Strictly’s Rhys Stephenson admits he almost put Nancy ‘through the ceiling’ during first lift

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Rhys Stephenson has hilariously admitted that he almost put his Strictly Come Dancing dance partner, Nancy Xu, "through the ceiling" soon after meeting.

The 27 year old is currently starring on the hit BBC dancing show, wowing the judges with his performances with 29 year old Nancy.

But things haven't always gone to plan, with the CBBC host almost causing Nancy an injury as they embraced for a hug.

Speaking exclusively to OK!, Rhys said: "I went to lift her while hugging her and lifted her so quickly and with so much strength that she nearly went through the ceiling!

"I hadn't realised how light she was! Nancy was like, 'Your lifts are going to be great'."

Nancy added: "A lift is not about how strong you are, it's about the timing, and when Rhys hugged me like that – it was perfect timing!"

Rhys continued to joke: "She says it was a hug but it was more of a Heimlich manoeuvre."


The pair are getting on famously, with Rhys saying his co-star is "brilliant."

"I can’t see us falling out," he explained. "The only thing that I predicted was me being hard on myself and having a temper tantrum, because I wanted to get something right."

So You Think You Can Dance finalist Nancy continued: "I am very hard in practice but I am a nice person really."

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Rhys added: "She warned me not to be put off by her face. She said it might look a bit hard but it’s not personal, it’s just her 'resting training face'.

"So I had to be careful not to look at her and think that she hated me. That was just her being intense."

Nancy is just as happy with the pairing, saying: "He's my first celebrity partner and, having seen what he could do, I felt so lucky."

Rhys finished: "We both have a lot of energy – Claudia Winkleman knew she wouldn't get a word in edgeways when she interviewed us.

"If they took mine and Nancy's energy, they could power a few countries with that."

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