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The Lowe-Down

Posted on November 3, 2014


In her first column for Dance Today, which featured in the September issue of the magazine, Strictly Come Dancing pro and FitSteps co-founder Natalie Lowe shares her health, beauty and fitness tips – and, of course, all the latest from behind the scenes on Strictly 

main-picture-of-natalieA very warm and welcome hello from me. I’m writing my first column whilst taking my summer holiday in Croatia. I’m having a great, relaxing time – just what I need before the craziness of Strictly begins!

I’m very excited to be writing for Dance Today throughout my time on this year’s Strictly. From now until December, I’ll be sharing fun-filled informative tips and advice on what helps me in my day-to-day activities as a pro dancer on the biggest dance show on television.

So here we have it, Strictly season is about to begin! It’s the best way to beat the cold, snuggling up on those cosy Saturday evenings with your families, friends or your husbands (who say they’re not REALLY into it but deep down love it just as much as you do!).

I can feel all your brains ticking over right up until you hear the da-da-da-da-da-da-daaaa opening title tune. Who’s going to be wearing what? How nasty is Craig going to be? Who’s going to make us laugh the most? Which celeb is partnering which pro or who will end up in that dreaded red spotlight and have to dance for their place in the competition?

What a recipe for disaaaaahster! Or should I say for the perfect programme?

Just so you know, I am also thinking ALL of these things too! Right down to the last minute. It’s the unknowns of live TV that keep us all on our toes (pardon the pun) and hungry to do well.

You just never know what to expect; I say, “Expect the unexpected,” so nothing comes as a huge shock. You have to trust that you have done all you can in training and pray it all goes to plan on the night. I think that’s the most exciting thing about Strictly: we work endless hours all week to produce the best one and a half minute routine. When you think about it, it’s absolutely crazy what goes into it: the production team, rehearsal time, travel, wardrobe, hair, make-up, camera blocking, dress rehearsals and the list goes on.

It astounds me, and it’s that feeling of not wanting to let down any of these departments that keeps me going. They are all putting their hearts and souls into my 90-second choreographed routine and allowing myself and my partner to shine in the best possible light. It’s an awesome experience week on week – a rollercoaster ride of never-ending exciting adventure and challenges. This can decide how close you get to holding up the ever-so-magical, sought-after glitterball!

Something you may not know about me…

I am a fully qualified beauty therapist/aesthetician and make-up artist and studied deportment for many years in between my schooling and dance training. 

natalie-image-for-columnI’m very grateful for the things I’ve learned along the way. This industry has taught me a lot about the importance of how to keep a good image, how to look after your appearance and how to present yourself in the best possible light. 

I have worked and set up three leading day spas in Sydney, training and managing many therapists in everything to do with beauty, skin, cosmetics, body and make-up for over 15 years.

Over the next few months I’m going to help, advise and share my many years of experience and knowledge about how to keep up your routines in health, beauty and dance, so here we have a few easy tips to get you started… 

First, very important: getting the Strictly glow! On the show we all have a professional tan every Thursday (another little SCD fact for you)! I probably top that up during the week myself. Here are my three tips for getting the perfect tan each time:

1 Dry body brushing! I do this every day religiously – it’s great prep for tanning and there are endless benefits for your legs too.

2) If you’re planning to tan in the evening, slather on a nice thick layer of your richest moisturiser in the morning.  When you get home that night, apply the tanning product.  The more you keep your skin hydrated, the longer your tan is going to last – simple as that!

3) Don’t shave before you tan: lightly shave the day after once the tan has developed.

All that glitters 

DSI London will be supplying all the Strictly dresses on the show and for the tours this year. This is always a highlight of my experience as their dresses are AMAZING!web strictly behind the scenes pic

Everything in moderation…

Apples, bananas and berries are amazing in moderation. I eat four pieces of fruit along with lots of leafy dark green salads and bright veggies to keep my body functioning during times of lengthy rehearsals! Avoid lots of caffeine – just keep to one cup a day. 

trainersTraining shoes to work out in…

Strength, core and cardio are imperative for peak performances. Pilates, yoga, abs work, kettle bells and interval training will improve your overall body condition, balance and strength. The new Adidas shoes, Boost, are amazing to get the best out of training for competitions – the perfect cardio and running shoe. I’m using these on my fitness holiday – I love them!   

Here’s my quote of the month to help you stay focused on your goals:

  • Train like an athlete
  • Eat like a nutritionist,
  • Sleep like a baby,
  • Win like a champion! 

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

Photographs: Natalie Lowe



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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