Daily Mail

STRICTLY NAT­U­RAL

Why dancer Oti now loves show­ing off her real hair

- By Eleanor Sharples TV and Ra­dio Re­porter

SHE has no prob­lem show­ing off her siz­zling hip ac­tion and fancy foot­work to mil­lions on the dance­floor.

But Strictly Come Danc­ing pro­fes­sional Oti Mabuse has ad­mit­ted that it was not un­til re­cently that she felt com­fort­able enough with her im­age to re­veal her real hair to the pub­lic.

South African Miss Mabuse, 30, posted a pic­ture of her nat­u­ral look on In­sta­gram dur­ing lock­down.

Speak­ing to Red mag­a­zine about the de­ci­sion, the dancer, usu­ally seen in wigs and hair­pieces, said: ‘There were so many peo­ple say­ing they’d never seen my real hair, as I had never wanted to show that side of my­self be­fore.

‘It was re­ally only close friends and the Strictly pros who had seen me like this. It was a thing, you know?

‘ You need to feel com­fort­able open­ing up about what you look like, be­fore you de­cide whether or not you want to share that with other peo­ple.’ Miss Mabuse, who won last year’s com­pe­ti­tion with for­mer Em­merdale ac­tor Kelvin Fletcher, is cur­rently spend­ing two weeks with the other pro­fes­sion­als at a Buck­ing­hamshire ho­tel. There, they are iso­lat­ing and prac­tis­ing their group rou­tines for the BBC1 show.

Strictly, which nor­mally runs from Septem­ber, is ex­pected to be­gin a pared-down nine-week run in late Oc­to­ber. Miss Mabuse, who joined the pro­gramme in 2015, also spoke of the re­cent Black Lives Mat­ter protests across the world.

‘Be­ing the first black South African wo­man to do things in my in­dus­try has been an as­set,’ she told the mag­a­zine. ‘I have so many opin­ions about [racism], but they’re per­sonal.

‘I don’t feel I can rep­re­sent ev­ery­one be­cause peo­ple have dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences. What’s great is that now we feel em­pow­ered to share how we feel.’

■ Read the full in­ter­view with Oti Mabuse in the Oc­to­ber is­sue of Red, on sale to­day.

‘You need to feel com­fort­able’

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 ??  ?? In a wig: Oti Mabuse on Strictly. Right: The dancer’s nat­u­ral look
In a wig: Oti Mabuse on Strictly. Right: The dancer’s nat­u­ral look

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