Review: Giovanni Pernice: Born to Win, The Hawth

It's around this time of year we get the announcements about Strictly Come Dancing contestants.

Giovanni Pernice: Born to Win
Giovanni Pernice: Born to Win

But for me it's always about which pros are going to be dancing on the popular TV series. And it was great to see Giovanni Pernice was confirmed as a professional earlier in the summer.

Strictly Come Dancing without Giovanni would not be the same. It would lose charisma, charm, humour and first class dancing.

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And that's exactly what Born to Win - Giovanni's second live show after last year's Dance is Life - has in abundance.

Giovanni Pernice: Born to Win

At the start of the show, Giovanni - back in his home town of Crawley (well, that's what he said anyway) - promised a show that was bigger and better. And he wasn't wrong.

The Italian Stallion narrates his life from a young boy in Sicily all the way to hitting stardom with Strictly.

The dancing, as expected, was quality with such sharp and quick routines mixed in with slow, beautifully-choreographed numbers. In fact, two of the slower routines - to Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli's Perfect Sympathy and One Night Only from Dreamgirls - were the standout dances. And there was a wonderful 'Kevin and Perry do Strictly' moment with Giovanni learning to dance as a stroppy teenager.

The lucky Hawth audience got a preview of the skills of new Strictly professional Luba Mushtuk - she is going to be a hit with the BBC audience.

Giovanni Pernice: Born to Win

But they weren't the only dancers - Giulia Dotta, Emily Barker, Kylee Brown, Kai Widdrington, Curtis Pritchard and Stephen Vincent all impressed with high-energy performances, especially during You Can't Stop the Beat from Hairspray.

Choreographed by ‘Strictly Come Dancing’s’ creative director, Jason Gilkison, and produced by Strictly Theatre Co, Born to Win features every dance you could want to see.

He promised it would be bigger and better, and he didn't let the Hawth audience down.