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The Lowe-Down

Posted on November 3, 2014


In the October issue of Dance Today, Strictly Come Dancing pro Natalie Lowe shares her health, beauty and fitness tips, as well as all-important titbits from the rehearsal studios

nat and timWell, rehearsals have kicked off and choreography is in full force. I’m currently sitting in my hotel room writing this month’s “Lowe-Down” after my first day back at rehearsals with my Strictly family and WOW what a day it’s been!

Today was the start of a two-and-a-half week schedule where we prepare all of the pro routines, making sure they are in tip-top shape before we meet our new celebs for 2014.

Rehearsal days are always so exciting when we have head choreographers such as Jason Gilkison, Bill Deamer (Top Hat), Mandy Moore and many more smashing out fast and furious routines. This really is one of the highlights of the whole Strictly experience for me:
getting together with the best in their field, learning new genres and expanding our skills far and beyond the familiarity of our ballroom and Latin world.

This year was the first time they released the confirmed line-up prior to the launch show, which I thought was a great way to inject excitement into the lead-up to the launch. I thought this was also an added bonus for us, allowing us a little more insight into who our 01c natalie and timpotential partners might be.

So now you all know, from the launch show, who we are all paired with this year and I’m absolutely over the moon with my gorgeous partner Tim Wonnacott. I have to admit the second I met this truly distinguished gentleman I knew he would be my perfect match. Charming, funny, charismatic, what more could one ask for… but can he dance?!

Well, this is something you are going to have to wait and find out. However, what I will let you in on is we are starting off with a cheeky Latin dance followed by a gorgeous elegant ballroom number that will have you transported back to the traditional era of ballroom dancing.

Muscle medicine

Now let’s get to it… with all of the rehearsing, tomorrow I know I’m going to be feeling sore and heavy, so tonight I’ll stick to the following steps to help repair and recover my muscles:

1) Have an Epsom salt bath.

2) Rub my body down with arnica and/or magnesium oil.

3) Roll out muscles with a foam roller and stretch.

4) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – coconut water is brilliant for this. 

5) Get an early night so my body can have ample time to start repairing itself…

Strictly fact

Every Monday morning all the pros must attend a compulsory rehearsal at Elstree Studios to block out the pro number on the Strictly floor for the following Saturday.

 My pantry must-haves during my time on Strictly 

  • Fitness Guru protein powder/barsweb fitness-noodles
  • Fitness Guru calorie-free noodles
  • Greek yoghurt
  • A variety of nuts
  • Fruit – bananas, apples, berries
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Plenty of fish and meat
  • Veggies, veggies and more veggies

To sustain energy levels, include good fats, carbs and protein in every meal. The best advice I was ever given, to help curb sugar cravings and to improve hair, skin, nails and energy, was to incorporate a small amount of good fats – such as nuts, avocado, smoked salmon and olive oil – in all my main meals. Olives are great to snack on as they are low in calories. Try making an olive tapenade to eat with salad, rice cakes and so on.

I would also highly recommend Fitness Guru. I use their products while in rehearsals and before/after a really tough gym session and it really speeds up recovery. They have great flavours too: my personal favourites are the calorie-free glass noodles, peanut butter and coconut oil. They have a massive range of products (you can see what they have available at 

What’s new with FitSteps? 

web-06-fitstepsThe ONLY downside to Strictly season is that I have to take a back seat in one of my other businesses – FitSteps. As some of you will know, FitSteps is a dance exercise programme that uses ballroom and Latin steps in a fitness class. I know that my FitSteps team, including Ian Waite and Mark Foster, are holding the reins for me though, and instructor training days, where you can come and train to be a FitSteps coach, will continue to take place across the UK. You can see the dates and find out more about FitSteps at


Here’s something to keep in mind on the dancefloor (and off it!) this month!

 “Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of yours.”

For the latest instalment of Natalie’s monthly column, “The Lowe-Down”, see the November issue of Dance Today

Photographs (from top): BBC/Natalie Lowe/Fitness Guru/FitSteps  

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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