It's a tall order dancing with the Pocket Rocket

September 07 2016
Thumbnail Image

ITS that time of year, the kids have gone back to school and the nights are drawing in. Must be time for Strictly Come Dancing

This year’s series will be more eagerly watched than usual by people living in the area, for taking to the dance floor will be none other than Olympic gymnast and Longwell Green resident Claudia Fragapane.

The 18-year-old was the eleventh celebrity contestant to be confirmed for the popular show and will join the likes of Lesley Joseph, Ed Balls and Louise Redknapp to battle it out for the coveted Glitterball Trophy.

Claudia, who is the youngest contestant, said: “I am a really big fan of Strictly Come Dancing and am so excited to be chosen to take part this year.

“I am used to performing in front of big crowds but this is going to be so different to my floor routines in gymnastics – but I love a challenge and performing! I also love dressing up and wearing sparkly costumes!”

The former pupil of the Meadows Primary School in Bitton and St Bernadette’s Catholic Secondary School in Whitchurch, is an all-around gymnast who excels on floor and vault and is fresh from the Olympic Games in Rio where she competed as part of Team GB.

Prior to her selection as part of the British squad in Rio, Claudia’s career highlights to date include making history in 2014 winning four gold medals for Team England at the Commonwealth Games and in 2015 she won silver at the European Championships before taking bronze in a team event at the 2015 World Championships.

At just 4ft 7ins, Claudia has been nicknamed the Pocket Rocket, however she doesn’t have the same confidence on the dance floor as on the vaults.

“I don’t see myself in the final,” she said. “I just want to go there, enjoy it and challenge myself.”

Claudia was due to find out which professional dancer she is paired with at the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show which aired on September 3rd.

The teenager has already admitted she would like someone who matches her diminutive dimensions.

“I don’t have a favourite, but just someone of a similar height so it is easier to dance with them.”