Strictlys Oti Mabuse details parents being against her dream to become dancer

Strictly: Oti Mabuse discusses her future on the show

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Oti Mabuse found fame when she joined the BBC competition Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 and became a household name for the show. Her time on the series saw many successes along the way, with two consecutive wins with actor Kelvin Fletcher and comedian Bill Bailey. However, Oti revealed although dancing had always been her passion, her parents weren’t as supportive of her dreams at first after her older sister Motsi Mabuse had pursued the same career.

Speaking to Lauren Laverne on her Desert Island Discs show, Oti revealed dancing wasn’t her parents’ first choice as a career for their daughter.

Oti admitted: “I wasn’t really good at school, I didn’t apply to go to university at all actually, I thought this isn’t what I want to do.

“I want to dance, and my mum and sister were like, ‘No, you need to go to school because if this dancing thing doesn’t work out, then you need a backup’.

“So she took my school report without telling me, she applied for university without telling me, but then my mum was like, ‘If you don’t how are you going to make a living because you aren’t going to live under my roof for very long.’

“I very quickly fell in love with the idea of maths and building something from scratch and problem solving and going to a field with one tree and sand and building a community there.

“Building something for people who couldn’t afford anything.”

Touching on what her parents thought when she revealed she wanted to dance for a living and quit her full-time job, she exclaimed they were “against it”.

“They were against it, absolutely against it they thought it was the worst decision ever.

“I really wasn’t happy because being an engineer meant I couldn’t dance at all, and I wasn’t ready to give it up at that point.

“To retire at 20 when I started dancing at four, it didn’t sit right with my soul, and my heart and my mum kept saying, ‘Quit if you’re not happy find another job’.

“I told them I can’t live my life unhappy, I am only 21 this can’t be it, I want more out of life, and I need more.

“My dad was like, ‘What is the plan?’ and I said, ‘I saved up some money, and I am going to dance and move to Germany,” she revealed.

After going against her parents’ advice and deciding to pursue her career in dancing, Oti went on to lift the Glitterball Trophy two years in a row and won The Greatest Dancer two years running also.

However, last month she devastated fans after announcing she was stepping away from Strictly Come Dancing.

In a statement released on her Instagram page, she wrote: “Never easy to say goodbye, I have been part of the most amazing TV show, Strictly Come Dancing, for the past seven years, and it has been an incredible time.

“Lifting the glitter ball twice and having the best journey with all my celebrities, but also meeting and working with the best team, crew, producers, celebs and incredible professional dancers!

“You are my family, and I adore you all forever. Thank you @sarahjamesface @jack.will.g and @jasongilkison for truly believing in me.

“I’m honestly so grateful to The BBC and will always remember that Strictly and BBC brought me to the UK – which I now call home, and I have learnt and grown so much, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“I can’t put into words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series.

“Dance will always be my first love and to everyone, my family especially, friends, strictly fans and judges who have been my support throughout my Strictly journey, thank you for being incredible!

“You are irreplaceable in my heart and have made every day unforgettable! I love you, I will always Keeeep Dancing! and I will never forget my amazing Strictly experience!”

Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year on BBC One.

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