Erin Boag

Erin Boag: Dancing With The Stars

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Erin Boag can’t wait to perform back on tour. She chats to Ting Dalton about her new show and life in Surrey

Looking at Erin Boag, it’s hard to believe that the dancer has been on the professional circuit since she was 18 – and with her dance partner Anton du Beke for over 22 years. She hasn’t aged one bit. But even though the 44-year old left BBC1’s primetime show, Strictly Come Dancing after being on 10 series back in 2014, she still adores performing in front of crowds.

“When I’m on stage, absolutely nothing else matters. It’s a total rush of adrenaline,” says Erin.

“When you walk out on to a stage and there are all these people there to see you perform, it’s really special. They are enjoying what you’re doing and I’m loving doing what I’m doing to make them happy!”

Erin and Anton’s new tour, Dance Those Magical Movies, is all about the glitz and glamour of Hollywood with music from blockbuster hits including The Greatest Showman, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Moulin Rouge! It’s now their 12th tour together. With stunning production values, a 23-piece concert orchestra as well as a dance ensemble, Erin admits that each year it is becoming harder to better the one before.

“The music is very different this time around, but there is something for everyone,” Erin explains. “It’s a huge challenge, though, every year the show has to be different. And we really push ourselves. It’s physically and mentally exhausting. And it doesn’t matter how fit I am! In fact, the fitter I am, the harder I train.

“There’s also never a dull moment being around Anton. We’ve been together for so long, it’s actually like a marriage. There are some days where I know we’ve spent far too much time together!”

While Anton is still competing in Strictly, does Erin who left the show to have her son Ewan, get the urge to return?

“When I retired, I did it because I wanted to start a family,” explains Erin, whose celebrity partners included Julian Clary, Colin Jackson and Richard Arnold. “Strictly takes up a huge chunk of your life, and as a professional you get sent to where your partner is based. I can’t do that as a mum and I wouldn’t want to. But, there is one thing I really miss – and that’s the wonderful friendship you strike up with your partner.

“You spend so much time with them and you become very close. It’s funny because in the end, you’re not just their dance partner. You become their friend. You become a guide. You become a counsellor.”

Erin, who lives in Surbiton with husband Peter and son Ewan, has her own dance classes and it’s her infectious enthusiasm that sees her class at Hollyfield School packed out on Monday nights.

“I teach complete beginners. You don’t have to book, you don’t need a partner, just turn up!” she smiles. “I love teaching so much. And this class is all about social dancing – no competition – just learning to dance and having fun. And that’s exactly what we do.”

So with her new tour, dance classes and event work, surely she doesn’t have time for other new projects?

“Well, actually yes!” Erin laughs. “I’m so excited about this, I’m going to be working with DSI London who make all the costumes for Strictly and lead a behind-the-scenes tour. They’re based in Croydon and the work they do is just phenomenal. Because everybody wants to know how these amazing outfits are made – from where they come from, how they’re cut to actually trying on the dresses, I think it’s going to be really popular.”

Having lived in Surrey since she moved to the UK from New Zealand via Australia back in 1996, does she have any favourite spots in the local area?
“We always go to Bushy Park, it’s a real local gem. And we also love the river walk from Surbiton into Kingston,” Erin reveals. “And there’s this little cafe called Ginger Bees – which is my absolute favourite. They seriously do the best toasted sandwiches in there. You have to try them!”

You can see Erin and Anton in Dance Those Magical Movies at G-Live, Guildford on 1 February and 27 February at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls.