CBBC presenter Rhys and his professional partner Nancy have both been rays of sunshine since the start of this year’s series of Strictly, bouncing off one another with their joyful energy and enthusiasm for the competition.
One of their most memorable routines came in week three, when they performed their Couple’s Choice Movie Week dance as Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which earned them a 10 and three nines from the judges.
While speaking to Metro.co.uk, Rhys looked back on how excited he was to work with the choreographer of the routine, who was fortunately a huge fan of Spider-Man and made sure the moves in the dance emulated Miles’ version of the superhero, rather than Peter Parker, as the characters have different powers and mannerisms.
The dance ended up being a huge success, with Rhys receiving messages from parents whose kids watch it all the time and hearing about one boy who replays it every day before and after school.
However, on the Monday at the start of the week leading up to the live show, Nancy injured her ankle while performing a jump in the routine, with Rhys telling Nancy that she ‘pulled through just like Gwen would have done’.
Nancy explained that she ‘really wanted to challenge herself’ doing the street commercial routine, as it’s a type of dance that she ‘loves’.
‘I was ready to go full out and then somehow an accident happened when we were jumping. I still didn’t figure out how I was landing,’ she said, as she imitated how her ankle twisted at the time.
Rhys outlined how he was standing the other way after their jump when he heard Nancy scream.
‘I turned around, “What?! What?!” I went to the floor, but I’ve got no medical training, so I was like, “I don’t know what to do!”’ he recollected.
‘I was like: “Should I get an ice pack?” And she went, “Yep!” So I just ran and grabbed the ice pack, it was just a scary moment. But she pulled through.’
Nancy said that as the ankle still twists every now and then, she and Rhys ‘talk to it now’, saying to her ankle: ‘Thank you so much. I’m really grateful you’re behaving good today.’
‘She’s a very dramatic ankle,’ Rhys added.
Rhys was ‘blown away’ when he received a message from Brian Michael Bendis, one of the co-creators of Miles, about their Spider-Man dance, adding that while he thinks he would be too old to play the teenage Marvel character in live action – as some people have suggested – perhaps he could if there was a time jump.
Last week, he and Nancy made a triumphant return to Strictly after previously being in the dance off, with their next dance being the fast-moving Quickstep.
Rhys said that being in the bottom two ‘knocked me more than I cared to admit that it did’, which at times resulted in him appearing ‘negative’ while training with Nancy.
However, he’s since worked on how to process his feelings if he’s ‘upset’, stating: ‘I’ve just learnt a lot about myself on Strictly, my strengths as well as my weaknesses, and I think that’s really important.’
Strictly Come Dancing returns tonight at 6.45pm on BBC One.
Original article published here.