Strictly’s Annabel Croft brands rehearsals a ‘terrifying rollercoaster ride’

Annabel Croft says ‘competitive’ side will come out on Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 contestant Annabel Croft has lifted the lid on her demanding rehearsals, which have left her feeling like she’s “on a roller coaster”.

The sports broadcaster, who was the youngest British tennis player to compete at Wimbledon for almost a century at the age of 15, has revealed she is finding the Strictly experience “terrifying but exhilarating”.

Ahead of her debut on the BBC show in two weeks’ time, Annabel spoke to and other outlets about her “fast-paced” journey so far.

“It’s a bit like a roller coaster ride,” she admitted. “I mean, it’s like just being thrown onto a roller coaster and just taking off and trying to keep up.

“I said to Krishnan [Guru-Murthy], it was a bit like if I was trying to give a tennis lesson very quickly.

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Continuing with the analogy, she explained: “I’d be saying, ‘Well, this is how you hold the racket and there’s a forehand and a backhand and a volley and a smash and a drop shot.

“‘Give it all in one go and now go out and play a match,’” she quipped, before adding: “Oh my goodness. It’s a bit terrifying… But exhilarating.”

Annabel went on to reveal that head movement was proving the most difficult for her, as she was still trying to get the hang of the demanding steps for her upcoming routine.

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“I think face and head is the last thing, because we’re so concentrated on the steps and you’re kind of playing catch up with the steps all the time,” she said.

“It’s quite fast-paced. Everything is quite rapid, so it’s quite scary.

“But the last thing is the head, so I think the most important thing is just to not think too much and then smile and try to just let the body go, but that’s going to be quite a process.”

Aside from Annabel, this year’s Strictly line-up includes Layton Williams, Nigel Harman, Jody Cundy, Ellie Leach, Nikita Kanda, Angela Rippon and Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Bobby Brazier.

Les Dennis, Annabel Croft, Amanda Abbington, Adam Thomas, Zara McDermott, Angela Scanlon and Eddie Kadire are all also taking part.

The first live show for Strictly Come Dancing looks set to air on Saturday, September 23 on BBC One.

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