Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Strictly gave me drive, says Henson

Gavin Henson and his dance partner Katya Virshilas dancing the Samba during the Strictly Come Dancing semi final show(Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)

Gavin Henson has said his Strictly Come Dancing experience had helped him regain his "energy and drive" after the rugby player was kicked off the show.

EastEnders actor Scott Maslen was also hanging up his dancing boots after the semi-final double elimination, describing the experience as possibly the best of his life.

Next week's final will now see actress Kara Tointon, Countryfile presenter Matt Baker and psychologist Pamela Stephenson compete for the glitterball trophy.

Gavin is hoping he can transfer some of his fast footwork onto the rugby field as he focuses on re-building his sporting career. The 28-year old, who had never danced before, even on a night out, said he was now having "much more fun" and had even "developed another side" of his brain.

Speaking on his way to rehearsals for the group dance, he said: "I'm a bit sad that it's over. It's taken over my life the last three months. It's been an awesome experience.

"I've outdone myself. I didn't really expect to get to the semi-finals. It was a big achievement just to get through the first week. The support I must have had out there was awesome. I couldn't believe it.

Gavin finished bottom of the leaderboard after the two semi-final shows.

On Saturday, the judges praised his efforts in a Viennese waltz with dance partner Katya Virshilas. Head judge Len Goodman said: "You've been the underdog over and over. You're my hero. You've come back strong." And Bruno Tonioli said: "Regardless what happens you should be proud."

Gavin said the six to seven hours of daily dance training was harder than his rugby regime.

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