How does Alexandra Burke prepare for Strictly Come Dancing?

The Strictly 2017 celebrity reveals her and Gorka's exhausting training regime ahead of their performance on Saturday

Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez (BBC, EH)

Monday

Following my samba I got back into training more excited than ever. I didn’t get the best scores, but if something needs improving, I’m there to be told. Shirley said my energy is good, but I sometimes give too much, to the point where I forget my technique. So I was determined to nail it in the tango. On Monday Gorka runs me through the choreography and I start learning all the steps. Ideally we spend ten hours training and the foundation is set.

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Tuesday

It’s freak-out day! We have the whole dance to run through, but Gorka will make little tweaks and changes. By the end of the day we’ll have run it through in its entirety at least a couple of times, but perfecting it still feels so far off. We also often have to film our short videos on a Tuesday, so we only get half a day’s practice — I loved going back to my old school last week, though, and it’s important the viewers get to know us better.

Wednesday

Spending a whole day training now is vital, so we start rehearsing at 9am and don’t stop until 7pm — although last week we were doing It Takes Two on BBC2, so again we only got half a day. It all begins to get better midweek. The dance starts sinking in and we run it through again and again. I hate not feeling confident at this stage, and I’ll go straight home and get an early night so I’m ready for a final full day’s training. My social life has been on hold since starting the show.

Thursday

At this stage I’ve hopefully got the footwork right, so we can focus on smaller details, such as what I’m doing with my arms. Gorka makes us film ourselves and watch it back, and sometimes even makes me do the whole dance by myself, to see if I’ve got it. It’s so embarrassing!

Friday

This is the day we all get together at the studio at Elstree for rehearsals. We have our physio sessions and dress fittings, and if we’re doing a group dance we practise that. We also get to do our individual routine on the dance floor for the first time. Once I’m home I’m full of nervous energy, so I clean. Honestly, my house has never been cleaner — every corner of it is sparkling!

Saturday

My favourite day of the week! Not only do all of us celebs get to spend the day together, but we also get our amazing hair and make-up done. We get to rehearse once in the morning with the band, and then when we’re in costume we do our dress run. Then it’s SHOW TIME! Following filming (the show goes out live and then, after voting has closed, we pre-record the results show for Sunday night) and we all go to the bar for a drink. I never get home before 1am, but I still can’t sleep, so I watch the show back and enjoy everyone else’s performance and analyse my own.

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Sunday

REST! Although the pro dancers don’t even get that, as they are choreographing our next dance — God knows how they keep going. I’m exhausted, but can’t wait to start all over again… fingers crossed.