Strictly star Layton Williams breaks silence on trained dancer backlash

Strictly Come Dancing star Layton Williams has broken his silence over claims he has an unfair advantage in the competition.

Fans would recognise the star for his extensive work on the West End in shows such as Billy Elliott the musical, Hairspray, Rent, and Everybody's Talking About Jamie. He recently made his dancing debut on the long-running BBC primetime dancing show.

However, the star has been plagued with claims that he has an unfair advantage over other celeb names in the show because of his previous dancing and choreography experience whilst on the stage. But when he was welcomed onto Tuesday's edition of ITV's Lorraine (26 September), he was forced to address the claims head on.

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After making his debut on the West End, he studied street dance and drama at Carol Godby's Theatre workshop in Bury. He then went onto practise ballet at Centre Pointe in Manchester.

He was then awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School where he stayed until 2008, before going onto attend the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. Lorraine Kelly couldn't help but press the actor and singer on his experience prior to competing in the popular ballroom competition.

He replied: "No, it's a completely different vibe and people don't realise that, and clearly the comments from the judges, they explained that. The technicalities are very different to what I've known before and I have a lot to work on clearly still."

His pro partner Nikita Kuzmin also chimed in as he further explained how the specific ballroom and technique is more complicated than people realise, even for trained West End performers. "And the thing is right now we are training in ballroom as well which is completely new and especially like it's two bodies moving together," he explained.

The professional dancer added: "It's something that you clearly have never done. We even try this to do chairs together. He can take a turn by himself." Layton also added that, in fact, he has an extra challenge as he is forced to break habits he learned as a dancer in order to succeed in the competition.

Layton exclaimed that his partner is tough on him in training: "I have my comfort things. I'm like 'can I just do a couple spins?' He's like, 'No, no, no, no!', we have something to work towards." He added: "It's amazing when somebody actually gives you a critique and you can go away."

Meanwhile, the pair revealed that the dance and even the track they are undertaking in this week's upcoming live show as they will be performing the Quickstep to the famous track Puttin' On the Ritz. Reacting to the news, Layton joked: "It's obviously quick but this one decided to speed it up and I don't know why!"

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV

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