After joining the first season of Dancing with the Stars Ireland at the beginning of this year, Curtis Pritchard and Emily Barker are about to set off on a UK tour with Giovanni Pernice. They have taken part in stage shows and have performed to live audiences around the country, and have just announced they are taking part in Natalie Lowe’s dance show, Rip It Up later this year alongside Louis Smith and Jay McGuiness. We speak to Curtis and Emily about the Giovanni tour, Dancing with the Stars Ireland and how they met and started performing together.
You are both professional dancers on the new Dancing with the Stars Ireland, what was it like dancing with your celebrity partners on Series 1?
Emily Barker – Our celebrities were fantastic. For me, dancing with someone so crazy was fantastic. I get on with Hughie (Maughan) like he is my best friend and I’ve never met a funnier, more out there person, he was my perfect partner for my first experience!
Curtis Pritchard – Thalia (Heffernan) made my first experience of Dancing with the Stars unforgettable because we were the youngest couple on the show, we related to each other and she made my experience enjoyable!
How did you get involved with the series and is TV something you would like to continue doing?
We were approached by Dancing with the Stars Ireland to take part as professional dancers on the show and we were completely ecstatic. After being in the entertainment and theatre business for over a year before this, we knew our next move was TV and we haven’t looked back since!
Hughie Maughan had a bit of a “fake tan” moment on the show, have either of you had any embarrassing accidents you can tell us about?
Emily – I have been lucky to not have experienced anything so far, however, Curtis, on his first ever rehearsal for Burn the Floor, during a very strenuous lift, accidentally let one rip, only for everyone in the rehearsal room to hear it! It was a great ice breaker!
You are currently on tour with Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Giovanni Pernice, how is this going and do you enjoy travelling to different places and performing on stage to an audience?
Travelling with Giovanni’s tour has been incredible, we’ve had a little holiday break from the tour and now the both of us are ecstatic to get back and performing again! Doing shows, for both of us, is probably the most rewarding part about dancing, because you get to perform to a live audience and you really dance for the audience and their reaction!
Do you have a favourite dance style to perform?
Emily – For me, my favourite dance to perform is definitely the Cha Cha, I like the energy but also the technique you have to keep to go along with it!
Curtis – For me, Foxtrot is by far my favourite, the elegance and class of the music together with the perfect partner allows you to feel like you’re gliding across the floor and free from everything!
Do you design your own dance outfits?
Our dance outfits for TV and tours are chosen for us, we can have a say in the way we would like to be themed but no, we don’t design them ourselves! For our own personal shows, I have a great dressmaker where I design my own dresses and Curtis also chooses the outfits he wants to wear!
Are you trained in anything other than dancing?
We both have been having singing lessons and have been thoroughly enjoying the challenge, and we are trying at the moment to broaden our knowledge to as many styles of dance as possible, including tap, contemporary and flamenco!
How did you get into dance?
Emily – I got into dancing from trying out so many different hobbies and none of them ever stuck with me, until I found Latin and Ballroom at a local village hall. I began taking the classes and then broke into competitions from there, I found my dance partner Curtis and followed my passion!
Curtis – I got into dancing through my parents, who opened a dance school from being very young, but what got me seriously into dancing was when my dad would take me to all of the major competitions that he judged, especially Blackpool, seeing all of the professionals dance was my biggest inspiration.
How did the two of you meet?
We both met when we were eleven and we started to dance together in competitions, we found our love for dancing then and then pursued our careers together again when we were adults!
You’ve appeared in a couple of stage musicals, would you like to do more in the future?
We have done Priscilla Queen of the Desert which was extremely interesting and very different to anything we have ever done before. We both love to perform so I don’t think I would rule musicals out of the question!
You created a DANCER BODY challenge alongside a Curtis’ Kitchen meal plan, can you tell us more about these?
The DANCER BODY challenge we created along with Curtis’ Kitchen is something we both created along with James Walker, a top personal trainer in London, and we really wanted to get over to the general public that watch shows like Dancing with the Stars, that you can get a body like the professional dancers from following my own fitness regime! We created Curtis’ Kitchen to go along with it as Curtis used to be a chef and has a lot of knowledge in cooking, so we created some of our favourite tasty and healthy meals to go along with the workout regime to get in dancer shape for summer!
Dancing obviously keeps you fit, do you have any other fitness regimes?
We both go to the gym every day so that we can do more than just cardio. We also have recently been running 5K every day just to keep our stamina up for when we go back on tour! Curtis is also a very keen boxer and is very passionate about it, but dancing still takes first place!
What encouraged you to start uploading vlogs to YouTube and will you be releasing any more?
We started doing the vlogs because we were both eliminated from Dancing with the Stars early on in the competition and decided to create our weekly vlog which is a backstage pass. We got a great response from it and thoroughly enjoyed it so decided to do it all the time, we have one to come of the Giovanni tour!
What are your plans for the future?
Our future plans are to just keep working hard and bettering ourselves and our dancing! We love life and just feel so positive and ready to embrace whatever the future holds!
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