The former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer, who left the BBC show last month, was set to become a civil engineer before following her heart and pursuing her dancing dreams
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Oti Mabuse says she left her parents disappointed when she left an engineering career to become a professional dancer.
The 31-year-old is best known for her Glitterball trophy-winning turns on Strictly Come Dancing – and more recently as a judge on rival show Dancing On Ice.
But it would have been very different for Oti if she had embarked on her original career path with a degree in civil engineering.
Instead, Oti turned her back on a future of math and problem-solving, opting instead to pursue her dream of becoming a dancer so she could move and twist instead – much to her parents’ concern.
On Desert Island Discs, Oti said: “[My parents] were against it, absolutely against it.
“They said it’s the worst decision ever. But I really, really wasn’t happy because being a full-time engineer meant I couldn’t dance.”
But Oti said she has to listen to her heart – and that this dance is the only future she can see herself happy in.
She continued, “I didn’t feel like I was ready to give that up at that point … it just didn’t sit with my soul and with my heart.”
Oti, who is from South Africa, said she quickly realized she didn’t like her initial career after graduating.
She said she remembered thinking, “I can’t do this, I can’t live my life unhappily… It can’t be this. This can’t be the trip I chose. I want more out of life.”
However, the engineers’ loss turned into the dance world’s gain – and Oti starred on big hit shows like Strictly, The Greatest Dancer and Let’s Dance.
However, Strictly fans were heartbroken last month when Oti announced she will not be returning to the hit BBC show.
She has decided to leave the series where she appeared as one of the professional dancers and won the series in 2019 alongside Kelvin Fletcher and again in 2020 with Bill Bailey.
Announcing her news via Instagram last month, she wrote, “It was never easy saying goodbye. I’ve been a part of the most amazing TV show, Strictly Come Dancing for the last 7 years and it’s been an amazing time to have the best trip with all my celebrities but also the best team, best crew, best producers, celebs and to meet and work with incredible professional dancers!
“You are my family and I adore you all forever. Thank you @sarahjamesface @jack.will.g and @jasongilkison for believing in me.”
She continued: “I’m honestly so grateful to the BBC and will always remember that Strictly and the BBC brought me to the UK – which I now call home and I’ve learned and grown so much. – Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
“I can’t put into words how difficult this decision was, but I have decided not to return for the next series.”
She continued, “Dance will always be my first love and to everyone especially my family, friends, diehard fans and judges who have supported me throughout my journey, thank you for being amazing! You are irreplaceable in my heart and have made every day unforgettable! I love you.”
She finished the post: “I will always keep dancing! and I will never forget my amazing Strictly experience! Lots of love, Oti xxx.”
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/strictlys-oti-mabuse-recalls-parents-26397275 Strictly speaking, Oti Mabuse remembers her parents' horror when she ended her career to become a dancer