Oti Mabuse admits she's 'horrible' at new skill as she works on Barnum show

The Strictly star is the choreographer on a new stage production

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 28: Oti Mabuse attends the Bloody Big Brunch with Will and AJ at The Ivy Tower Bridge on March 28, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Ivy Collection)
Oti Mabuse admitted she isn't much of a juggler. (Getty Images for The Ivy Collection)

Oti Mabuse has revealed she is struggling with the circus skills in her new show Barnum, admitting she's "horrible" at it.

The Strictly Come Dancing star - who welcomed a baby girl seven months ago - is choreographing the new production about circus showman PT Barnum. The show's cast has to be able to sing, dance and act, but they also need some circus skills.

As the person putting the routines together, Mabuse said she has been having some juggling training, but giggled that she's chucked a few balls around as she's tried to learn.

The dancer opened up on The One Show as she discussed the production, which will be at a theatre in Berkshire, agreeing that it was technically challenging. "The Watermill Theatre is throwing everything at this... They sing, they dance, they act, they play instruments at the same time, which is four incredible skills," she said.

"But now they are adding circus skills. So we've actually had a day or two learning how to juggle. I am horrible at it, I am absolutely horrible at it."

"I am so bad," she laughed. "I throw the balls and I'm like, 'I'm out!'"

Oti Mabuse is choreographing a new show. (BBC screengrab)
Oti Mabuse is choreographing a new show. (BBC screengrab)

Mabuse went on: "What's really really nice about the Watermill is that they have their skills, they are already mastering what they are doing. My job is to come in and kind of tell that story and Barnum... And just add to what Jonathan (director Jonathan O’Boyle) has actually created.

"And on Strictly, you know, starting from scratch, teaching you how to walk, and then you are dancing, and then you are shaking your hips on Saturday. So they are completely different. But both liberating in their own way."

The star also talked about how she is introducing her baby girl to dance - as a way of getting her to sleep.

Mabuse and her husband Marius Lepure welcomed their daughter at the end of 2023, with the baby born two months early. The dancer revealed she is putting her ballroom skills to good use by dancing her daughter to bed.

Talking about a clip she shared on social media of her dancing with her baby, she explained: "I wanted to work out and every time I put her down she wouldn’t fall asleep, she'd just look at me. So I was like, 'Right girl, let’s go, we are going to do this together!'

"And it was amazing. And now I have fun dancing with her."