ICE Queen Katie Stainsby has every reason to celebrate after reaching the semi-final of the Dutch version of the hit show Dancing on Ice.
And the 32-year-old, from South Shore, had an absolute ball taking part in Sterren Dansen with Holland’s Strongest Man, Jarno Hams.
She said: “I was shocked to reach the semi-finals, but really pleased. I loved taking part in it again.
“Jarno is competing in the World’s Strongest Man competition in a couple of months, which is pretty amazing.
“He was really popular on the show, the public love him.
“It was strange, because obviously he was very strong, but he didn’t have much stamina.
“He was used to doing strength work for a short amount of time, doing things in short bursts, but he found it hard at first.
“We had to work on that but he gradually got better and better. It was nice to be partners with someone so strong, he could thrown me into orbit!
“He wasn’t that technical, but he really threw himself into it and really enjoyed it.”
Katie, who starred in the 2011 British version of Dancing on Ice, said the two shows were very similar.
“I think maybe the British show is a bit more competitive, but in both of them, we’re like family back stage.
“Both of them are great fun and the language isn’t a barrier.
“I worked for a year in Holland, I picked up a bit of Dutch and they all speak great English – so there was no trouble with understanding anything.”
Katie has spent the last few months in Holland on the programme, so was not able to even come home for Christmas, but now she is back on the Fylde coast and soon moving to St Annes.
She said: “I’m used to the travelling and being away as it comes with the territory, but I did really miss my dog.
“Oscar, my pet retriever, stayed with my mum while I was away and it was so nice to being reunited with him when I got home.
“I’ve been walking him on the sand dunes and it’s great to see him again.”
Katie’s mum Jean has been eagerly following her daughter’s progress, watching the show online.
A couple of years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and during the first series of Dancing on Ice was undergoing chemotherapy.
But Katie says she is doing well now: “She is much better, though she’s not completely out of the woods just yet.
“She has had the last of her treatment and her hair is growing back now.
“She’s been watching me on the show and it’s nice to have her feedback.
“She and a couple of other people in my life are the ones I always listen to.”
And work starts again very soon for Katie, who will be back in the rink for Skate It, as part of Showzam on Friday, at the Pleasure Beach ice arena, between 1 and 2.30pm.
She said: “I can’t wait, we did it last year and it was really successful.
“Any level of skater can come along and have tuition, whether they want it to one-to-one or in a group. I absolutely love it.
“It’s great fun and who knows, I could be helping someone who will be the next best thing.”
Coaching is something Katie will soon be doing more of – as well as of course, once again starring in Hot Ice, this year running from July 3 until September 7. She’s going to be taking coaching sessions at the arena.
“I love coaching, I absolutely enjoy helping people to progress.
“It’s so lovely to see them getting better.
“And the coaching side isn’t something which always comes to people naturally. A lot of ice skaters are used to performing, but find that hard. Obviously, it’s what Dancing on Ice is all about, but this is without the pressure. You can really focus on the basics and the technical aspects of skating. And what’s really exciting is, it’s getting people more into skating, you could be coaching one of the stars of the future!”