Inside Strictly’s pro dancer bubble from ‘girlie sleepovers’ to boys’ PlayStation contests

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As Strictly Come Dancing fans start to count down the days until the BBC show returns to our screens, the professional dancers are getting ready to form a bubble.

The 18-strong line-up, including newcomers Kai Widdrington, Jowita Przystal, Cameron Lombard and NikitaKuzmin, will be heading to a hotel to quarantine for a month so that they can rehearse and record all the group numbers that are set to wow us this series.

And returning pro dancer Amy Dowden has exclusively opened up to OK! about what life is really like in the pro bubble, including how the girls enjoy pamper nights, as the boys get competitive on their games consoles.

Speaking ahead of moving in with her Strictly co-stars Amy, 31, told us: “Honestly, I can’t wait to be back with everyone, filming the pro dances like we do is like being in the best summer camp imaginable!”

Amy, who danced with JJ Chalmers last series, continued: “We just have so much fun together.”

“I woke up this morning to Oti [Mabuse] calling me. I was like, ‘I’m not even awake yet!” but we’re just all so excited to get back together.”

While their days are spent perfecting the choreographed routines and preparing their bodies for the “gruelling” upcoming series, Amy says it’s a completely different atmosphere in the evening.

She explained: “The girls will often have sleepovers, proper girlie time together.”

“The boys will be down the other end of the hall playing on their PlayStations – all you’ll hear from time to time is loads of screaming from them!”

While her Strictly co-stars Gorka Marquez and Karen Hauer also like to put the rest of the group through their paces from time to time.

Amy continued: “Gorka always takes his work out equipment to train and Karen helps us by taking us through her stretching routine. It’s lovely, it really is.”

The show favourite adds: “I absolutely love it. I dread the day that I wouldn't be a part of it, honestly, it scares me just thinking about that.”

Meanwhile, Amy says that the BBC show is much more to her than just a job, as it’s helped her through some of her darkest times.

In her brand new BBC documentary, Strictly Amy: Crohn’s and Me, which airs next Friday, Amy opens up about her experience of living with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic condition that means she struggles to digest food.

She tells us: “For me, it’s a big inspiration to keep me dancing, it’s what I always work towards.”

“I had this dream of being on Strictly – if you told me when I was 19 years old and hospitalised for six weeks that I was going to go on to become a British champion and be on Strictly, I don’t think I would have believed you.”

She concludes: “It’s been my saviour. Dancing is where I take away all my worries.”

For more Strictly Come Dancing news, sign up to OK! newsletters here. Strictly Amy: Crohn’s and Me airs Friday 27th August at 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

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