Dancing Takes Heather's Breath Away

From the Daily Star - By Sofia Zagzoule

Strictly Come Dancing’s Heather Small says her show nerves are so severe she fears they’ll spark an asthma attack.

The M People singer says she shakes uncontrollably before getting on stage and even struggles to control her nerves in rehearsals. 

She said: Nerves debilitate me to such an extent that I have had to turn things down in the past. 

Sometimes when we dance I'll be out of breath. And thats why I can't get too nervous  because of my asthma. 

My legs start doing involuntary twitches and shaking its a lot of pressure. 

Heather, a self-confessed health freak, follows a gruelling exercise regime of 90-minute workouts every day because shes terrified her asthma will hold her back. 

She added: I'm so healthy because I am asthmatic. I was a sickly child so I know what it is to miss days off school or at the studio. 

If the day comes when I can't run for a bus I won't be happy. 

Heather, 43, also claims the girls on the show are getting too much criticism from the judges this year. 

She said: The judges were a bit too harsh and they've been very hard on the ladies this time round. 

When you see other females upset it makes you upset.

Jessie [Wallace] is a very sweet girl and so seeing her in tears was horrible for everyone. To be honest, I am not sure what the judges want of me. One of them actually said I smile too much. 

I was trying to remember not to smile too much in the dance-off as that was clearly annoying somebody. 

Heather's dance partner Brian Fortuna says hes been forced to crack the whip to hold her attention because she does everything but dance during training sessions. 

He said: When we first started we were having toilet breaks every five minutes, a phone break every 15 minutes, a water break every five minutes.

But for the first time this week we went a couple of hours without stopping at all. Even though I got dirty looks throughout the whole thing. 

Heather admitted: Now I am dancing for treats, fruit mainly.