Strictly Come Dancing hopeful Layton Williams has opened up about his frustrations at constantly having to defend himself about his dancing experience, as he continues to influence his moves on the dance floor.
Theater star Layton was again on the show last weekend with professional partner Nikita Kuzmin, with a near-perfect score for his Argentine Tango.
Since starting the show, the 29-year-old has faced criticism for the dance knowledge he already knows from his 16 years in the West End, which many have said gives him an advantage.
In a new podcast, Layton said he wanted viewers to see how much he struggles with basic moves in workouts.
He said: “I know the cameras are in the room when we’re training, but I wish people could sit there and see how hard it is for me to understand the basics, especially because I don’t Niki is just holding back. .
“He’s giving me the hardest choreography. This stuff isn’t easy. And it doesn’t come to me like that, with people rolling their eyes going ‘yeah, yeah’, but I’m just working on my own. like everyone else.
“So it’s a bit frustrating to hear that, but I’m trying to think about the bigger picture of what else I can give people.”
Kathy Burke discussed the importance of representation on the show when Layton became the first male contestant to wear a skirt.
He added: “It’s so tiresome and if you loved your people who don’t have that much dancing experience, vote for them.”
Layton has performed in shows such as Billy Elliot the Musical, Hairspray, Rent, and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and has also trained in jazz, tap, and ballet.
Although he is no stranger to dance, Layton said it was difficult to adjust to Ballroom and Latin, a completely different style that he is not used to.
One of the struggles, he admits, involves not being able to turn his legs out for certain movements.
“I never meant that I could, to be fair,” he told Kathy. “I think I’ve always been a bit clanky. My hips don’t really come out. My body isn’t really ready to dance, I don’t think, but I forced it because I love it.”
Defending Layton, former 2019 finalist Karim Zeroual explained how the Strictly hopeful’s past dance experience could make the competition more difficult for him.
He said: “You get it [a dance experience row] every year.
“It is quite difficult to find someone who has not had any dance training, especially if they are an actor or a singer or a TV presenter.
“A lot of people have trained at drama school and had some sort of training.”
Karim later said: “If you’ve done something like jazz or ballet or tap or modern or whatever, sometimes you have to unlearn certain things that you’ve learned throughout your life.
“For example, Ballroom is like parallel legs, but if you’ve done ballet like I did, it’s turned out.
“It’s like untraining, so sometimes a blank canvas can be better. But of course, timing and choreography and things have advantages.”
Strictly Come Dancing: Blackpool Special broadcast Saturday at 6.40pm on BBC One.
Where There’s A Will, There’s A Wake is available on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
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