Strictly’s Amy Dowden shares ‘hardest step’ of cancer journey

Amy Dowden has shared “the hardest step” of her cancer journey with fans as she shaved her head.

The Welsh dancer, who has competed on Strictly Come Dancing since 2017, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

Dowden, 33, has been documenting the journey for her fans, and recently described in a candid video how she “cries every day” as her hair falls out due to treatment.

On Thursday (21 September), with Dowden over halfway through her chemotherapy, the dancer made the brave decision to “take control” and shave her head.

In a montage shared on Instagram, Dowden was shown dabbing at her eyes while her “loved ones” cut off chunks of her hair down to a short, cropped style.

The remaining hair was then shaved off, with the Strictly star growing more emotional and pausing to cover her face with her hands. However, she was in the end shown admiring the end results in the m

“This too shall pass,” Dowden wrote, before describing the haircut as “the hardest step so far”.

“I tried my best to save it. I know it’s only hair but these past few months I’ve had what feels like so much taken away from me that has made me not feel like Amy. I’m missing every possible aspect of dancing. I just wanted to keep my identity with my hair and I tried telling myself it wouldn’t go. But I would dread the pain of waking up to the shredding everyday.”

She continued: “I’ve not been able to take control of this journey so far, but as you can see with some of my loved ones I took the courage and CONTROL.

“It’s going to take some time to get use to and learn to love and embrace but, I’m now focusing – not on the hair I’m losing but the hair I’m going to get back and the happy dancing, tea lover who talks way to fast whilst rolling every rrrrr who is still there inside with or without hair!”

Dowden said that she could now “see the finish line” after shaving her head, explaining: “This for me was a hurdle I couldn’t even bring myself to think or speak about. I’ve done it and I’ve also crossed the halfway chemo line! I’m feeling empowered and positive!”

Dowden has taken fans along with her during her cancer treatment (Amy Dowden/Instagram)
Dowden has taken fans along with her during her cancer treatment (Amy Dowden/Instagram)

Dowden’s fellow Strictly pro Dianne Buswell commented: You are still all the things you were before, just with added courage, strength and determination. One thing about you is that you don’t let anything take over!

“I cannot wait to have you back on the dancefloor with us chatting away, making endless cups of tea! We all love you so much and I’m such a proud friend.”

Due to her treatment, Dowden has not been given a professional partner during this series of Strictly Come Dancing.

However, the team paid tribute to Dowden during Saturday (16 September) night’s launch show. Host Tess Daly called Dowden their “Welsh dragon” and explained that she would be missing “the start of the series”.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday 23 September at 6.15pm on BBC One.