“People want to kill me when I say I do no exercise on my abs.”

Strictly Come Dancing professional Flavia Cacace talks to Team LBD about risqué outfits, her killer abs and why Brucie’s a legend.

  On Strictly Come Dancing your outfits are pretty out there! What’s your normal Saturday night style like? I like to get dressed up and the Strictly costumes are very glitzy but I quite like very simple plan outfits rather than too over the top. Obviously some of the Strictly ones have to be OTT depending on what dance you’re doing but in everyday life – and I think this is something I’ve been brought up with and learnt from my mum  - I believe in looking after yourself and dressing nicely and always doing your hair. It’s just something that’s been built in me from a very young age.   We’ve just done two weeks of solid Midnight Tango rehearsals and when you’ve got something like that where you’re rehearsing ten till six you’ve really got to end up comfortable clothes that you can dance in so I tend to wear a lot of leggings. A lot of jogging bottoms, comfy dance wear and shoes that I can get to training in and spare my feet. I’m not spending a lot of time looking very glamourous and it’s the same during the week on Strictly.

I can’t really wear jeans or boots. I’ve got to wear something that I’m going to be comfortable walking in and secondly that I can move in. If I do have a day off I will make an effort, I’ll wear jeans which I hardly every wear. And I might wear my boots and my leather jacket and it feels like I’ve actually made an effort because you sometimes I just don’t have the chance.   What’s been your favourite costume for Strictly? Have you ever refused to wear something? My favourite ones are the ones that have not too much glitz on them. Not too many sparkly bits. I like really plain costumes so my favourite ones are some of the ones I’ve worn for some of the show dances that we’ve done when the live music acts come in and it’s just one couple dancing. I’ve had some very plain, literally leotard with just a plain Georgette, almost veil over the top with belt. Something like that which is soft I really like.   Sometimes they do come up with something very risqué and I’ll always say, ‘can I just have a little bit of fringing here?’ or, ‘can I have the skirt a fraction longer?’ and to be honest they totally understand and we hardly every have to say anything because they get to know us as individuals and they know what we like and what sort of cuts we’re comfortable with and what we’re not comfortable with. It’s very rare that you have to say anything.   Does the classic little black dress have a place in your heart? Do you have a favourite LBD? What is it like? Describe it. Is it by a designer? I love black and I love little black dresses. As a dancer you get very used to wearing black because it’s one of the main colours that we wear for lessons because it’s just neural and it gives you a clean line. It makes your moves sharper so when you take it out of the dance context I still enjoy wearing a black dress. It’s easy; you can add a splash of colour. You just feel quite comfortable in it. My favourite is one that I bought from DKNY a while ago and you can’t really get any more simple. It’s literally just a black dress, it’s just below the knee, it’s got a V neck, it’s dead simple but you can put it on, it’s comfortable it’s a nice material but you look like you’ve dressed up and that’s what I like about it.   Who are your favourite fashion icons? My favourite fashion icons are the Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren era. I think that’s the most womanly girly fashion style that’s ever been around so I would loved to have been around in those days. I don’t dress like it because it’s a little bit too over the top for nowadays but it’s a style that I love.   Describe your perfect LBD ‘moment’. (ie: her perfect evening out. Can she describe the dress, where she would go, who she would be with, etc.) It could be a real night that has already happened. I really enjoy eating out in a good restaurant. That’s my favourite thing to do and if there’s live music afterwards that’s even better. That would be my perfect evening. And the other thing I’d like to get into more would be going to the theatre but I haven’t had much chance to do that.   Describe a day in the Life of Flavia Cacace. The most typical is probably getting up about 6.45, getting ready in about an hour, going to rehearsals and spending most of the day in rehearsals for Midnight Tango in a dance studio and then getting home, a hot bath, a change of clothes, eating – loads – a little bit of TV to unwind then do it all over again the next day.   What’s it like working with Brucie and co. What are your favourite and least favourite parts of working on Strictly? The highlight has to be the Saturday night.  The adrenaline and the buzz that you get from the live audience  - even though there’s only about 450 people in the studio -  is immense. There isn’t a louder audience than the Strictly audience. The buzz on that night is insane. You can’t compare it to anything else. Bruce is obviously amazing. All these years that he’s been on the show he’s been exactly the same to all of us. He’s always friendly and happy and positive. I’ve never seen him grumpy or miserable at all. He’s just such a lovely man. I just don’t see the show being the same without him and I don’t want to think about that prospect. The hardest thing is the week getting up on the Monday and thinking, ‘Oh my God I’ve got to come up with another great routine. It’s going to be hard, I’ve got so much to do,’ so Monday to Thursday is really difficult but Saturday is just what will be will be.   You always look so well groomed whenever we see pictures of you or see you on the television. What are your top beauty secrets and tips? The main thing is that you’ve got to get a really good cleansing routine. I would not go to bed without having completely removed all my make up. You collect stuff everywhere so I use Dermalogica products. Once you use them it cleans the whole of your skin and you can start again the next day. During the night is when your skin recovers.   Your profession keeps you in such good shape. What is your favourite body part and do you have any body hang-ups? I think people are always very harsh on themselves. People say you look amazing and I wish I looked like you and all this stuff. But I think everyone as an individual is never quite happy but I am lucky because obviously what I do helps keep me fit because I do enjoy good food. So maybe one day if I slow down a little bit I will have to watch what I eat but at the moment I’m lucky to be able to eat what I like. I always say to people if you have a lot of variety and you exercise enough you can eat what you want, which is what I do. People tend to comment on my abs more than anything and for me they’re just there. I don’t really aim for them to be there, which I know people find even more annoying. People want to kill me. They say, ‘how many sit-ups a day do you do? You must do about a thousand,’ but there’s no chance in hell I’d do that. I don’t do any sit-ups. The thing is it’s the core that the dancing gives you. I say to people if you want to do your core don’t do sit-ups, just have a good core, You’ve got to build your posture so when you’re exercising or you’re on a treadmill or even going for a walk, you’re walking your abs. Crunches don’t really work as you’re never going to be able to do enough of them. You need to incorporate your core into everyday life. And I think it’s to do with genetics, your skin type and your muscles too.   Would you change anything about your body? I kind of don’t think about that. We’re given what we’re given and we should all be grateful for what we have. There are obviously things that you would want to work on but overall I think I’m pretty lucky that I do something that does keep me healthy and fit.   How do you dress to flatter your figure? There are always different things that suit different people. I like halter neck style tops. I’ve got quite broad muscly shoulders and back so halter necks are a bit more softening so I tend to go for dresses or tops that are halter  neck style. I like trousers a lot more than skirts. I don’t actually own very many skirts. I’ve tried on a few more as I think I wear too many trousers but I think when you’re small height wise trousers give you a bit more height and length  and skirts can make you look a little bit shorter. And black is always my favourite colour.   When was the last time you really loved your look? Can you give an example/event/what you were wearing etc. I’ve got a Mango dress. It’s a dress that I wore last year on and it got into the papers as it was a Strictly Party. There were paps outside the restaurant that we went to so it got into the papers and I ended up getting a whole bunch of messages asking me where I got the dress and it was slightly more than I ever get so I guess that must have worked really well.   Any fashion faux pas to share? I’m sure I have several probably. I often leave the house and think, ‘why the hell did I wear that?’ but sometimes it’s more to do with comfort than anything else. Or you wear the wrong shoes or something and you regret wearing them because you’re feet are killing you after two hours. I’ve never ended up in the papers for the wrong reasons thank goodness but then I don’t go out to enough events for them to pick up on so touch wood that’s not happened yet. But you never know.
  • Flavia Cacace stars in Midnight Tango at the  Phoenix Theatre until 2 March For Tickets visit www.midnighttango.co.uk or call 0844 871 7629