‘Pocket Rocket’ to star in Strictly
Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane is competing in the hit show with all the glitz and glam that is Strictly Come Dancing. She is performing with a new professinal dancer AJ; they are currently working on their routine for the first episode which appears on our TV screens on the 23rd of September.
Claudia Fragapane is an 18-year-old gymnast who competed in the Rio 2016 Olympics. A strong all round gymnast, she particularly excels in floor and vault which uses a lot of leg power. The highlight of her career so far was winning 4 gold medals in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (She was the first English woman to achieve that since swimmer Joyce Cooper 84 years previously!)
She competed in the Rio team with Amy Tinkler, Ruby Harrold and the sisters Becky and Ellie Downie; she also competed in the individual all round.
Fragapane thinks her gymnastics experience won’t help her that much. “If I make a mistake I cover it up – it’s kind of hard to do that when you’re with a partner,” she explained. “I find it difficult being that close to someone, looking them in the eye. I’ll probably start laughing!”
At just 4 ft 7 inches tall, she is often nicknamed “pocket rocket”.
AJ Pritchard is a new professional dancer on this hit show. The 21-year-old previously appeared on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2013. He has only been dancing competitively since he was 12. When he was younger he was interested in much more extreme sports such as snowboarding and mountain boarding. AJ really enjoyed these sports until he unfortunately broke his arm when he was 10-years-old.
Series 14 of the popular show starts at 9pm this Friday. There will be no public vote until the following week. The couples will have had three weeks of training to get in shape for their first dance routine.
Ruby, Year 6
Heighington Millfield Primary Academy