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Michael Vaughan: Waltz was a laugh but jive is hard

Relax, Michael

Next weekend is the first time the public will be able to vote so cross your fingers for me.

Betfair Ambassador Michael Vaughan made a solid start to his Strictly Come Dancing career on Friday night. Here, he takes a break from his training to talk jive, fellow contestants and why he's just got to relax...

Was Friday night the most nervous I've felt since I hung up my bat? Well, it was certainly daunting and I had to remind myself that I'm in Strictly Come Dancing for fun, so I might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

It was a good laugh, that waltz, but I don't mind admitting that it was hard. The judges told me to relax but that's easier said than done when you've only had a fortnight to prepare. How would they like to get their pads on, get in the nets and... I'll stop there.

The standard of dancing this year is very high. It never looked this tough on the TV, did it? There are plenty of strong contestants - Louis is getting better and better, Kimberley and Denise are consistently impressive. Lisa has made a good start and she could definitely be one to watch.

But let's not forget, many of my rivals have a head-start because they all went to stage school (as far as I know). Yorkshire cricket academies are first rate but they don't teach you much about dancing.

Next weekend is the first time the public will be able to vote so cross your fingers for me. Long term, I reckon viewers will warm to a performer who improves as the contest goes on. Of course, I'll be trying my best to be that person but I reckon Sid has got as good a chance as any. He's a top lad and could go far.

It's early days and all speculation though, so I better get back to training: we're working on the jive for next Saturday. If you thought the waltz looked hard, this new one is ridiculously difficult. I'll try to relax. And enjoy it.

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