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Ola and James Jordan discuss: is it OK to be a pushy parent?

The professional dancers have an active little girl

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Sophie Hamilton
Sophie HamiltonParenting Editor
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We all know a pushy parent or two – those well-meaning mums and dads who seem to be living vicariously through their kids' hobbies - but is pushing your child into a certain path ever ok?

MORE: James and Ola Jordan discuss: Ella sleeps with us... but should we let her?

Former Strictly Come Dancing stars Ola and James Jordan discuss this topic in their weekly HELLO! parenting column below. Their 23-month-old daughter Ella is already showing a love of dancing and is also rather fond of her dad's favourite game, golf.

WATCH: Ella dances with dad James and plays golf at home!

As we chat about the couple's own dance stories as children and their hopes for Ella's future, there's the cutest moment… 

"James has just gone to rescue Ella," says Ola. "She pretends to fall off the slide in the lounge and gets James to save her. She says, 'Daddy, daddy, help!'" Ella, you are too adorable!

We also hear about the most hilarious incident that happened to the Jordans at Bluewater this week. Keep reading to find out…

Ola and James Jordan discuss: is it ok to be a pushy parent?

Ola's own dance journey

Ola: As a kid, dancing kept me out of trouble. I loved going to training. I didn't go to the school discos because I was like, 'Oh my god I've got training tonight, I can't go.' A lot of my friends didn't have that. I was about eight or nine when I started dancing, so in my early teens I was training.

I loved dancing from day one. My parents didn't push me – they thought it would be a five-minute thing. I wanted to dance and wear the beautiful costumes. I probably pushed them so I could do it because it's expensive.

MORE: 26 best Valentine's gifts for kids, from toddlers to teens

READ: 7 baby bouncer chairs and swings your little one will love

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Ola Jordan during her Strictly days

Ola: With Ella, I feel like I want her to try everything. I don't care if she's a dancer or swimmer or golfer. I want her to find something she enjoys.

James: Yeah, but if you're really talented at something, it doesn't mean that every time I went to practice I enjoyed it. Sometimes my parents had to say to me, 'Go on, you're going to practice.' I'd be like, 'No I don't feel like going to tonight,' and they'd say, 'Well you're going'.

So I did have maybe slightly more pushy parents and I know I wouldn't be where I got to in my dancing career if it wasn't for my parents.

If you take any successful sportsperson, whether it be Serena Williams, Andy Murray or Lewis Hamilton, they likely have supportive and probably pushy parents behind them. I do think it makes a difference. You do need the backing of your parents.

Ola: Pushy parents aren't only in sport though – it can be parents wanting their child to study hard to be a doctor or a lawyer.

James: That's not frowned upon as much as parents pushing their child to sport, where they can potentially earn more money in sport.

I also think there are a lot of parents out there unfortunately that don't have the money to support their kids – having said that, my parents supported me with my dancing through bankruptcy so they still managed to help me.

There are a lot of parents out there who are maybe too selfish to push their children too. I know that for a fact. Parents who wouldn't give up their time to go pursue their son or daughter's potential career.

James' dance story

James: I was about nine years old when I started dancing. My sister danced and my parents used to dance when they were younger. I was kind of pushed to go really!

There was me and one other young boy and we used to go once a week, do a bit of disco dancing, a bit of ballroom dancing. I wasn't really that into it – until I started paying an interest in girls and then realised that, yes, this is definitely what I want to do because there were loads of fit girls!

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James Jordan when he danced on Strictly

At the beginning, friends used to take the mickey out of me, but as I got older and some of my friends came to dance competitions they were like, 'Oh my god, this is amazing!' There were loads of good looking girls with great bodies in skimpy costumes – they thought it was the best thing ever. They went from taking the mickey out of me to being jealous.

What was your dream with dancing when you were young?

Ola: I wanted to go abroad and dance in a big competition. I always told my mum I was going to leave Poland and go travelling. She still reminds me of that now.

James: I didn't really.

Ola: You wanted a Polish wife, that's what you wanted!

James: With me, it was different because England was always the mecca of dance when I was growing up. Ola wanted to come here and experience it. For me, it was just about dance results. I went to a coach in London to train.

If Ella wants to be a ballroom dancer…

How would you feel if Ella wanted to ballroom dance like you?

Ola: I would encourage her to do anything. I think you need to find your thing. I'd encourage her to go swimming, to play tennis – because at the end of the day you don't know what you're good at. I definitely think it's good to have something in your life.

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Ella loves dancing with daddy at home

James: I would try and sway her away from it – unless it was a complete passion of hers, then, of course, I would pursue it.

A very small percentage of dancers become really successful. You have to be in the right place at the right time. Most dancers destroy their bodies for their passion but don't necessarily get that much back out of it.

Now golf, if she could be a professional golfer I'd be very happy. I did something that my parents loved which was dancing and I love golf. Every day she takes me to go to her golf set and we play golf for about an hour in the house.

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Ella also enjoys playing with her toy golf set

Ola: I play golf with her about seven times a day. Honestly. I'm sick of golf!

James: She loves it already and she's not even two years old. There's a natural passion for it. But then again, she does dance when the music comes on.

Yesterday I showed Ella a video of Ola and I dancing and she started getting really excited going, 'Mummy and daddy!' It doesn't even look like us anymore!

Ola: When she sees anyone dancing on TV she goes, 'Mummy daddy dancing!' It's so cute.

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Ella watching mum and dad dance on telly!

Active Ella and the 'salon incident!'

James: Ola took Ella to the Gravity trampoline park at Bluewater for the first time this week and it was so funny.

Ola: Oh my god, I'm too old for it! It was good exercise but I was knackered.

James: She came up to me after 10 minutes and said 'How long have I been in here?!'

Ola: An hour is a LONG time in there. I didn't think I'd get out of bed the next day. Surprisingly, I was alright. After it, I was all sweaty for getting my nails done.

James: While Ola was in the salon I took Ella into Dinotropolis which is like a climbing place. Afterwards, I gave her a Fruit Shoot on the way to mummy at the salon - and she threw up all over me. I had the right hump.

Ola: I'm having my nails done and I can't move. James turned up covered in sick and I can see he's got such a hump. And he forgot the buggy so he had to go back with Ella, both soaked in sick and get it.

James: I was not in a good mood. I wanted to leave Ella with mummy and go to the loo and sort myself out, but I couldn't because Ola had her hands in that stupid thing! We didn't have a change of clothes for Ella, only a jumper. I had nothing else to wear. It was awful and Ola found it hilarious.

Ola: I did. He was so angry but there was nothing I could do.

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