Gemma Atkinson has made it to the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 final with partner Aljaž Škorjanec – but there were some people who said that she’d never be able to do it.
The Strictly finalist, 33, reveals that she was told that she was ‘too muscular’ to dance. Well hasn’t she gone and proved all those haters wrong!
The former Emmerdale star says ahead of the show that she’s proud to ‘break stereotypes’ about what a dancer should look like.
She says: ‘What I’ve loved is that since I’ve started this show, obviously I was training and going to the gym, and I’m not your typical petite kind of dancer’s physique.
‘Everyone said to me: “There’s no way you’ll be able to do it, you’re too muscular” or because you’re too much of a tomboy or you’re too much of this, and obviously getting here is a massive achievement.
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‘But what I’ve loved is women who perhaps do weight training or boxing and perhaps don’t like wearing dresses at the weekend, and who don’t like the spray tans, what they’ve said is “Do you know what, I want to try and do some dancing because you can do it”.
‘That’s what I like, the fact that it’s not like I’m paving the way for anyone, but you shouldn’t be fitted into a stereotype because of your build or because of what you’re naturally good at or what you gravitate to as your hobby.’
The radio presenter adds that she’s more comfortable in a boxing ring than in the Strictly ballroom, but the fact that she’s come this far is inspiring for women who don’t necessarily fit into what a dancer looks like.
She says: ‘I mean I never thought in a million years I’d have a frock on dancing the Viennese Waltz with Aljaž. I feel more comfortable in a boxing ring!
‘But I’ve done it, we’ve done it, so I’d like to think that women that aren’t little 5ft and tiny, you can do it, be my height and my build and you can enjoy it.
‘So that’s what I’ve liked about it!’
After Gemma’s comments, her Strictly co-star Debbie McGee joked from across the room: ‘Perhaps I should try boxing Gemma!’
Now that’s something we’d like to see.
The Strictly Come Dancing grand finale airs tonight at 6.30pm on BBC One.
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