Lauren Steadman, has narrowly missed out on getting to the final of Strictly Come Dancing. Our previous sports scholar, World Champion Paratriathlete and Silver medal Paralympian went out last night in a well fought dance off. With competition hotting up for the glitterball trophy, the dancers performed two dances, a Tango and a Salsa. Lauren found herself at the bottom of the leaderboard with a combined score of 54 for her two performances. Lauren scored of 31 for her Tango and 23 for her salsa. Ashley and Pasha, were top of the leaderboard but found themselves in the dance off with AJ and Lauren. She chose to perform her tango again, but the judges chose to save Ashley and Pasha at the end of the dance off.
Lauren, who trained for the two dances within our facilities in Spinnaker Sports Centre, and attacked each dance they performed. It was great to see Lauren’s journey from strong Paralympian to strong dancer. Coming off the back of winning Gold in the ITU World Championships in Australia she jumped straight into the competition. 12 weeks of ups, downs, progression and learning Lauren glided through dances and into the semi-final. Over the 12 weeks Lauren and AJ trained in studio 2 where they could practice uninterrupted and a familiar environment. Lauren has inspired so many people during her time in the competition, proving that anything is possible. AJ’s choreography worked beautifully with many of the lifts and dances needing to be slightly adapted.
Lauren had this to say when asked by host Tess Daly “I have absolutely loved my Strictly journey and it has been so much more than anyone ever tells you it’s going to be and that you thought it would be. Down to the smallest things. I mean outfits, hair, makeup, this man [AJ], the judges, all the choreographers. It’s just, I can’t tell you just how magical it is.”
AJ then had this to say about their experience: “Lauren has been fantastic. Honestly at the beginning of the series I couldn’t have expected to make the semi-final which was just beautiful but honestly I’m so proud of you as a person. You have changed so many people’s opinions and it has always been about ability not disability. You have attacked everything, you have always been stubborn, you have always been, ‘I will be able to get this lift’ even though it’s not going to work but we’ll get there somehow by Friday and Saturday. But for me honestly it’s been a fantastic journey and you’ve done yourself proud.”
Lauren went on to say: “I think it goes without saying that for you AJ everybody can think you’re an amazing dancer and sometimes you’re a bit hard on the outside but you’re so squishy and marshmallow like on the inside. I’ve got a lot of resilience and determination but I’ve never met somebody quite like you, as a pair I didn’t think we would be partnered and I’m so grateful I got you as a partner, words can’t explain how much I appreciate it.”
Lauren may be out of the competition but her dancing will not end there. Lauren will be going on tour with fellow Strictly Come Dancing celebrities. Excited about the next stage of her dancing experience, Lauren had this to say: “This whole experience has been life changing and I’m beyond excited to now dance in some of the country’s biggest arenas and meet all the fans who have supported us.” Lauren will continue with her paratriathlon training in preparation for the next season. If you want to see Lauren dance in the Strictly Come Dancing tour you can buy tickets here.