DANCE sensation Lisa Riley has some words of wisdom for ladies taking part in a charity challenge.

Tips from the actress, who wowed audiences on the last series of Strictly Come Dancing, include adopting a position she calls the giraffe, investing in blister pads, determination and having fun.

The advice comes as couples gear up to take part in Bolton Hospice’s Strictly Learn to Dance challenge.

The 36-year-old, from Bury, said: “For ballroom, your back arch, as the female, is most important — you must have the curve of the spine.

“And the giraffe position.

You have got to elongate your neck to make your spine curve so you have that lovely arch in your back.”

Lisa made it to the semi-final of the BBC1 show, only just missing out on a spot in the final with celebrities Dani Harmer, Denise van Outen, Kimberley Walsh and winner Louis Smith.

Lisa, who is a patron of Bury Hospice, said: “I’d done a little bit of dancing at drama school but I’d never done ballroom or Latin. I was a real novice.

“As a novice, your feet will be in tatters. The first four weeks in Strictly, my feet were completely taped up.”

She advised to take in as much information as possible from the teachers and try not to get frustrated if dance moves do not seem to be coming naturally.

Lisa, who played Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale from 1995 to 2001, admits she was “petrified” of being judged by Strictly’s resident experts Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Len Goodman.

But she topped the leader board after her very first performance and was praised for her natural rhythm.

She said: “I’m proof in the pudding, if I can dance anybody can dance.

“I literally thought I would be out week two. I was over the moon.”

Lisa is currently taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing Live tour.

She said: “It’s been phenomenal, absolutely unreal. The audience go mad for it, the response every single night is crazy.”

Speaking of the professional dancers on Strictly, including her dance partner Robin Windsor, she said: “You really are in their hands completely.

“You rely on them for everything, in the way they support you and as a teacher.”

She said she now hopes to inspire others to take up dancing, after her “phenomenal”

Strictly experience which has seen her drop several dress sizes.