He may be the new heartthrob on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, but over a decade ago this adorable tot was only dreaming of being a professional dancer…
Now a firm favourite on the hit BBC show and with his very own calendar having just been released, this Italian Stallion can’t quite believe his luck.
Yep, we’re talking about the one and only Graziano Di Prima!
The Sicily-born star looks absolutely adorable in these throwback snaps as a young wannabe dancer, but his childhood didn’t come without it’s difficulties.
Speaking exclusively to CelebsNow, the 24-year-old revealed he was teased as a child for loving to dance.
‘I had a bad moment when I was 12/13 years-old at school, all the guys laughed and said, “Ahhhhh you’re a girl because you’re dancing, you have long hair”, it was a bad moment,’ Graziano explained.
However, the dancer credits his mum for urging him to follow his dream: ‘My mum was like, “You love dancing, you need to just follow your dreams”.’
And it seems there’s no hard feelings between Graziano and his former schoolmates, as he added: ‘In my city everyone knows each other and now all the guys that were in the same class as me, they are my friends and best mates, it’s incredible.’
Fast forward ten years and Graziano is living the dream – he’s just been confirmed for the Strictly Come Dancing live tour, and is set to be hanging on everyone’s bedrooms walls thanks to his hunky 2019 calendar.
‘I never thought in my life that this would happen one day,’ Graziano admitted. ‘Everything happened so fast, it’s almost the end of the season. If you think about July of this year, I never thought that my life would change like this!
‘I’ve had so many messages, not just because people like the calendar.. Okay I’m without a T-shirt, open shirt, whatever – but they recognise me also because of the show which is really, really good.
‘I always reply to fans, because for me it’s a pleasure when people recognise me from the show. The people are so warm here.’
Graziano loves living in London with his girlfriend – and fellow dancer Giada Lini – but thinks he would still be in Italy if he hadn’t followed his passion for dance.
Asked what he thinks he would be doing if he wasn’t a dancer, Graz replied: ‘Good question! I think maybe helping my dad, we have a really big farm. So if I wasn’t a dancer, my life would probably be so different!’
To purchase Graziano’s official 2019 calendar, click here.