Kevin Clifton felt worthless and considered quitting dance over one less standing ovation

Strictly: Kevin Clifton discusses watching show as a fan

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Kevin Clifton has said that being away from the spotlight over the last year, amid the closure of theatres due to the coronavirus pandemic, has made him reevaluate his own self worth. The professional dancer, who found fame on Strictly Come Dancing, admitted that in the past he needed to be applauded to feel good about himself.

The 38-year-old made his admission during a chat with Sam Adams on his Born Entertainer podcast.

Kevin said that his theatre co-stars were aware of his need to be praised and dubbed him Tinkerbell.

The fictional character, a fairy who appeared in the play Peter Pan, was famously brought back to life when children clapped.

“My life has been, ‘Am I getting claps?’ since I was a kid. Are people clapping me?” he said.

“If they are, everything’s great, if they’re not everything’s bad. And that’s been my life until now,” Kevin explained.

He went on to recall a moment on stage which left him feeling flat and “worthless”.

Despite getting three standing ovations following an appearance in a production, Kevin was disappointed in himself for not doing better.

The dissatisfaction left him questioning his career and wondering if he should quit dancing.

“This actually happened, we got four standing ovations, the next night we did another great show and we got three standing ovations, and I went, ‘I want to give up dancing’.

“Because the night before we got four. And this night we only got three.

“So my ridiculous brain went, ‘I’ve lost it. I’m obviously not as good as I was last night, I’m obviously losing it. I’m obviously past my best. I don’t want to do this anymore’. And I felt worthless.

“I got three standing ovations and I felt worthless,” he added.

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Thankfully, Kevin went on to say that after a break in performing, he no longer relied on that outside appreciation.

The performer said lockdown had given him the time and space away to get to know himself and trust his own judgement.

Instead of being on stage, Kevin spent lockdown with his girlfriend and former Strictly partner Stacey Dooley.

The couple, who won the 2018 series together, moved into a new house last summer.

Kevin announced he was quitting Strictly at the start of 2020 after seven years on the BBC show to focus on his theatre work.

He had previously starred in Dirty Dancing and Rock of Ages and was a principal dancer for the Burn The Floor Dance Company.

Unfortunately the pandemic meant that all theatres were forced to close in order to stop the spread of the virus and are only now beginning to re-open up again.

The dancer is set to star in a West End production of Singin’ In The Rain later this year.

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