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Strictly's Motsi Mabuse reveals torture hell at hands of South African dance teachers | The Sun

STRICTLY's Motsi Mabuse has opened up about the physical and emotional abuse that she had to deal as a child with from her South African dance teachers.

The 41-year-old bravely spoke out about what she dealt with, and has said she never wants her students to go through the same thing.

Motsi, who was born in Mankwe, South Africa, started dancing when she was six-years-old and was competing by the time that she was 11.

During that time she had some awful experiences with those who taught her.

Speaking at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Motsi revealed: "Some of them [my dance teachers] were good and inspirational but some of the relationships were abusive.

"And, you know, when you speak about abuse, sometimes people tend to be like, 'Yeah, where did he hit you? How did he hit you? Show me pictures.

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"But stuff like manipulation and emotional abuse, those are kind of things you can't see.

"It's in your head, like it happens to you.

"When a teacher says to you, 'you're dancing like my dog' or something, and they repeat it quite often, there's no way of showing to people this has happened to me as a little girl.

"Some were physically abusive as well."

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Motsi, who joined Strictly's judging panel in 2019, had plans of joining her family law firm when she was younger, but found her passion when she continued dancing at university.

When she moved to Germany in 2000, things started to change.

She explained that her teachers started "building me up and trying really hard to repair all of that which was broken".

The star now owns her very own dance school, Motsi Mabuse Taunus Tanzschule, with her husband Evgenji Voznyuk.

It opened in Kelkheim-Münster, Germany, March 2017.

Motsi never wants her students to feel like how she did, and has put measures in place to ensure that.

The students have a therapist that they can see if they need to get things off their chests.

"Happy, healthy sports people is what we should be aiming for. For me, it's really not something great when I see somebody being eight-time world champion or whatever, but them not being a happy person or a healthy person," she said.

"I don't think it's worth the trophy, really, because how many times have we seen athletes just crash down and come back and then they tell their stories. It's not worth it."

Speaking about her choice to leave South Africa, Motsi told the Guardian earlier this month: "I was the first black girl in South Africa to leave the country because of ballroom dancing. The only one.

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"That was my drive. That and this nightmare I have always had of ending up on the streets.

"I don’t know where that fear comes from, but back then it kept me turning up to practise."

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