Strictly Come Dancing star Flavia Cacace speaks of her exciting engagement to Jimi Mistry and passion for dance in a stunning fashion shoot in the latest issue of HELLO! magazine.
The beautiful ballroom dancer spoke of her surprise when her boyfriend of two years proposed during a romantic break in the New Year. "It was a brilliant surprise. Amazing. I think we're still a little bit in shock," said Flavia, 34, explaining how Jimi, 40, got down on one knee to present her with the square-shaped diamond engagement ring set in platinum.
"I tend to laugh easily, whereas he was a bit more emotional. I was trying to calm him down. But it was so special and lovely." Italian-born Flavia, whose romance with the handsome Syndicate actor Jimi didn't flourish until after he'd been voted off Strictly Come Dancing, on which she'd been his professional dance partner in 2010, explained in HELLO!'s exclusive interview how compatible they are.
"We're very different, but we get on brilliantly and complement each other. I've had a unique life with my dancing, my whole life has revolved around it, so I didn't go through a "normal" adolescence. Whereas Jimi has had a more normal life – university, drama school.
"He's quite a chilled person whereas I'm disciplined and hard working – probably too much. He's more, 'Let's have a weekend away'. On the other hand he now goes to the gym, eats his greens and his vitamins. I appreciate him calming me down when I need to, and I get the whip out when it's gym time." The couple have yet to set a date for their wedding – or work out their first dance. "We'll have to find a song first," she jokes.
Flavia, who won the Strictly Come Dancing trophy with Olympic gymnast Louis Smith in December 2012, talks about her childhood growing up as the youngest of six children and how Latin and ballroom dancing has, "helped me come out of my shell a bit more." She also describes how Vincent Simone, her professional dance partner whom she has known since she was a teenager and with whom she is currently performing in Midnight Tango, shares her passion for dance.
"As the music starts we create this little world on stage. Vincent and I get a total buzz from it, an adrenalin rush. When we have a week off we start to get a bit edgy. We get aches and pains, almost like withdrawal symptoms. Then we go back to train and everything clicks back into place."
See the full exclusive article in HELLO! Magazine, issue 1272, out now.