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Dance is my life says Strictly Come Dancing’s Giovanni Pernice ahead of Felixstowe Spa show

Giovanni Pernice and Luba Mushtuk, in Felixstowe June 20. Picture: STRICTLY THEATRE COMPANY

Giovanni Pernice and Luba Mushtuk, in Felixstowe June 20. Picture: STRICTLY THEATRE COMPANY

STRICTLY THEATRE COMPANY

Fans of Strictly Come Dancing favourite Giovanni Pernice have given his new show a 10. You can judge for yourself when it visits Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion on June 20.

Kevin and Karen Clifton, in Ipswich June 1. Picture: RICHARD HAUGHTONKevin and Karen Clifton, in Ipswich June 1. Picture: RICHARD HAUGHTON

Born To Win is the story of the Italian’s upbringing in Sicily, learning to dance and his time on the hit BBC TV show - with plenty of passionate paso doble, sexy salsa, elegant Viennese Waltz and romantic Rumba routines thrown in to name just a few.

“I started when I was seven. I was watching Come Dancing with my mum and dad on television and I just fell in love with the chemistry between the boys and the girls and decided to be a dancer,” says Giovanni, fresh off the Strictly live tour when I caught up with him - a winner eight times and a runner-up 20.

“I would love sometimes to recharge,” he laughs “but thank God I don’t have time, I like being busy. I’m quite lucky because I’m doing for a living what I really love which is dancing.”

A follow-up to his smash debut tour Dance Is Life, he’s feeling the pressure.

“Last time we did a two-hour show and it was quite successful so this year we want to do at least the same. It’s more of a responsibility [than Strictly] because it’s my show, people are spending money to see me. I want people to have fun, that’s my priority,” says Giovanni, who moved to Bologna when he was 14 to study ballroom and Latin.

The award-winning dancer loves the adrenaline of performing, confessing he enjoys entertaining people as much - maybe more - than competing.

“The best part of my job is when I meet the people. When we do the show on television, we can’t really see what people think. When you’re in the theatre and you get the response from the public, that’s what you want to see. They are really close and I can feel what they feel which is really good.”

When we spoke, Giovanni - who reached the finals of last year’s Strictly with celebrity partner Debbie McGee - didn’t know if he’d be returning for the next series.

“Everybody was surprised [about Brendan Cole’s exit]. We’re going to miss him, he’s such a legend on the show. The reason why we’re on the show, all of us, is we really love what we do. I came to London because of Strictly Come Dancing. Fingers crossed, I would love to do it again.”

He will be joined on tour by leading lady Luba Mushtuk, a dancer and assistant choreographer on Strictly Come Dancing.

Completing the cast are Dancing with the Stars Ireland professionals Kai Widdrington, Giulia Dotta, Curtis Pritchard and Emily Barker, who all starred in Dance is Life; plus Stephen Vincent and Kylee Brown who performed around the world in Burn The Floor.

If you’re a Strictly fan, don’t miss Kevin and Karen Clifton who are back at the Ipswich Regent on June 1 with their new show.

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