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The pressure is increasing on Louis Smith to live up to his billing as the favourite to win Strictly Come Dancing and secure his place in this year’s final after coming third in the first-of-its-kind fusion dance show on Saturday. His coach PAUL HALL reveals the secret of why Louis’s arms look so graceful while dancing and how he is sure his pupil can clinch a place in the final three.

THERE seems to be a lot of discussion about Louis’s arms at the moment.

Wonderful, tender, sexy, and long were all used to describe his upper limbs on Saturday’s show. Well, I can reveal that Louis’s arms are indeed uncommonly long.

Those of you familiar with Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man will know that a man’s arm span should equal his height. I measured Mr Smith’s arm span a few years ago and was amazed to see that they exceeded his height by more than 20 centimetres!

Not only good for extra clearance when circling around a pommel horse, but definitely an advantage when trying to appear tender and graceful in a passionate clinch.

So I agree with the long bit but, sorry Louis, I can never ever see you as sexy, no matter what the rest of the watching audience seems to be thinking.

There seems to be loads of tens coming out in the show’s scoring now. Is there really such a thing as perfection? The debate has raged for a number of years in gymnastics circles and I still think you have to be careful when dishing out those maximum scores.

I remember Louis as a 12-year-old going to a British Championship and watching the gymnast before him score a whopping 9.6 on pommel horse. I told him to do his best but thought that he couldn’t beat that.

He jumped on, inserted a difficulty element that I had never seen him do before, and promptly scored 9.7.

“Well I wasn’t going to beat him with my normal routine was I?” came his response.

You can be sure that he will be throwing some tricks in the coming weeks.

Keep going Louis!

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