Jamelia struggles to master technical Strictly routines
Pop star and presenter Jamelia admits she is struggling to master the technical aspects of her Strictly Come Dancing routines.
"None of the dancing comes naturally to me," she said during a rehearsal break for the popular BBC One ballroom series.
"I thought I'd have a little advantage; I'm Jamaican and I thought all of this rhythm would be good on the dance floor, but it's so much more than that. There's a real technique and art to it that you have to learn."
However, she is proud of the effect her Strictly presence is having on daughters Teja and Tiani: "I let my girls come to rehearsal and they were like, 'Oh, gosh mummy! You're dancing, you're actually dancing!'
"It's great for them to see women of colour doing something like that. Not just for my daughters, but for other people's children too. I've had lovely tweets from people saying that I've inspired their little girls to do ballroom dancing and it's something that brings tears to my eyes.
"Regardless of the scores, there are people out there rooting for me. I've worked harder this week and I hope it shows."
The 34-year-old has been immersed in the world of Strictly for several weeks now. T he speed with which she is learning her steps has improved, but she underestimated just how much work would be involved.
"I definitely didn't think Strictly would be as hard as this," the Birmingham-born star said. "I thought I'd come, learn a little dance and carry on, but it has completely taken over my life, and in a good way.
"At first, it was a bit of a shell-shock because I thought 'how do I do this? I'm doing Loose Women, I'm also doing other little bits and bobs and I've got two children. It is all a bit of a juggling act.
"The rehearsal that is required to get to the level I'm currently at on the dance floor, which clearly hasn't impressed the judges as yet, it's huge. It's such a commitment. But I do feel that I've found the balance and adjusted to the workload."
Jamelia's first dance was a waltz to Aretha Franklin classic Do Right Woman, Do Right Man but last week she ended up in the dance-off following a nervy cha cha cha to Pussycat Doll hit Don't Cha.
The judges voted in her favour so former athlete Iwan Thomas became the first celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing 2015.
Despite that hiccup, Jamelia is feeling positive about her salsa for this third week's movie-themed show.
"I'm excited and positive," she stated. "I'm doing Charlie's Angels. I loved the movie because they were brave and funny and kind of like superheroes. It's good to embody the role of a woman in that way."
Whatever happens this week, the TV star is having a ball on Strictly. "Whenever the word celebrity is mixed in, you do worry that it will be big egos and everyone fighting, but it's nothing like that here. It is such a lovely environment and one of my favourite things is the camaraderie between the contestants," she said.
"We've discovered that it's very important for us to support each other. Everybody's had highs and everybody's had lows and it might sound cheesy, and definitely not what tabloids want to hear, but when we see other people performing, whether or not the judges are impressed, they get hugs and congratulations from everyone. It's a great group of people."
Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday October 10 at 6.20pm on BBC One