll be like, 'No, you can be sexy', and he’s helped me fall in love with myself for the first time. I think people at home have thought, 'She’s always been confident'. It’s been a learning curve." She added: "I have been self-conscious my whole life with my arm. As a child I was always the one that stood out. But, credit to AJ for this, he has made me face a fear and be really, really proud of myself and my body."
Lauren and AJ have been wowing audiences on Strictly
"In all photos he’ll make me stand so that my arm is on show, and be proud of myself," she said. Lauren and AJ have won fans over with their adorable routines and sweet partnership, and despite being scored at the bottom of the leader board over the last few weeks, have avoided having to compete in the dance-off so far.
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Rumours have been swirling around the pair and their friendship, with many believing that they might be more than close pals - and AJ has even hinted that there may be a romantic future for the pair. Speaking to The Mirror, he said: "I am very protective of Lauren because we have worked so closely together. It's for that reason that we have grown so close together and we will be friends for life and who knows in the future... You never know what is going to happen."
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Last year, there was much speculation around AJ's close friendship with former partner Mollie King. Ex pro Brendan Cole was among those who suggested that the pair were a couple, telling his All Night Long tour audience: "One evening I went in the boys' changing room, walked in the door and there was AJ and Mollie. I wouldn't have thought anything of it if they had gone, 'Hey Brendan, nice to see you.' But as I walked in the door, they went, 'Sorry, sorry! Didn't see you there.' Two young single people who get together on the show – it's great, right?"