📷 : BBC
Starting dance at a young age, Chloe Hewitt soon met her dance partner AJ Pritchard and with their continued partnership saw them enter Britain’s Got Talent in 2013 where they received great reviews from the judges. For the past few years, Chloe could be seen on the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing where she got to perform with Gethin Jones and Radzi Chinyanganya in the Christmas Special and Children in Need before leaving the show earlier this year. Chloe is currently preparing for the Here Come The Girls tour which she’ll be starring in alongside fellow Strictly professionals Amy Dowden and Dianne Buswell, due to start in Spring. Meeting up with Chloe for a chat, she tells us about getting into dance, her Strictly Come Dancing experience and the Here Come The Girls tour.
When did you get into ballroom dancing?
I was seven, I went to a birthday party at Pritchards’ Dance and Fitness Academy, my mum saw an advert for kids classes on a Saturday so I went with four of my friends, and that was how it all kind of came about. I was more of an energetic kid, I started ballet when I was three and that didn’t last very long, I just didn’t want to listen to anyone and I wanted to just run around, so Mum was just like, it’s embarrassing, so she took me out of it!
What dance do you enjoy the most?
I would say Cha-Cha is probably my favourite, just because it was the very first dance that I ever got taught, I think that always kind of holds a little bit inside of me. It’s also very cheeky, very flamboyant and it’s very sassy and I feel that suits my personality, I find that the easiest dance to get into and just be myself in.
Do you have a favourite dance outfit you’ve worn?
I think I was about fifteen, it was a pale pink satin ballroom dress, I literally felt like a princess, it was the most amazing day of my life. It was covered in stones and down the back of the skirt it had different shades of pink stones as flames, it was like my princess dress. I was sponsored and when I had to give it back it broke my heart, I wanted to keep it, I was like, Mum please, it can be like my ten Christmas presents!
How was your experience on Britain’s Got Talent with AJ Pritchard?
Oh my gosh that seems like a decade ago, I was seventeen, it was a massive experience, we learnt a lot from it and it was amazing. Me and AJ are very different in some ways, I’m usually quite the confident one and AJ is the one who analyses everything, he wants to know exactly what he’s doing, I’m a bit more kind of free for all, our roles switched that day, I was bricking it, I was so nervous and AJ was just chilled, cool as a cucumber, he wasn’t even phased by any of it, and I was petrified!
When was your last professional dance competition?
It would have been May 2016 because that’s how Strictly found us at our World Championships, they came to us and said they would like us to be part of the show and that was our last competition. We actually weren’t professional at that point we were still amateur but we had to turn professional for the show, we’d never actually competed as professionals.
How often do you attend Pritchards’ Dance and Fitness Academy?
At least once a week because I have my classes there. AJ’s mum is a fitness instructor and she does pilates and other classes so I attend them as much as I can as well.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of teaching?
I love teaching, what I love about it is my babies, my kids who I teach, I don’t really teach adults as much, it’s seeing them having fun and to have that kind of sense of achievement on their faces. I think that kids nowadays don’t feel like they achieve, there’s so much pressure on them to be amazing at what they do, and sometimes it’s not necessarily what the kids want, a lot of it can sometimes be what the parents want and I think that’s a real shame. So for me, when I see the kids just enjoy it for what it is, there’s no pressure, most of my kids are around ten years old so they don’t need pressure in their life, they just want to have fun and meet friends along the way and just have a laugh, if I’ve allowed them to do that then that’s a massive achievement for me.
Would you like to have your own dance studio in the future?
I would eventually, I’ve had so many people ask me to do it already and for me it’s just not the right time. I’ve not ticked off everything that I want to do in life yet and obviously opening a dance school is a massive thing, it would be something that I would have to put my heart and soul into and dedicate my whole time to and at the moment I can’t do that. It would certainly be something that I would love to eventually have in the future.
You filmed for CBBC’s Got What It Takes? teaching the contestants, what was it like?
That was fun actually, it was done in half a day. I relate back to when I was talking about teaching my kids, these kids had obviously never danced before in their whole entire life, some got very frustrated and some just loved the music and the movement of it. I love doing those types of kids TV shows, so I was trying to embrace every moment of it, I loved it. It’s nice to see that they’re doing shows like that, that allow kids to learn and embrace what they may not know they could be good at, not every kid knows what they want to do in life so I think it’s nice for them to try things and just see what they really love to do.
What will you miss most about Strictly Come Dancing?
Ooooh gosh, I will just miss everyone, and as much as people say, oh it’s so cliché, it is a family, it really is, but for me that family will be forever. I still keep in contact with everyone, I still have that, so as much as I may be out of the show, I still feel very much a part of it. It was a massive two years of my life so I’ll never ever forget those two years, I will miss everyone in general and the Saturday nights were always great, everyone was so nervous but excited at the same time, so I’ll miss the Saturdays as well. It will be very weird watching it from the TV, but I’m intrigued to watch it from the TV because I’ve watched it from the studio for so long that actually it will be nice to sit at home and see it all come together with no stress hahaha!
How was it partnering Gethin Jones and Radzi Chinyanganya on the Christmas special and Children in Need?
It was good actually, it was nice because I had never experienced that side of it before. My first one was Gethin with the Christmas special, he’s still a very dear friend of mine and I still keep in contact with him a lot, the bonus with him is he’d already danced before and I’d only got two weeks with him to put everything together so he made my life very very easy hahaha. He’s such a laugh, he’s such a great guy, he’s someone that if I ever need help with anything he’s always someone I could go to, he works with It Takes Two as well so I worked a lot with him in the second year too. Radzi was a gem, I loved Radzi, he was so sweet, again someone that I stay in contact with, he’s helped me a lot as well. It’s weird because you meet people along the way and they become your closest friends.
Would you consider doing another show like Strictly?
I would, of course I would. I think that I’ve not actually been able to experience the full-time aspect of it, so for me that feels like I’ve not accomplished that as such yet. So of course, if one came about and it fitted in with my life at the right time then of course I wouldn’t turn it down.
Can you tell us about the Here Come The Girls tour?
Yes, I’m super excited about this! As soon as I knew the girls who were going to do it, I was like, yes it’s going to be amazing, we’re going to have so much fun! It’s about bringing girls together and just doing a whole kind of girl power tour, it’s going to be really refreshing. I think for an audience perspective as well we will bring a bit more of a different flare, it’s a completely different tour and I’m super excited I can’t wait!
How did the idea of the show come about?
A producer of a company pitched the idea to me and said, there’s not been an all-girl tour so we would really like to embrace that, it’s very much woman power at the moment and we would like to ride that wave while it’s there. I jumped at the opportunity because I think it’s a really important subject to talk about, we just want women to feel great about themselves, and I think this show will hopefully put women on that radar again.
What are you most looking forward to for touring with Amy Dowden and Dianne Buswell?
The three of us are very different, we have very different personalities. Amy likes to know exactly what she’s doing, she’s very organised, she loves everything to be laid out on the table and it’s all got to be perfect, Dianne on the other hand is crazy as a box of frogs, and that’s why I love her, I don’t know how she gets by in her day at all but she does! It’s going to be so much fun and I can just imagine the laughs we’re going to have, so that was another reason why I did it, just from the girls who were signed up for it, I know it’s going to be amazing so I can’t wait.
Do you know when rehearsals will start?
We have already starting planning and we start rehearsals mid February, we have ten days to put it together before our first show in March. So yeah it’s where all the craziness starts hahaha!
Have you done anything like this previously?
Not like this, I’ve toured before, I done the Strictly tour for two years but it’s very different, this tour has been completely put into our hands which I think is a very powerful thing and allows us to do what we want, obviously it has to be passed but we don’t have a production company who’s scripting it for us. It’s a lot of pressure but it’s also a massive thing which I think is going to be great for all of us to learn as well. The Strictly tour is not as long, it’s only about six weeks, whereas this is a bit longer, so it could be stressful, but I think once we’ve got the first couple of shows out of the way and the nerves have gone, and things aren’t messing up haha and everything is going smoothly, then it will just be an amazing ride. I’m excited to see what touring is about because Dianne has toured for many years, she knows it like the back of her hand which I think is good, but me and Amy haven’t, so I think we’ll learn a lot along the way which is going to be good for the future as well. It’s going to be something that either I love or I don’t like, it could be something that I love to be a part of but touring life’s just not for me, but I won’t know that until I try it, so that’s what I’m excited about.
Apart from the tour next year, is there anywhere else people can see you perform?
I’m in talks with It Takes Two so I could be making a big old return which will be really fun because I love that show, and I’m in talks with a few other projects so watch this space!
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