SHE MAY have left Strictly Come Dancing to have a baby, but motherhood has not meant Erin Boag has hung up her dancing shoes, far from it.
In fact just seven weeks after having her son Euan by emergency caesarean, Erin was back in the sequins and fake tan.
“I had planned to have a natural birth and as a dancer I knew that I should be able to get back in shape quite quickly,” explain New Zealander Erin,
“But then I developed a condition which meant that I had to have a caesarean. But I had shows booked for seven weeks after I gave birth to Euan.”
Although she was told not to exercise for six weeks, Erin managed to keep her promise and performed.Erin Bota
“There is no better way of getting in shape than dancing.”
Erin is the dance partner of Anton du Beke, one of only two remaining professional dancers from the original Strictly line up.
The dancing partners for more than 18 years are currently on tour again with their hit show Anton and Erin: That’s Entertainment.
But Erin admits Anton was not keen to see her leave Strictly.
“He kept convincing me to delay leaving, but eventually I told him that I was leaving. I had wanted to start a family for a while and I needed to leave to concentrate on that, I think he still thought he’d convince me to stay,” says Erin, who turns 40 next month.
The pair met when Erin was 19 and had moved to the UK, via Australia. At 15, Erin travelled to Australia to watch a big competition and decided right there that she wanted to be a serious dancer. She has never looked back.
By 18 she was the New Zealand 10 Dance Amateur champion.
Erin and Anton worked their way up the amateur rankings before turning professional in 2002 and they represented England all over the world.
They were competing in China when they learnt about Strictly.
“We got a call and were asked if we wanted to be involved,” says Erin.
“We really wanted to make sure that the programme wasn’t going to make a laughing stock of ballroom dancing. We had no idea that it was going to be as huge as it was.”
Erin was on the show for ten years and partnered a range of celebrities including Rory Bremner, Julian Clary, Colin Jackson, Austin Healey and Ricky Groves.
She and Colin were runners up in 2005 and they eventually lifted the Glitter Ball trophy in the Christmas Special in 2006 after gaining a full 40 marks from the judges.
Although Erin adored Strictly she was ready to leave. “Ten years is a long time. I loved every minute but I was ready to move on and start my family.”
Erin is marred to business executive Peter O’Dowd, 50.
Euan is now nine months old and her mum is over from New Zealand to help look after him.
“Most women have to juggle work and children and I am no different.”
Anton and Erin: That’s Entertainment combines music, song and dance, and includes the sophisticated elegance of their quick step, foxtrot, tango and waltz with the showbiz razzmatazz of hits and steps from stage and screen.
They will be joined on stage by vocalist Lance Ellington, and the 25-piece London Concert Orchestra.