Joanne Clifton attempted to change voice after cruel messages from Strictly viewers

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Joanne Clifton, 36, recalled how during her three years on Strictly Come Dancing, she was subjected to trolling over the sound of her high pitched voice. The ballroom champion said that online bullies would mock her “babyish” voice and made her want to change the way she sounded.

I was trolled

Joanne Clifton

She exclusively told Express.co.uk: “I was trolled in my own way, not very much, not nearly as much as some people I guess, but when I first joined Strictly I was trolled about the tone of my voice. 

“Because it is quite ‘babyish’ or ‘childish’ – I got trolled about it.”

The dancer decided she would try to speak in a lower voice to try and stop the social media harassment.

She continued: “So it got to a point as well where I was getting trolled and I was like, maybe I’ll just speak lower then.”

However, over time Joanne decided to embrace her voice and now looks up to other celebrities who sound similar.

Joanne admitted: “I now just look up to people like Kristen Chenoworth, who played Galinda (in the musical Wicked on Broadway).

“You have just got to love yourself and everything about you.

“You do get a lot of trolls, and it made me want to change myself. There’s some heavy stuff out there,” she added.

During the lockdown, Joanne began working on a new confidence-building course for young entrepreneurs.

The project, titled Beyond Lockdown Empire, is an opportunity to prepare people for working towards their goals.

She revealed: “We’ve put together this course called Beyond Lockdown Empire, and it is basically just getting people ready for when they get out of lockdown [and] getting them motivated.”

Mental health has become a key topic, as many citizens have been forced to spend extended periods of time at home.

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Mental Health charity Mind recently said they have had a surge in calls. 

Joanne continued: “I think a lot of people are feeling lost and don’t know what to do. Some people have lost their jobs and stuff. It’s just a seven-day course with dance classes as well.”

For the course, Joanne has joined forces with former Strictly colleague Katya Jones and actress Sasha Latoya.

The workshops have been so well received that the trio are now penning a book to help even more young people find their feet.

Joanne said of the inspiration behind the book: “We feel like we’re all successful women, and we thought how did we do it, how did we get to where we are today.

“We get so many messages, especially me and Katya, with the following we have both got.” 

“We were like, why don’t we just tell them how we do it? That’s why we organised the first Beyond Lockdown Empire workshop and that’s why we did so well.”

She added: “It gave people so much confidence and that’s why we were like let’s write a book on it, as a condensed version of what we talk about.”

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