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Since jiving on to Strictly Come Dancing in 2018, pro dancer Graziano Di Prima has got a few of us hot under the collar. It must be that gorgeous face of his, or perhaps it’s those very impressive moves.
But sadly for us mere mortals, the Sicilian-born Latin champion is all loved-up with his stunning fiancée, dancer Giada Lini, and is well and truly off the market.
Graziano, 27, and Giada, 31, have been together for five years and currently live in Italy. They got engaged in May 2019 and, sadly, the pandemic has forced them to move their wedding date not once but twice.
“We’re going to wait one more year so we can have our dream wedding,” Graziano tells me when I phone him for a catch-up. “Our parents were disappointed because they’d prepared everything.”
Here, the hunk tells new columnist Bobby Norris how he’s ready to be partnered with a man (and, yes, I am jel!), more about his wedding plans and how dance has helped him through a difficult year…
Hi Graziano! What’s the latest with your wedding?
Oh my God! The thing is, my family is huge. I come from Sicily, where just on my side of my family is 150 people. Then Gi is from Venice and she has over 100 people. All my friends from the UK, all the people who I work with and I love so much, will have to be at the best day of my life. I would love to have them there. You also need time to prepare a wedding, but if you don’t really know about how it’s going to be in six months’ time, you can’t risk organising the day. I told Gi, we are young and we need to enjoy our day just as much as we can. Nothing will change. We love each other.
So will you postpone until next year?
Yes, July. We still need to decide the exact date, but it’ll be summer. I’m praying that next year this pandemic will be all in the past.
Fingers crossed! How did you find last year’s Strictly with all the restrictions?
Initially, we were really lucky to still do it. First they told us it might not go ahead because of the pandemic, but then they said we could go back to do the season. We were so grateful and lucky. Dancing all together was a dream come true. The difference was not having an audience and that was a different feeling. But I’m just pleased that we had that chance to get together again, dance and give something positive to the nation.
It must have made you guys closer, having to bubble up?
Yes! We stayed for a month together. All of us dancers, all the costume team, the make-up artists. I think that was the best choice they made. They managed to put us in the same place, where we could train for eight or nine hours. Then we’d try costumes, then eat and sleep every day for one month. If I’m honest, the first week I was knackered! I couldn’t wake up. It was crazy to spend six months not doing anything, then to get back to so much dancing, doing lots of lifts! My body was screaming. But we were really happy.
All the Strictly rumours have started. Can you add anything?
The only thing I know is that I will be back and I’m so happy. I’m so grateful to be a pro dancer in the UK.
When do you find out if you’re being partnered with a celeb?
Personally, they’ve just told me I’m going to be back but they don’t know how long for or which celebrities. I really hope they give me the chance, but if not it’ll be epic still because I’ll still be dancing with amazing people.
Another rumour I’ve seen is that we might have our first male celebrity couple this year…
They are just rumours! We don’t know. If it happens, I’m more than happy.
Would you be up for dancing with a man?
I am happy with any partner! Dancing is for everyone and I’d be more than ready for it. But we will have to see!
If they say yes, I’ll get my dance shoes and you can spin me around!
How have you found the whole pandemic, with the lockdowns and all?
Really, really tough. But I’ve got my family with me and I’ve managed to go back to Italy. I’ve also created a new way to dance, with doing classes at home and through my website. I’ve also been working on a new project, which is Latin fitness, and that’s been so challenging for me. When you create something new, you have to be really competitive and find a way to have trust from people. That’s so important, and the only positive thing I’ve found during this lockdown has been that I’ve gained people’s trust. They’ve been doing workouts and classes with me every single day. For me, lockdown really made me realise I had the chance to let people know who I am. I’m really happy and lucky I’ve had the opportunity to do that.
Plus, keeping fit and dancing is good for the mind, isn’t it?
Absolutely! The first thing you feel after your fitness session is that your mood is so positive. You have another way to see the rest of your day. I believe that dancing is the same. If you do a session where you sweat out all you have, then you’re free for the day. You know you’ve done your best and you like what you do more. It’s similar to the gym, I’ve really missed the gym! It’s really good for the body and if our body feels good, so will our mental health.
Tell me more about your tour, Here Come The Boys…
It’s an amazing cast with me, Aljaž [Škorjanec], Pasha [Kovalev], Karim [Zeroual] and Robin [Windsor]. We will have the time of our lives. I can’t wait to start the rehearsal but it’s going to be tough. We need to find a way to get our bodies ready. We’re going to smash it and have fun for all those people who come to see us! It’ll be so nice to be back on stage.
Here Come The Boys is on at the London Palladium from 25 May to 9 June. Details and tickets are available at herecometheboysshow.com
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