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Strictly’s Joanne Clifton reveals brother Kevin’s competitive streak – Fashionstyle Nigeria

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Sixty Seconds Joanne Clifton

Sixty Seconds Joanne Clifton

It turns out Joanne and Kevin were taught to dance by Strictly judge Shirley Ballas (Picture: Can Nguyen/REX/fashionstyle.ng)

Ex-Strictly dancer Joanne Clifton, 38, on .ing Morticia Addams, managing arthritis and brother Kevin partnering Stacey Dooley.

How are you?

I’m back touring The Addams Family and I’m knackered but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m .ing Morticia, who’s the opposite of me, so it’s quite a challenge but I love that.

After so long not performing or rehearsing due to lockdowns, I’m now back working six days a week, with loads of dancing… I’m absolutely exhausted.

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What did you do during the lockdowns?

I was doing Burn The Floor with my brother [ex-Strictly dancer Kevin Clifton] but it got cancelled. We then put on an Evening With Kevin & Joanne Clifton and managed five shows but then the second lockdown happened.

I did a six-person version of Pippin, the musical, in a beer garden, then I went back to dancing and was teaching on Zoom.

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And you’re doing lessons on Goldster for the over fifties…

Yes, I live by the fact that dancing keeps you young. My nan couldn’t walk down the street without stopping every five steps to get her breath back. But when you got her in a dance school, she would be absolutely fine, doing the cha-chacha at 83 years old.

It’s so important for people to keep moving as they get older…

Oh yes. Even from my own experience — I have osteoarthritis and the more I keep myself moving, the better it is. As soon as I stop and just sit, the worse my knees are.

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Joanne Clifton attends The Olivier Awards 2019.

Joanne Clifton attends The Olivier Awards 2019.

She kept busy over lockdown (Picture: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

When are you at your happiest, teaching or performing?

I have a podcast called She’s Just A Dancer and, weirdly, the last episode we did was all about how I gave up the dancing world.

After Strictly I said, ‘That’s it, I’m just doing musicals on stage,’ but then I started teaching again during lockdown and really enjoyed it.

Dancing is in.nt to you, your parents had a dance school…

Yes, I think Kevin and I came out samba-ing and shimmying when we were born! When grandma and grandad couldn’t babysit us when we were little, we had to go along to their dance school. Kevin, who’s one year older, started joining in and I’d copy him.

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Kevin Clifton 'This Morning' TV show, London, UK - 29 Jun 2021 Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by S Meddle/ITV/REX/Shutterstock (12177268cb)

Kevin Clifton 'This Morning' TV show, London, UK - 29 Jun 2021 Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by S Meddle/ITV/REX/Shutterstock (12177268cb)

Joanne revealed Kevin used to have ‘tantrums’ after competitions (Picture: S Meddle/ITV/REX/fashionstyle.ng)

Are you and your brother very competitive?

When we were younger he was more competitive and throwing tantrums in the car on the way home from a competition. But we stopped dancing together at about 14 because doing a rumba with my brother was gross.

Kev did Latin American dancing while I did ballroom so we didn’t have to compete against each other. Then the first time we competed after that was in Strictly. And I beat him!

How did he feel about that?

My parents told everybody to vote for Oti Mabuse and Danny Mac because they couldn’t deal with it if one of us won and the other didn’t.

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The first thing I said was ‘sorry, Kev’, but he took me by the shoulders and said, ‘T.’s no one in this room who deserves it more than you and Ore [Oduba].’

Do you stay in touch with the celebrities you’ve danced with?

Oh, absolutely. When I got Morticia, Scott Mills and I were texting because I was Morticia in our Halloween week and got knocked out on it. He said, ‘I knew t. was a reason for doing that number.’ I’m good friends with Ore and his wife, Portia.

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A lot of dancers get together. Is it easier being with someone in the industry?

Before I met my boyfriend AJ — not Pritchard but Jenks — I said to myself, I’m not going to go out with anyone from the industry. But you can’t help what happens. I went to see AJ in the Buddy Holly musical and he asked me out for a drink. I was convinced it wasn’t going to work but we’ve been together nearly two years now.

Did you think Kevin and Stacey Dooley would get together?

They are very suited when you see them together. They aren’t big party people, they love a night in on the settee watching programmes about home improvement.

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How do you think Anton Du Beke’s getting on as a judge?

Anton is a ballroom boy through and through. He’s got a bit of Len vibe about him and he knows what it’s like for the pros too.

Shirley Ballas 'This Morning' TV show, London, UK - 14 Oct 2021 Actor Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock (12537189ai)

Shirley Ballas 'This Morning' TV show, London, UK - 14 Oct 2021 Actor Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock (12537189ai)

Shirley taught Kevin and Joanne how to dance as children (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/fashionstyle.ng)

Did Shirley Ballas teach you dancing?

Yes, Kev and I had lessons with her when we used to dance together as kids. Shirley danced at the same time as my mum and dad, they all knew each other.

Do you have to be careful with how much dancing you do due to your arthritis?

It’s not how much I do, it’s the kind of steps. I have to do a health declaration form when I do a show and then if any move twinges my knees, I work with the choreographers and adjust the steps.

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theaddamsfamily.co.uk; Joanne teaches dance on Goldster, a platform created to inspire over-fifties to lead a more active life, goldster.co.uk


MORE : Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas ‘set to tie the knot again as boyfriend Danny Taylor buys engagement ring’

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MORE : Craig Revel Horwood hopes Anton Du Beke will stay on as Strictly Come Dancing judge: ‘Long may it continue’


MORE : Strictly Come Dancing 2021: AJ Odudu details extent of ‘ligament damage’ foot injury as she uses crutches ahead of final

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