Strictly Come Dancing is back for series 17, and the world’s most successful reality television programme presented by Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly is promising even more excitement than ever. The familiar cast is back for more pirouettes and arabesques, and most of them are looking to be in peak physical condition. Do these stars prove that dancing is the ultimate workout?
The new series of Strictly sees the return of a couple of past winners. Kevin Clifton won alongside documentary filmmaker Stacey Dooley in 2018, and this year he is partnering with the presenter and broadcaster Anneka Rice. Russian dancer Katya Jones won the competition in 2017 with Joe McFadden, and this year she is partnered up with BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell.
Clifton has appeared in six series to date, while Jones is participating in her fourth competition. 36-year-old Clifton is looking particularly trim this year, and he credits his weight loss to quitting alcohol. This lifestyle choice has also been found to reduce the risk of cancer.
Whether the professional dancers will pick up another trophy is largely down to how well their partners fare. With so many series of the show broadcast to date, there is plenty of data available for people to run detailed statistical analysis. Betway did just that and conducted a study into the past contestants. The online betting company found that all but one of the sixteen winners have been in their 20s or 30s, and three of the last five winners have been TV hosts. This is perhaps the reason why the young BBC presenter Karim Zeroual is the current favourite to win the competition. He is partnered with 28-year-old Amy Dowden.
A lot of celebrities choose to go on Strictly to get in amazing shape and achieve year-long summer bodies. The rigorous dance routines certainly help with that. In order to prevail, each dance requires countless hours of practice in order to get it perfect. Many people find dancing superior to other fitness options such as yoga, because it is a full-body workout which gets the heart rate up. A 30-minute dance class burns between 130 and 250 calories, and it is really fun at the same time.
Watching Strictly on BBC One is not only a highly entertaining experience, it can also be inspiring. These contestants are exceptionally fit and, for a lot of people, watching them can provide the motivation required to get in shape.