Gemma Atkinson worries for daughter, Mia, 3, as she signs her up for ballet classes

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The Hollyoaks and Emmerdale actress is scared Mia will relive the same bad experience as her

Gemma Atkinson has spoken out about her bad experience with taking ballet classes as a child. And she’s shared her fear that the same thing will happen to her daughter Mia, aged 3, as the Emmerdale and Hollyoaks star begrudgingly signs her up to ballet classes.

The 38-year-old actress, who shares daughter Mia with Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Gorka Marquez, opened up to her Instagram followers to share her concerns over signing her daughter up for dance classes. While the star revealed she was eager to sign her up for street and hip hop lessons, she has fears over her daughter specifically signing up for ballet.

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Gemma said in an Instagram video: “I’ve just booked Mia’s first dance classes. She’s going to start on Saturday. I booked street and hip hop – but Gorka says she needs ballet.”

Professional dancer Gorka Marquez, who tours with Strictly co-star and fellow professional dancer Karen Hauer, stressed the importance of Mia needing ballet lessons. He said: “She has to do both, it’s the base.

“If she does ballet it will be better for the rest. It will teach her the posture, how to use her feet.”

This led Gemma to open up about her own experience doing ballet as a kid and her fears for Mia as a result. In the video, Gemma revealed a former dance teacher told her she was “too big for ballet”.

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Gemma said: “It’s just because I was told I was too big for ballet and I don’t want Mia to be told that. Because I’m so big built, my fear is she’ll get the mentality of wanting to be small.

“I was like thunder thighs, this and that, you’re too big for it and you’re too cumbersome. I am big boned… but yeah, I remember being told ‘You won’t be a ballet dancer, you’re too big for ballet hun’. 

“I remember thinking ‘oh my God’. I didn’t do anything about it. I thought I’m not going to lose weight or starve myself for anything, I just won’t do ballet, so I took up Thai boxing.

“But the thought of anyone telling [Mia] she’s too big for that, too small for that, too skinny for that, too muscular - no! I’m going to say you’re practically perfect in every way, like Mary Poppins.”

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Gemma posted to her Instagram stories later on, thanking her viewers who opened up to her about being told the same thing as kids. However, Gemma revealed she had had a change of heart after her partner Gorka mentioned that his Strictly dancer Karen had gone to ballet school when she was younger – “like Gorka said, if Karen did ballet – and Karen is badass” she said.

She thanked her 1.8 Instagram followers who shared they had the same experiences. Gemma said: “As if so many of you have said the same thing about being too big for ballet, but also how amazing it was for the children.”

Gemma also posted a picture of the Strictly professional dancers, explaining that Mia is surrounded by them. “Let’s be honest, with Mia surrounded by this lot for six months of the year, she can’t go wrong,” she added.

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