Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Rachel is Maria for Strictly salsa

Rachel Riley is a contestant in this year's Strictly Come Dancing

Rachel Riley has created a sexy alter-ego for herself in a bid to master the salsa on Strictly Come Dancing.

The Countdown star has been answering only to the name Maria as she and professional partner Pasha Kovalev ready themselves for this week's show.

The 27-year-old said trying to tackle a more sensual performance was not a natural fit for her so she needed to step outside her normal self.

The numbers whiz is in sixth place after her first dance last week when she tackled a waltz for her live debut on the BBC1 show.

She said: "This week we are dancing the salsa with is three million times faster than the waltz - there is a lot more room for things to go wrong.

"Salsa is a really sexy dance, it is a sexy song - which isn't natural for me - I need to take myself out of Rachel and create a whole new character for the night."

Kovalev has been calling her Maria to make her loosen up and feel more in a Latin mood for the dance. Riley is also considering having her fringed mini-dress shortened to make her feel even racier.

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