Alexandra Burke: dancing on Strictly is as good as singing with Beyoncé

The X Factor winner says her first week waltz with Gorka Marquez was an experience on par with performing with Beyonce in 2008


Despite nerves before every show like I have never experienced before, stepping on to that Strictly ballroom floor is magical. When the music begins it’s like nobody else is in the room and it’s just me and Gorka in our own little bubble.


When we danced the waltz on the first live show, it was such a perfect moment that I was completely overwhelmed afterwards. It’s a weird feeling being so completely connected to someone that everything else disappears.

The only time I have felt like that before is when I sang with Beyoncé on The X Factor final. I didn’t think anything would ever come close to that moment for me but my first dance with Gorka matched it.

But if I thought the waltz was hard to learn, we had to up our game even more last week with the paso doble. The dance has its roots in Spain and with Gorka being Spanish it is one that means a lot to him. So, just as he had helped me find my inner Zen to calm me for the waltz, he then had to bring out my inner diva to give me the confidence and fierceness for the paso!

He’s a brilliant teacher and probably one of the only people I’ve met with more energy that me — I can’t keep up with him! We trained ten hours a day for the paso and doing him proud meant everything to me.

Each week, just before we go on to perform he says, “When you step on that dance floor, don’t look at anyone. Don’t try and find your family, just focus on me.”

And that’s the only thing that gets me through. It’s a good thing that my boyfriend is used to seeing me on stage with other men — when I first met him I was kissing two guys a night in Sister Act — because I hope Gorka and I get the chance to dance many, many more!

The latest issue of RT is out now…

Cover week 41

In this week…

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  • Louis Theroux ­: “I wish a bit of heroin had accidentally touched my nose”. The documentary maker talks his new series investigating drugs, murder and sex trafficking
  • Michelle Keegan and Luke Pasqualino reveal how they survived the front line filming for the new series of Our Girl
  • “Why Doctor Foster sets an awful example for parents” – Professor Tanya Byron talks her main problem with the BBC drama
  • An Hour to Catch a Killer with Trevor McDonald – we go behind-the-scenes of ITV’s gripping new documentary
  • The best quotes ever from Only Connect’s Victoria Coren Mitchell.