Lucy-Jo Hudson gave us everything she had as she strutted her stuff on ITV's Dance Dance Dance stage last weekend. The ex Corrie star took a break from training to chat to us about getting fit... and channelling Beyonce
Former Coronation Street and Wild at Heart actress Lucy-Jo Hudson says the routines on Dance Dance Dance are so much harder than they look…
Dance Dance Dance kicked off on ITV last week. How much have you enjoyed getting back into dancing? "I've absolutely loved it. It's been 17 years since I last danced and, doing this show, I've rediscovered a passion for it. I love being on stage, it's an amazing feeling."
We saw you and your friend Rohan perform the routine to the Backstreet Boys' hit Everybody on last Sunday's first show. The producers didn’t give you an easy job, did they? "No, they did not. And, the thing is, with the Backstreet Boys routine for example, when you watch the original music video you think: 'Oh this is easy'. But, oh my word, when you start, it's so much more difficult than it looks and it's full on from start to finish."
And what was it like getting to channel Beyonce to perform Crazy in Love? "It was challenging but amazing. Beyonce makes everything look so easy and effortless. She can dance, sing and act and I was struggling just to move! Just doing her walk… her 'strut' when you break it down, how she does it, it’s quite amazing. I loved doing Beyonce, it was fantastic!"
Is it more nerve-wracking doing the solo number than dancing with Rohan on stage? "Yeah, it is. Rohan's like my brother and he's fantastic. He's such a hard worker and he's brilliant in the studio, encouraging me when I feel like I can't get something. He's really supportive whereas, when you're on your own, you don't have that. So I much prefer doing the duo dancing with Rohan. We've had a real giggle."
In this Sunday’s second show, you and Rohan will be dancing to Shake a Tail Feather from the hit movie The Blues Brothers. Is that another energetic one? "Yep! Me and Rohan are literally running around, jumping up and down throughout, so I was pretty much dying by the end of it. This routine was more fun than technical, though, so we had a real giggle. And I loved getting to dress like a dude!"
Lucy-Jo and Rohan will be 'shaking a tail feather' to The Blues Brothers on next Sunday's show
Given that you need lots of stamina for these routines, have you been hitting the gym to boost your fitness levels? "I started off putting in loads of hours at the gym then, before you know it, you're putting so many hours in at the studio that there isn’t any other time to do the gym. I love to weight train more than anything, but I had to drop the weights and hit the cardio because stamina-wise, I didn’t feel like I was anywhere near as fit as Rohan, who loves to run and work out. He's helped me push myself harder."
And have you noticed any difference in yourself physically? Do you look/feel different? "Yeah I do. Weight-wise, I don't think I’ve changed much but my shape definitely has. I feel I've trimmed up more and I definitely feel much fitter than I was. I thought I was quite fit before I started this show, but I've had to work so hard to boost my stamina because every dance has been so challenging."
EastEnders’ Jonny Labey and JLS singer JB Gill are among the other celebrities taking part. There seems to be a nice sense of camaraderie backstage… "Yes, there really is a massive support network. Some of them will come to me and ask for help, maybe on how to deliver a performance acting-wise. But then I'm getting tips on technique from Jonny and Chrissie, plus Chloe, Duane and a few others. Everybody wants to help each other because we want the show to be the best it can be. I know it's a competition, but none of us really feel that, we all just want to support each other and put on a good show at the end of the day."
Lucy-Jo says fellow contestants like ex-EastEnders Jonny Labey have been really supportive
How do you feel about being critiqued by judges Ashley Banjo, Tina Landon and Timor Steffens? Who do you most want to impress? "All of them! They're all professionals and they've each got an amazing CV. Actually, up until the point of me performing the routine I almost forget I’m being judged. It’s only when you finish and you’re standing on stage, that you’re like: ‘Oh right, they’re gonna give us marks out of 10 now’.
"As an actress, I’m used to taking direction when I’m on set, so I actually love being critiqued because it makes me work harder. I don’t take it in a negative way, I look at it as good constructive criticism, which helps me grow as a dancer."
The Dance Dance Dance judges (L-R): Ashley Banjo, Tina Landon and Timor Steffens
Each week, the judges score each couple, and the pair with the least number of votes at the end of Show 3, next week, will be eliminated. How much do you want to make it through – and go onto the final? "So badly. I’m not a competitive person and, when I started this, I just thought I'd see where I could go. But as it's going on, I kinda want to work harder and get as far as I can really. I think we all do. Up to now, we've all been fairly relaxed – but by Show 3 the nerves will set in because you know somebody's gonna go."
Like JB’s wife and dance partner Chloe, you’ve both taken time out to have a family. Are you keen to show all the mums out there that there are no limits? "Absolutely, yeah. Being a mummy is amazing, but this is something that I wanted to do and I've loved it and so has Chloe. It's been lovely doing something for the mums!"
Finally, now you’ve done Dance Dance Dance, would you ever consider doing Strictly Come Dancing? “I’ve been asked to do Strictly before, but I’ve always been busy filming. It’s a tough competition. Would I ever do it? We’ll see…"
Dance Dance Dance continues on Sunday, January 15 at 6.30pm on ITV.
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