They've made it to the Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals together, but AJ Pritchard and Lauren Steadman have had to face dating rumours as well as the dance-floor over the last few months. Now, 24-year-old AJ has addressed those rumours, telling Digital Spy: "People are going to make their own minds up, and seeing how happy people are together and how much fun they’re having, people are always going to think, 'Oh are they in a relationship? They look so happy together'. The reason we are happy together is because we are just having the time of our lives and learning new things each week, and being on the best show on TV." He also talked about prioritising dancing over dating while filming the show, adding: "When it comes down to relationships and all the things that do come along with a show like this, we don’t focus on it. We’re focused on our dancing and enjoying our experience. If we did focus on it, it would be sad that we focused on something that’s more negative."
AJ Pritchard and Lauren Steadman
But AJ had previously hinted at a possible romantic relationship with 25-year-old Paralympian Lauren, telling the Mirror in November: "I am very protective of Lauren because we have worked so close together," before adding: "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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Lauren has also spoken out about her special bond with the professional dancer, and revealed that he had made her 'feel sexy' for the first time. Talking about AJ's support, she told The Sun: "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."
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