Amy Dowden returns to Strictly Come Dancing amid cancer treatment: ‘It’s moments like this I need right now’

Dancer sat in on recording weeks before she shaved her head

Isobel Lewis
Monday 02 October 2023 14:19 BST
Amy Dowden takes 'hardest step' and shaves head after cancer diagnosis

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Amy Dowden has shared the emotional moment she returned to Strictly Come Dancing amid treatment for breast cancer.

The professional dancer, who joined the cast of Strictly in 2017, was forced to pull out of the competition this year after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Dowden is currently undergoing chemotherapy, and in September documented the moment she allowed her friends and family to shave her head.

On Sunday (1 October), ahead of the first results show of the series, Dowden shared that she had returned to the Strictly studio in September to watch that night’s dance being filmed. The professional dancers’ routines are pre-recorded in the weeks before the live shows kick off.

A series of photos showed the Welsh performer, who was yet to shave her head at the time, smiling and surrounded by her fellow dancers.

She was pictured embracing Dianne Buswell and Nikita Kuzmin, and smiling for a photo with Carlos Gu.

After the dance, Dowden joined her cast mates on stage, where she wore a white floor-length dress that complimented the costumes worn by the performers.

She was pictured embracing Buswell and Katya Jones on the stage and later posed with Nancy Xu and Vito Coppola.

In the caption, Dowden praised the “insane” standard of the professional dances this year, writing: “I was lucky to be able to be there for tonight’s opening number a few weeks back and all I can say is WOW! What another incredible number created by @jasongilkison.

“It’s moments like this I need right now, escaping me from my now at the moment reality and I’m so thankful to the entire @bbcstrictly for this. Hoping to [be] back with the gang real soon.”

Dowden continued: “There’s no textbook or right/wrong way to deal with your cancer journey. Everyone deals with it rightly their way.

“I’m so lucky to be surrounded by so much support which I don’t take for granted, and days like [these are] what keeps me going. I’m dreaming every night of dancing on that floor again but right now I’m my fellow pros’ proudest and biggest cheerleader.”

Coppola commented: “JUST LOVE YOU AMY! Waiting for you to come back with us. I want to Hug youuuuu.”

Buswell added: “Can’t wait for you to be back, I miss you chewing my ear off with just classic Amy chit chat.”

“YOU are our favourite!!! And we miss you with us dearly!!!!!!!!! So glad we got to spend that day with you,” Jones wrote.

Gu said: “Miss you and can’t wait to have u back and having us [a] moment of giggles.”

Episodes of Strictly will continue to air every Saturday on BBC One, with the results show following suit on Sunday evenings.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in