For many dancers around the UK and even the world, it's a lifelong dream to be cast in Strictly Come Dancing. And while she enjoyed her time on the show, former pro Ola Jordan has spoken about the harsh reality of working on the BBC One dance contest. "You don't see how hard the professional dancers work, they do work really hard," Ola, who starred in Strictly from 2006 to 2015, told HELLO! magazine. "It's like a bubble, you really give six months of your life, morning and night, 24/7 to that show, especially if you go quite far in the competition, it's very tiring.
"It's very full-on for the professional dancers; we do the choreography, we pick the music. We're very involved. It doesn't feel like that to fans because they only watch Saturdays, and you watch it until Christmas and it's a lovely fun show, but I don't think people ever appreciate how hard the professional dancers work. Don't get me wrong, the celebrities work hard but the professionals travel to the celebrity partners and they live out of a suitcase for about six months."
Ola revealed the pro dancers "live out of a suitcase for about six months"
Ola was partnered with a whole host of stars during her nine years on the show, including Hollyoaks actor Ashley Taylor Dawson. "When I danced with Ashley, he was working until 8 o'clock at night," she said. "I would have to be in Liverpool and would be ready for him to come into training. I would train with him until 12, 1, maybe 2 o'clock in the morning and then he would go to work again in the morning and I would wait for him.
"But I would have to be up in Liverpool the whole week, until we go down on Friday to London to do the show. If your partner is in Liverpool then you go to Liverpool, if your partner is in Manchester, you go to Manchester. So, you don't see your family and friends. Thank god my husband was on the show and I got to see him."
Ola and James both starred in Strictly
Both Ola and her husband James Jordan joined Strictly in 2006, although James left the show in 2013, two years before his wife. Ola admitted that she was "done" with Strictly and is "quite happy to move on," quipping: "When I watch it now I think, 'Oh I couldn't be jumping around like that anymore," my back hurts, I can't do it!"
Would she or James ever take on a judging position? "I don't know if the BBC would ever have us, I think we're too outspoken for the BBC," Ola admitted. "I mean I would never say no, if the phone call comes, who wouldn't want to be a judge on Strictly? Everyone would, anyone who is involved with dancing would love to be a judge, but I don't think it would ever happen to us."
Ola attends a party hosted by Sainsbury's for their 150th birthday
Ola spoke to HELLO! shortly after attending a party in Marske-by-the-Sea with former Strictly star Abbey Clancy. As part of Sainsbury's 150th birthday, the supermarket threw a fun-filled bash in the hope of bringing elderly neighbours together – after research found a decline in social connections amongst over 65s.
Ola put on her dancing shoes and made sure everyone was up on the floor. "It was such an amazing party to be involved in, and I loved seeing all the older customers and Sainsbury's colleagues up and dancing together," said Ola. "Dancing and music are amazing at bringing people together, and seeing how much the event meant to the local community I hope it encourages them and other elderly people to keep dancing."
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