TV presenter Ore Oduba’s top tips to overcome ‘down’ moments – exclusive interview

Ore Oduba and wife Portia speak to OK! in exclusive interview

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Winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 with professional dancer Joanne Clifton was a highlight for Ore who loves performing. In an exclusive interview with, Ore described his love for dance, and how he has teamed up with Anchor to bring the joy of dance to care home residents this Christmas. In addition, the star talked about his own tips to maintain mental health, and the “down” times he experienced, especially over the last year.

When asked how he maintains his mental health, Ore takes a moment to think, before replying: “I actually took up tap dancing over the lockdown. I took it up and swiftly put it back down again.

“I tried learning through YouTube, and I got to a certain level and was really enjoying it in many ways until we turned the garage where I was doing it into a kitchen.

“So actually taking up another form of dance and starting to do physical workouts again, the physical side of things really drove me as I am a very routine driven person.

“So getting up, putting the workout timer on and getting it done always gets me in the right frame of mind for the day.”

Ore believes in the power of dance so much that he is supporting the Move Into Christmas campaign, which is encouraging individuals in care to get up and boogie, after new research highlighted the physical, mental and social benefits of dancing.

Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for people in later life found that 65 percent of older people see dancing as a fun and engaging way to keep fit.

The NHS agrees, saying that dancing is a great way to lose weight, maintain strong bones, improve posture and muscle strength, increase balance and coordination as well as acting as a stress reliever. The heart health of the older generation is particularly improved through dance.

As well as this, 73 percent of individuals also agree that dancing is beneficial for their mental health. And with 36 percent of the public worried that they will be lonely this Christmas, the initiative is aiming to bring people together.

“During lockdown I definitely had a few moments that were a little shaky, as I think a lot of people did. There were down times, but I think people understand that, and this is what the campaign is trying to achieve is just connect people.

“My main tip for protecting your mental health is just talking.”

As part of the campaign Ore visited a particular care home, and joined all of them in a specially choreographed dance routine, and the reaction he had from residents is something that stayed with him.

He said: “It was amazing to see everybody coming together naturally. When you have some people in a care home who don’t really have many people to care for them, but in this way everyone was equal and it was so wonderful to see.

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“I struck up a conversation with one particular lady who grew up in the middle of Glasgow, and on the surface you would think we would have nothing in common, but we did, and it was dance.”

Jane Ashcroft CBE, Chief Executive of Anchor, also commented on the campaign and the health benefits it brings.

She said: “Across our services, we see the transformative power that fitness activities like dancing have on our residents’ well being and sense of fulfilment. It’s through their love of dance that Move Into Christmas was created.

“Regardless of previous dancing experience, or any mobility challenges for some in later life, many of our residents across the country are embracing the opportunity to dance.

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“Throughout the festive period and colder months, dancing provides a fun and accessible way to keep up good fitness habits. We’d love everyone to join us and show us their own festive dance routine.”

NHS guidelines on exercise for adults aged 19 to 64 state that individuals should do some type of physical activity every day. This can massively help in reducing the likelihood of heart disease or stroke.

Specifically, this should involve 150 minutes of moderate intensity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity a week, spreading exercise equally over four to five days.

Examples of moderate intensity activities include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Riding a bike
  • Dancing
  • Doubles tennis
  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • Hiking
  • Rollerblading.

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