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One of Strictly Come Dancing’s best-loved professional dancers, Flavia Cacace has appeared in the show for the past four years. Having lived in Guildford almost all of her life, here we find out what she likes to get up to when she has a rare weekend off at home

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Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2010

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If I’m perfectly honest, the number of full weekends I have off are incredibly rare in my diary! 

The thing is, when you’re in a performing career, it’s the holidays or weekends where people go out to shows and events to have a good time – and as you are the one showing them a good time, you get used to working when everyone else is off. It just becomes a fact of life.

As you get a little older, you do become more aware of allowing yourself time off and you can really see the benefits through the quality of the work you produce because of this.

It’s a great feeling to be enthusiastic and excited about your work – and if you’re clever with your bookings, you can achieve that. Ironically, though, I also find that I’m so used to working at weekends that sometimes, if I have a lazy weekend off and nothing planned, I genuinely wish I was working. It makes me realise how important my work is and how much I love what I do.

Because I’m often on the road travelling, and in so many different locations around England or abroad, I do like to spent time at home relaxing – so on a Friday evening I would stay at home and watch a film, have some nice food and finish with a bowl of cereal before bed.

On Saturday, I would probably be getting itchy feet and in the mood for going out and about. I absolutely love going into Guildford – I have shopped there since the age of five – and it has such a cosy, warm friendly atmosphere and so much character to it. 

I also love meeting my friends under the clock and going for a coffee or light lunch. I particularly like Angel Gate as the cobbled small alley feels like you’re in France or Italy, depending on the British weather, of course...

Going into Guildford
I do enjoy a good film to take my mind off things so a trip to the Odeon cinema in Guildford would be part of my plans. That’s what I would probably do on a Saturday evening, but I would try to get a lovely meal in first at Strada, one of my favourite Italian restaurants. I don’t enjoy clubs with loud music, as I like to catch up with my friends, so to finish the evening off it would be drinks at Zizzi, or even better the Piano Bar in Guildford – I love music of that sort...

My other love is walking and the outdoors so I would definitely try to get some fresh air on a Sunday afternoon. There are some beautiful places in Guildford and surrounding areas. I love going to see the bluebells in Chilworth on a sunny warm day and have lunch at the local pub there.


I hope when I’m a little older, I can really explore the whole of Surrey through walks – hopefully with a few dogs and friends by my side.

The rest of my Sunday would be spent preparing for the coming week and I would most definitely have a fitting with my dressmaker, Leena Teperi (pictured), who has made mine and Vincent’s competition outfits for seven years.

More recently, she has also been making me beautiful cocktail dresses, leather jackets and all the things I can’t quite find on the High Street – and, of course, the great thing is that everything fits perfectly! I spend time with her coming up with ideas and designs on paper – Leena does all the drawing but it’s great to have the flexibility to alter things slightly as we go. She is very talented and versatile and I am very lucky that she lives in Guildford. I would highly recommend her if you too are a local of Guildford.

And that would be my weekend off in Surrey! Hopefully, I would then have re-charged my batteries ready for another busy week of exciting work.

  • Contact Flavia Cacace's Guildford-based dress designer Leena Teperi on 01483 570413 or e-mail leenateperi@yahoo.co.uk

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READ ON

Strictly Come Surrey: our county's dancing connections

Strictly's Flavia Cacace on dancing, fashion and life in Guildford

Flavia Cacace shares her home truths

Former Strictly champion Camilla Dallerup on waltzing, Walton and weddings

Strictly's Erin Boag on Kingston life, cycling by the Thames and shopping in Guildford

The 102-year-old Strictly Dancing queen

Sir Bruce Forsyth on Strictly Come Dancing, golf and life at Wentworth

Mark Ramprakash on Strictly, Surrey and cricket

Phil Tufnell on cricket, the Children's Trust and Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing's costume designers

 

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