Karen Hauer has opened up about her reaction to the news her "partner in crime", Janette Manrara, would be leaving her stint on Strictly Come Dancing as a professional dancer to become the new presenter for It Takes Two following Zoe Ball's exit.
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Chatting to HELLO! this week to celebrate the launch of a brand new exercise initiative for This Girl Can, Karen explained how she felt "sad" to lose her friend, but was also so excited for her new chapter.
"I was so happy for her, we are all extremely thrilled," she began. "It's something that I know she's wanted to do for a very long time, and yes it's sad because she's my partner in crime but extremely happy and it's a new chapter for her – and she's still very much a part of the family."
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Karen added: "It must have been scary to jump into something so new, but like I said to her, we're right behind her and we're wishing her the best and we'll still be seeing her, which is a good thing because she'll still be working with us! We're extremely proud and happy for her."
Meanwhile, the professional also revealed some very exciting news on the upcoming series of the BBC ballroom competition, which usually starts in September. "We start prep in July. At some point in July we start getting all together.
"It's something that we always look forward to – Strictly is the best time of the year, especially now. I'm really looking forward to getting back and training people, seeing people transform themselves is something I always look forward to when Strictly comes along, and just seeing everybody. Im grateful more than ever for my job and being able to do what I love."
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Karen Hauer was chatting to HELLO! to celebrate her launch with This Girl Can
The dancer, who was paired with Jamie Laing last year, has been keeping herself busy in lockdown with online classes, workouts and meditation – something she credits for helping her get through a "dark time".
"It was a couple of dark months, but [with] my platform I was teaching online and I was doing my Instagram classes… we all let each other into our lives. I don't let a lot of people into my home, but I felt that during lockdown and during the past couple of months – we all welcomed one another.
"It really helped that I had my structure and routine that I kept every day, it helped me get through the times when it was hard. Especially when you're feeling vulnerable and alone, it can be hard to motivate yourself. But I think that's really helped me as much as it's helped others."
Karen Hauer is supporting Sport England’s This Girl Can Week to inspire women to get active - however you choose to do it, it all counts. Go to www.thisgirlcan.co.uk for advice and resources and share how you're moving on social media with #ThisGirlCan.
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