Strictly Come Dancing star Neil Jones has said he believes his homeless past pushed him to achieve his goals in his dance career. The professional dancer - who appeared on the Strictly Christmas Special 2022 with TV star Rosie Ramsey - lived on the streets for a time after leaving home to train as a dancer, and believes his difficult past made him a champion in his field.
NEIL JONES: Hello. My name is Neil Jones, and I'm a professional dancer on "Strictly Come Dancing," which I've been doing for about seven years now. My breaking point was when I was around about 16 years old. I'd moved to Finland to train as a dancer, and I found myself in a period of time homeless.
I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want anyone to know about it. My friends didn't know about it. I tried to make it work in order to turn up to training. I found actually myself even sleeping just outside of where I was rehearsing. And then I'd get changed and take a shower there so no one would ever know. Even my own mum didn't know until about two years ago when I started talking about it. So that was quite a low point in my life.
But then the turning point for me was when I decided to make the decision to come home back to the UK, started training, and moved then to Holland, where I was there for about eight years. And I progressed and worked really hard until, in the end, I became a world champion. I feel that the low time in my life was what pushed me and drove me to actually make everything happen.