Strictly Come Dancing star talks ‘uncomfortable’ issue as she addresses leaving show

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Former Strictly Come Dancing star Camilla Sacre-Dallerup, 46, was a part of the professional line-up on the BBC show from 2004 to 2008 and won her last series with Holby City actor Tom Chambers. In her most recent interview, the dancer referred to herself as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) – a term used to describe someone who has heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds and other stimuli, which was coined by psychologist Elaine Aron.

Camilla, who now works as a life coach and author, credited a lifestyle change and prioritising sleep to help overcome the “anxious” feelings she faced in the early days of her career.

On leaving Strictly Come Dancing, she said: “I needed to find a life for myself where I could be comfortable.

“Now I’m self-employed and that works for me because I can put in boundaries and schedule in some meditation, a hike or go to the ocean if that’s what I need to be OK.

“When the show was over on a Saturday night, I wouldn’t go out and party with the others – I had to go home and get my sleep.”

She added it was as if the concept of the show had left her with no energy, which also prompted her to feel stressed.

“I can only explain it as a kind of anxious feeling in the body where you think ‘I’m not okay here. I’ve got to take myself away from this, this doesn’t feel good’.

“I would just push through and that’s when I burnt myself out completely,” she continued.

The dancer has credited sleep to help her cope with the problem.

She continued to The Mirror: “I always knew that sleep was vital but I never knew it was important because I was an HSP.”

Camilla now ensures she gets at least eight hours sleep at night, which she says is “absolutely non-negotiable”.

“If I don’t get my eight hours, I don’t feel good mentally or physically,” she added.

Reflecting on the days where she had a more hectic schedule, the dancer said she began to “feel uncomfortable” when things became “loud”, whether this was on a night out with friends or at other social events.

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The ex Strictly star added she felt as though she was “that boring friend” at the time, but now enjoys catch up with friends in more natural settings.

After leaving the BBC show, Camilla released her own self-help books titled Strictly Inspirational and Reinvent Me, in a bid to help others overcome stress.

On how she deals with stress, she told the Daily Mail: “I’ll find a place – it could be in a parked car or a changing room – and close my eyes.

“I never need more than 20 minutes and afterwards I find I’m so much more productive. It’s quiet time to reset. Some people take a walk, I nap.”

During her time on Strictly, Camilla danced with the likes of Gethin Jones, James Martin and David Dickinson.

She won the show with Tom Chambers in 2008.

After hanging up her dancing shoes, she became a contestant on the ninth series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in 2009.

In 2014, she won an episode of Pointless Celebrities on BBC One.

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