Oti Mabuse discusses how a book helped her Strictly career
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Oti Mabuse became the only Strictly Come Dancing professional to win the series in two consecutive years. The Ballroom and Latin dancer won with Kelvin Fletcher in 2019 before lifting the Glitterball Trophy again with Bill Bailey. Opening up in a recent interview, the dancer explained how important dancing is for her mental health and the opportunities it’s afforded her.
Oti won several South African dancing competitions in her native country before moving to Germany.
The Ballroom and Latin dancer appeared as professional on the eighth and ninth season’s of Let’s Dance, the German version of Strictly.
Oti then joined the BBC competition in 2015 where she was partnered with Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo.
She reached the final with Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac in 2016 and danced with Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock a year later.
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Oti finished in seventh place in 2018 with England cricketer Graeme Swann before going on to win with Kelvin and Bill.
Discussing the impact dancing has on her mental health, she said: “Dance has saved me. Because of dance, I was able to see the world.
“I was able to move from South Africa to England, I met my husband, I met my best friends. So for my mental health, it’s given me everything.”
“It’s given me a whole new world to explore, a whole new culture and a whole new country of people to get to know,” she told Metro.co.uk.
Earlier this year Oti was confirmed as one of the professional dancers who will appear on Strictly 2021.
However, fans of the Ballroom and Latin dancer will get to see Oti test out her judging skills on ITV’s The Masked Dancer.
The broadcaster confirmed the eccentric series would air later this year after the success of The Masked Singer.
The new show follows 12 celebrities performing unique dances while wearing elaborate disguises.
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Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan return to the judging panel while Oti takes Rita Ora’s spot.
When the news was announced, Oti said: “I’m so thrilled and honoured to be joining the panel on The Masked Dancer.
“I’m a huge fan of The Masked Singer and I loved the US Masked Dancer so I just can’t wait to start on this show.
“As a dancer, I will be watching the dancers intently looking for clues – it’s going to be so much fun!”
Although The Masked Dancer will be similar to its singing counterpart, viewers will be treated to a host of new costumes.
These include Zip, Carwash, Beagle, Squirrel, Frog and Scarecrow.
Beetroot, Viper, Rubber Chicken, Flamingo, Knickerbocker Glory and Llama will also compete in the show.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC later this year. The Masked Dancer begins on ITV later this month.
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