Strictly Come Dancing's Ote Mabuse returns to Blackpool

Strictly Come Dancing double winner Oti Mabuse is on her way back to Blackpool.

By Simon Drury
Monday, 21st March 2022, 1:42 pm
Updated Monday, 21st March 2022, 1:43 pm

The South African born Latin American and ballroom dancer was crowned Strictly winner in 2019 with the soap actor Kelvin Fletcher and lifted back-to-back titles the following year with the comedian and actor Bill Bailey.

Mabuse returns to Blackpool in May with her very own headline dance show ‘I Am Here’ at Blackpool’s Opera House.

She said: “I’ve so many incredible memories of Blackpool, I love the people and the town, - Blackpool will always hold a special place in my heart.

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“Lifting the glitterball twice and having the greatest journey of my life with Strictly Come Dancing was a truly amazing experience.”

Oti was just eleven when made her first visit to Blackpool to compete in a junior international dance festival.

“The waves were crashing against the promenade and it was dark at 4pm, so different to my home country of South Africa,” she said.

“However, when I stepped into that stunning Blackpool ballroom, my world came alive.

“The shiny wooden dancefloor, the ornate balconies, the incredible murals - it was like nothing I’d ever seen before - but it was the best feeling.”

Over the past year, she has taken a seat on the judging panel of BBC One’s The Greatest Dancer, ITV’s The Masker Singer and Dancing on Ice.

“Crucially, there has to be a chemistry between the two dancers, something that is unexplainable and untouchable.

“That can be love, passion or friendship because those emotions spark so much.

“The whole point of Strictly Come Dancing is that it is the one place where anything seems possible and that’s what we love about it.

“We had the lovely Rose Ayling-Ellis come on as the first person with a disability to win the crown and Bill (Bailey) was the oldest winner of Strictly.

“Believe me, magic really does happen on Strictly.”

Her new BBC radio show, Oti Mabuse’s Dancing Legends, explores the people who have changed the course of dance, including Fred Astaire.

Oti Mabuse, who announced her decision to leave Strictly earlier this year, is at Blackpool Opera House, May 21.