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Why Strictly's Kevin Clifton nearly gave up dancing

The pro dancer spoke to HELLO! about nearly giving up dancing for good

Hanna Fillingham

Strictly Come Dancing winner Kevin Clifton might be known nationwide as one the show's most popular professional dancers and last year's reigning champion, but he nearly quit dancing - and it was his hit show Burn the Floor that saved him from giving up! Chatting to HELLO!, the Strictly reigning champ revealed: "It sort of saved my whole dancing career really. I was in the zone at the time where I was going to quit ballroom dancing as I was quitting the competition world and I had grown out of love with that. And I thought I had fallen out of love with ballroom dancing."

Kevin very nearly gave up on dancing

Kevin continued: "But then I was asked to come and join the cast of Burn The Floor and I had never seen anything like it. They are very involved with storytelling and character development and it is the best sort of show that exists. A lot of the Strictly cast are Burn The Floor alumni. Burn The Floor gives everyone an extra quality. So when I was asked to go on the tour again this year I jumped at the chance. I feel I developed with the show more than anywhere else in my career."

Kevin joined Strictly in 2013

Despite his very successful time on the BBC dance show, which he joined in 2013, the star recently admitted that before being offered a place on it he actually auditioned twice, but was turned down due to his "gothic" appearance. "I applied with Karen. She got the job, I didn't get it," he explained during a Strictly documentary. "I had long black hair, eyeliner, black fingernails… Don't think that I'm your average ballroom dancer guys. They said, 'Yeah we’d love to take Karen. But not that guy – we have no need for this gothic scarecrow who thinks he's the rock star of the ballroom.'"

READ: Kevin Clifton makes shocking confession about life prior Strictly Come Dancing

Kevin has previosuly shared throwbacks from his 'goth' days

Chatting to Aljaz Skorjanec in the documentary, he continued: "Next year, you and Janette both got the job, I got told 'no' again. I got turned down twice. And then they went to film the trailer for the show that year. The idea for the trailer was that all these Strictly stars would be dancing with an invisible partner, who's it gonna be? That invisible partner was me. I just wanted a job. That's me in the Morphsuit, carrying all the Strictly pros about, but being rubbed out of the trailer. And then about two, three days later is when I got the call to say we can have you on the show."

Kevin has been vocal about the ups and downs of his career

It certainly hasn't been an easy journey for Kevin, who also recently revealed that he would sleep in his car during the early days of his dance career after struggling with his finances. Speaking on his podcast, The Kevin Clifton Show, the TV star shared: "I spent loads of time sleeping in my car - basically living out of my car - and having no work. It's not all glamour.

Kevin is partnered with Anneka Rice on the 2019 series

"People think we live these easy, showbiz, glamorous lives and it's not like that… There's been times where I was just getting fired from job after job - normal office jobs, just trying to sustain my dancer career. I was basically looking in my wallet going, I've just been fired from another job. I've got four lessons tomorrow; I already can’t pay for two of them. I'm going to have to blag it with the teacher and say, 'Oh, there's been a problem at the bank. I'm going to have to give you the money on my next lesson.'"

MORE: Brendan Cole and Craig Revel Horwood prove there are no hard feelings as they reunite

The star won the series in 2018

Fans are very happy that Kevin didn’t give up on dancing – which has since seen him going on to star in Strictly since 2013, and win his first ever series in 2018 with Stacey Dooley. But if he hadn’t followed the dancing path, Kevin revealed that he would still very much be performing on stage. He told HELLO!: "I have always loved performing so it would have still been in the performing world. But I would have probably focused my energy more on acting and singing, and I'm grateful that I'm getting to do some of that now too."

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