The shape I’m in with Strictly Come Dancing's Ian Waite

HE’S the charismatic dancer who enchanted celebrities and viewers alike over several series of Strictly Come Dancing. Now Ian Waite and fellow Strictly dancer Vincent Simone and returning to the stage to trip the light fantastic.

The shape I’m in with Strictly Come Dancing's Ian Waite

HE’S the charismatic dancer who enchanted celebrities and viewers alike over several series of Strictly Come Dancing. Now Ian Waite and fellow Strictly dancer Vincent Simone and returning to the stage to trip the light fantastic.

Their show The Ballroom Boys will begin a major tour of Ireland and the UK this spring and summer, with dates in Cork’s Everyman on June 8 and Dublin’s Helix Theatre on June 7.

“It’s very much a variety show,” he says. “It’s got a bit of everything really. We’ve known each other for about 25 years, a very long time, we used to compete against each other and we’ve always had great fun and camaraderie.

Vincent is one of the funniest people I know and so far in the shows that he’s done, he’s never had the chance to show that.

“So we’re looking forward to that side of it, telling stories about Strictly, and also there’s going to be lots of dancing in there.”

Ian, who lives in Berkshire with husband Drew Merriman and their labradoodle Ollie, has incorporated dance into fitness with fellow dancer Natalie Lowe and swimmer Mark Foster, setting up their own business, FitSteps.

“Years ago when I was living in Holland I would see fitness class going on but I knew that ballroom dancing gets you really, really fit.

“When I left Strictly it was one of my missions to create the dance programme using ballroom and that’s what we did. We have about 1,000 instructors, quite a few in Ireland. I go a few times a week, it keeps me fit if I’m not touring.”

What Shape Are You In?

I’m in better shape now. After Christmas, and then I went on holidays to the Maldives, I was 5kg heavier than normal and now I’m just about back into fitness again. I’ve pretty much stayed the same weight for the last 20 years. If I go much over I’m always a bit concerned. But I do recognise when I go on tour I get underweight. It’s just the way my body is because you’re doing two hours of dancing every night on tour.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

About six months ago I went vegan for two weeks and I actually really enjoyed it. So I decided to be flexitarian, which means occasionally I’ll eat vegan. Just to be a little bit more healthy.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Oh it has to be chocolate. I must say I get given a lot of chocolate. I can’t remember the last time I bought it, but I’ve got a cupboard full. People buy it for me for Christmas and my birthday.

What would keep you awake at night?

Where I live is very, very quiet. You can’t hear anything at night. Any sort of noise would keep me awake at night and I think if my dog wasn’t well or something like that. Recently we got our house renovated and it was supposed to take six months but it ended up taking over a year and that was very stressful.

How do you relax?

I have Ollie, my labradoodle and I take him for long walks which helps. I go to the gym occasionally and that clears my mind. I love the feeling of having a workout.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood, I’m very good friends with Craig and we’ve been we’ve been on a lot of dinner dates together and he’s just hilarious. If Gene Kelly was still alive, he was my ultimate dance god. I used to be a big fan of Tom Cruise so that would be cool. And maybe Madonna.

What is your favourite smell?

I love puppies.

What would you most like to change about your appearance?

I’m quite happy in my own skin. Being a dancer your feet take quite a battering. So maybe my feet.

When Is the last time you cried?

I watched a movie called A Dog’s Purpose. You can see the theme running through this, I love dogs. The most amazing film and I think I cried about three or four times.

What traits do you least like in others?

Dishonesty.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

Sometimes I procrastinate a lot. I actually get a lot of things done but there are certain things I procrastinate about and I really move forward on.

Do you pray?

Well I wouldn’t say I’m particularly religious but some times I’ll pray to myself, I’ll ask for some sort of help. Some sort of reformation.

What would cheer up your day?

When the sun comes out. I love the outdoors.

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