Belfast Telegraph

Saffron Barker reveals the toll Strictly training has taken on her body

The internet personality also told of her dread ahead of the first elimination this weekend.

Saffron Barker reveals the toll Strictly training has taken on her body (Ian West/PA)
Saffron Barker reveals the toll Strictly training has taken on her body (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

YouTube star Saffron Barker has said that her feet are “ruined” from the hours of training for Strictly Come Dancing.

The internet star has also told of how she has been forced to spend the past week rehearsing for the show despite being unwell with a high temperature and other flu-like symptoms.

Barker, 19, is partnered with professional dancer AJ Pritchard in the BBC One show, and on Saturday night they took to the dancefloor for the second time with a cha cha which earned them 23 points.

Until you get used to the amount of training you have to do, mentally and physically, you do feel a bit under the weather AJ Pritchard

Of having to prepare for the cha cha while feeling ill, she said: “It has been tough, but I’ve been getting through it.

“I mean, if I wasn’t dancing I would be lying in bed and probably crying right now. But I’ve been getting on with it, and AJ has been very patient.”

Barker said she “looked rough and felt rough” on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and was sneezing, coughing and “completely lost my voice” before starting to improve.

She added: “Because I had a temperature as well I would get hot like, really really quickly, so that was probably the hardest thing when we were rehearsing.”

Pritchard said it is normal for the celebrity contestants to feel under the weather when starting their Strictly journey.

“When you’re training 10, 12 hours a day and you’re travelling back and forth, doing something you’ve never done before and the adrenaline’s so high, you keep going but then when you have a switch off, like a Sunday, your body just crashes a little bit,” he said.

“And until you get used to the amount of training you have to do, mentally and physically, you do feel a bit under the weather.

“But it’s good to get ill now because we’ve got it out the way.”

As well as feeling run-down with a cold, Barker said that her body has taken a hit in other ways thanks to the hours of dance training.

She said: “I definitely ache in parts that I’ve never ached in before.

“I’m using muscles that I’ve never used, and my feet are ruined to be honest.

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Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard (Guy Levy/BBC)

“They have got cuts absolutely everywhere. I had to have a foot doctor come down to sort my feet out because they were so bad.”

She said that she has had to bandage her entire foot up during rehearsals, and that “it looks ridiculous”.

Pritchard added: “You’re a true dancer when you’ve got blisters on every part of the foot!”

However, despite her physical complaints, Barker insisted that she “had to get on with it” and push through, because she struggled with the cha cha as a dance routine.

Ahead of the first celebrity being eliminated from the series on Sunday, she said: “It’s sad to see anyone go and of course I don’t want to go home.

“I never want this to end, and I don’t want to see anybody else go either.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One.

PA

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