Former Strictly Come Dancing pro Gleb Savchenko felt ‘stressed every single week’ while competing with Anita Rani
Posted by  badge Boss on Oct 08
He wishes they could’ve had more fun, instead of sticking to a strict training regime (Picture: BBC/Getty)

Former pro Gleb Savchenko has reflected on his time on the BBC dance show, saying he felt ‘stressed every single week’ during his stint as a pro.

Gleb, 39, joined the glitzy programme as a professional partner in 2015 and

The couple reached the semi finals and finished in fifth place, with Gleb announcing the following year that he would not be returning to Strictly.

Despite only starring on the show for one series, it left a lasting impression on him, but wishes he was able to have ‘more fun’ with his celeb partner looking back.

Gleb believes that, despite being constantly ‘stressed out,’ the show provided a learning curve for him as a professional dancer and made him realise the importance of not having a gruelling schedule.

In a new interview with , he recalled: ‘I remember when I danced with Anita Rani, I was stressed out every single week. This is the hardest thing, you know when you’ve been given the music and you try to come up with a creative and an idea.’

Gleb appeared on Strictly for one season before joining Dancing With The Stars in the US (Picture: Kevin Mazur/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)

The dancer, and has appeared in each series since, added that pros have ‘teams helping you out with music choices and creative stuff,’ but choreography is down to the pros alone.

‘With the choreography, you have to come up with everything yourself and you want to do something that will push your celebrity, not break her back or something like that. But at the same time you don’t want to be like, “Oh ok, whatever, step to the side, tap, step to the side, tap.” You want to always push yourselves.

‘So, when I did Strictly I was stressed out with Anita all the time and if you asked her she would be like, “Listen, we worked super hard but we did not have a lot of fun”.’

The Russian pro and TV presenter Anita Rani finished in fifth place, reaching the semi final (Picture: BBC/Guy Levy)

He said his schedule with Anita was starting to train at 9am each day before finishing at 6pm, with a one hour lunch break.

‘I remember we were so exhausted at some points but I was like, “No, we have to do it”,’ he added, noting that Anita’s performances did improve as the progressed through the competition, but she was already ‘killing it’ in week one.

‘If I look back at it, I should’ve given her a little break, I should’ve had a little bit more fun. We should’ve done something differently. Now with more experience, I take it easy.’

Gleb was recently paired with Spice Girl Mel C on DWTS (Picture: ABC)
Having starred on DWTS for 11 seasons, Gleb has also danced with Chrishell Stause (Picture: ABC)

Gleb, who is now in his 10th series as a competitor of DWTS, recently made history as part of the show’s first all-male partnership on the US show, alongside Drag Race star Shangela. 

However, he wouldn’t rule out a return to the Strictly ballroom, with the show now in its 20th series.

He would ‘love’ to return to the show as a guest judge, suggesting the panel ‘mix it up a little bit,’ adding that he’s close friends with Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas actually used to be his teacher.

Russian dancer Gleb left Strictly because his daughter was starting school and he needed to be based in Los Angeles and, while he has ‘a lot of fun’ doing DWTS, he’s always open to a new opportunity.

Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturday and Sunday on BBC One.