Fiona Wade has adored ballet ever since she was a little girl, so when she was asked to take part in ITV's new show Dance, Dance, Dance, it was a dream come true. "I started dancing as a young child and have always loved it," the Emmerdale star told HELLO!. "I used to be in West End shows but I haven't danced properly for 18 years. It took a backseat when my acting and singing took over so it's been a while."
Fiona, who has appeared in Emmerdale as businesswoman Priya Kotecha since 2011, continued: "Juggling dance training with filming hasn't been easy. I knew it would be a challenge but I loved doing both. It was definitely exhausting at times but I've loved the challenge of learning to dance again."
Each week the show, hosted by Alesha Dixon and Will Best, sees celebrities recreate iconic video and dance movie sequences. "It's a celebration of dance," the 37-year-old enthused to HELLO!. "Being trained by amazing choreographers and learning famous routines performed by the world's biggest artists was such a fantastic experience."
Fiona is one of five celebrities competing in the show – Jonny Labey, JB Gill, Lucy-Jo Hudson and Jess Wright are also taking part. The opening show saw her perform Rihanna's Umbrella with her choreographer partner Ronnie V Del, as well as the aptly-titled Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing. Had she felt apprehensive about the famous lift?
"Oh my goodness this is such an amazing dance to recreate but yes the lift is not easy. It's so iconic there's no way around it. You just have to go for it," the star said.
It's pretty much her mantra for life. "I'm very ambitious, and I always think of the future. I think success is what you want it to be," she added. "The last five years have honestly been the best years ever. I feel so blessed to work in Emmerdale. It changed my life."
Credits: Photographer Rosie Hardy, Art Director Laura Graham, Stylist Kelvin Barron, Hair and makeup Carla Bates. Picture copyright: www.vitalpublicity.co.uk