Unhappy Neil Jones encouraged to make life-changing career move ‘Can’t do this’

Neil Jones and Katya perform TikTok dance routine

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Neil Jones, 39, has opened up on a time when he was competing in amateur competitions with his partner and wife at the time Katya Jones, 31. The Strictly Come Dancing star shared he was hesitant to go professional because “everything” was going right for the pair, however to others he appeared to be “unhappy” and was encouraged to take the next step in his career.

Speaking on how he takes more risks now than he did previously, Neil shared: “I like taking risks and over time, especially with the competitions, when you start winning,  you stop taking as many risks because you get to a point where everything is going right.

“You’re like, ‘Let’s not make any changes’ because everything is going right, but then something inside of you says, ‘I’m bored, I can’t do this anymore, this is boring’.

“We [him and Katya] were still winning and we were working with a sports psychiatrist and it was a decision to turn professional.

“It’s the next level up. I wanted to stay in the amateur section, we had been winning for three years, I said, ‘Can we just do it for one more year?’ I remember them asking, ‘But why? You don’t seem happy. Maybe if you turn pro, and you’re not going to be winning, it gives you the drive’.

“We did it and it was the drive we needed,” he added while speaking on The Midlife Mentors podcast.

Katya also previously shared that before reaching the “top of her game” professionally, she had many dreams and goals which would motivate her to perform.

However, once she and Neil had won 26 dance competitions she began to “hate” being successful and found it “tough” to carry on competing.

Although Katya has had a celebrated dancing career, she admitted there has been “downfalls in that story”.

Opening up on how she had previously stayed motivated to win competitions while talking on the She’s Just A Dancer podcast, she shared: “I think my competitive nature helped me to chase those dreams, or those results, or get better.

“You’re like, ‘Oh I want to get those this place now. Or I can improve and get to the final. Or the next step is to get to fourth or third, and then first,” she added.

However once she made it to the top of the World Latin Championship league with Neil, the excitement began to fade.

Katya continued: “It is all exciting because you keep climbing up that big mountain. You see those little checkpoints, but once I was at the top, or me and Neil, I absolutely hated being there.

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“I had a really tough time turning up to competitions, although we won 26 competitions in a row, so we have reached that top.

“I remember my feelings about dancing in the final thinking, ‘I’m about to win this competition, what the hell am I doing right here on the floor?’

“So my mind would be floating somewhere else instead of enjoying the moment. The only thing that kept me going is that I loved dancing,” she divulged.

Katya was born in Russia and is a World Latin champion, who began dancing at the tender age of six.

In 2008, she formed a partnership with Neil and together they won the World Amateur Latin Championships for the first time two years later.

They went on to win the title a total of three times, before turning professional in 2013.

In 2015, they became the World Professional Latin Showdance Champions and are four times undefeated British National Professional Champions.

Katya and Neil were also involved in a romantic relationship from 2011 and married in 2013.

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