Strictly's Shirley Ballas says Amy Dowden is "hoping to dance by the Christmas shows"

shirley ballas
Strictly's Shirley says Amy aiming for Xmas returnMike Marsland/WireImage - Getty Images

Strictly Come Dancing hero Amy Dowden might be back in the ballroom this Christmas.

Diagnosed with breast cancer six months ago, the professional choreographer was forced to step away from the BBC competition this series in order to complete her chemotherapy.

Speaking to The Independent, head judge Shirley Ballas lauded Dowden's decision to appear wigless in a recent episode, sharing: "I talk to Amy about once a week – she's one of the most powerful, strong ladies that I know.

amy dowden, pride of britain
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Related: Strictly's Amy Dowden celebrates ringing chemo bell in new breast cancer update

"She wanted to share with the nation – with any small children, anybody going through the same as her – and say, 'Look, I'm on national television, this is what I'm dealing with. And it's OK.'

"[Dowden is] hoping to dance by the Christmas shows – and I wouldn't be surprised if she does, you know, God willing," Ballas revealed.

"This show doesn't leave anybody behind. When you're on board, they're very protective. If you choose to leave, then that's your choice. But whilst you're under this umbrella, they're always very, very aware of what situations you're going through or what's going on in your life."

shirley ballas, june 2023
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Just this week, the Welsh native confirmed she'd "rang that chemo bell" after months of hospitalisations.

"These past few months I look back and think how did my body get through this both physically and mentally," Dowden wrote on Instagram.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One, while spin-off Strictly: It Takes Two airs on weeknights on BBC Two. Both shows are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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