Darcey Bussell is getting ready to swap celebrity ballroom battles for a crop of young hip-hop hopefuls this year.
The Strictly judge and ballet legend will be part of a team of presenters for BBC2’s Young Dancer 2015, a new talent competition searching for exceptional dancers aged 16 – 20.
The show will air later this year and allows hopefuls to compete in four styles: hip-hop, ballet, contemporary and South Asian.
Bussell admits that hip-hop is not her forte. “I’ve tried to do some hip-hop and it’s so difficult and an extraordinary strength and ability,” she says. “You need so many things to be able to do hip-hop.”
The talent show will consist of four BBC4 programmes featuring highlights from the finals in each category, culminating in a live final at Sadler’s Wells that will air on BBC2.
Despite opportunities like Young Dancer, the 45-year-old former ballet dancer thinks that being a professional dancer isn’t getting any easier. “Dance is definitely getting harder, dancers have to be more and more diverse,” she says. “They have to be open and that is harder for everybody to step out of their comfort zone.”
Bussell explains that as a youngster her own performance in competitions was far from the polished primetime personality we see now. “I was awful,” she says. “I think even one was televised once actually but it was done in Le Sain so it was probably a European competition that didn’t air in England, which was probably quite lucky!”
BBC Young Dancer 2015 will air on BBC2 in May.