Dancing on Ice props week Dan Whiston talks about celebrities and partners battling extra elements on the ice

Blackpool skate star and Dancing on Ice assistant creative director Dan Whiston
Blackpool skate star and Dancing on Ice assistant creative director Dan Whiston

The Dancing on Ice class of 2020 have been battling added elements on the rink this week as they prepare for prop week.

While the celebrities and their professional partners might have been safe from the UK storms, this week's training has seen them getting to grips with the added challenge and unpredictability of dancing and skating with a prop.

Assistant creative director Dan Whiston, who danced his way to finals with hula hoops and parasols in his time performing as a professional on the ITV star show said the added pressure was stirring up the nerves in camp.

He said: "It's a massive challenge and completely unpredictable adding a prop into the mix. We've got everything from umbrellas to shopping trollies this time round so it's a real ask for everybody.

"There is no room for average performances at this stage in the competition now so the couples are really having to ramp it up and raise the bar.

"The nerves are creeping in you can feel it on the training rink but there is some really strong partnerships and I said last week it's certainly not cut and dry.

"Joe is really coming through, Perri and Vanessa are so close to achieving a 10 but she took a really nasty fall in training this week - it just demonstrates how tough it is.

"Props week really does see everyone pushing the envelope - not just with the element but even bigger tricks as well."

Dan said at this level in the competition, the added pressure of the marks are a real driver for the couples to get more daring with the routines.

He added: "Last week we saw Maura do the headbanger, which is always interesting watch for the viewers at home - this time will be one of the male celebrities attempting it with his partner. It is a real test of the partnership and always interesting for the boy non skater to take it on because there are a lot of factors and it is a real ask and we've seen so many times before no room for error."

The Blackpool born skate star said it was sad to see Ian 'H' Watkins and Matt Evers leave in last Sunday's programme but added it would be interesting to see how the remaining couples rise to this week's challenge.

"There is a real hunger from both the celebrities and their partners now every week they get through. They are so keen to be up there on that leader board so the professionals themselves are wanting to see and do more. The marks from the judges have been very fair and varied so far and it makes it an interesting watch.

"Lets see what Sunday brings!"