AS a dancer in his native Italy, Giovanni Pernice would travel the competition circuit dancing his way across the nation as a career.

The dancing bug bit him from an early age, and at the age of 14 he packed up from his home in Sicily and moved to Bologna to concentrate on his dancing.

He specialises in the Latin style and in 2012 even won the Italian Open Latin Dance Championship.

Here in England things are a little different. The 27-year-old still tours but nowadays it is with his own dance show.

He is best known for his part in the hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, which he first appeared in on the show’s 13th season in 2015.

In his first year on the show Giovanni was runner-up, with partner Georgia May Foote, an accomplishment he would replicate this past year with Debbie McGee.

As an added feather in his cap, not that he needs it, Giovanni also holds the Guinness World Record for the most Charleston swivels and jive kicks and flicks.

Now, Giovanni is in the process on dancing his way across the UK on his Born To Win tour.

I caught up with him to see how the tour is going and what fans can expect when the stage performance comes and visits us in Sussex.

Hi Giovanni, how’s the tour going so far?

Yeah it’s going really well. We’ve just started the last leg and I’m quite excited to get going.

Is the process of touring tiring, especially when you’re dancing as well?

Not really because we’re just enjoying what we do every night. It’s not even a job, we just go on stage, spend time with the cast, entertain some people and hopefully get a good reaction to that.

What can the crowd expect from this show?

Well it’s telling the story of my life, from when I was born until today, and of course it will be through dance. What can they expect? A lot of things; It will be sexy of course, a lot of good dancing and that’s it. Yeah, it’s a good night out.

Does the fact that you’re telling the story of your life make it more personal for you than if it were any other choreographed show?

Oh definitely, because it makes sense for me doing something like that. It’s really touching for me because every night has been extra loaded so I want to show them [the crowd] this side of me and this side of my life. So it’s good for me if I can show them who I really am, in a sense.

So how does dancing on these shows, with this tour, compare to dancing on Strictly?

It’s completely different because when you’re dancing on television all you can see is the red light, so you don’t have a lot of audience in front of you. When you do stage it’s good to feel the reactions of the audience. So it’s different nerves, a different attitude on stage as well, it’s all just a little bit different.

Would you say you prefer doing stage shows?

I wouldn’t say prefer, it’s different. I like to do both. Television is good because there’s a lot of people watching you but when you do shows, and when you do stage, it’s good because you have the audience participation as well.

Do you think that the audience that Strictly gets has allowed a lot of dancers to kick start their careers?

I always say that the reason we are on Strictly is because we are dancers. I was a dancer before Strictly Come Dancing and I will be a dancer after Strictly Come Dancing. It’s a different career because when I was in Italy it was a competitors career. Now it’s working into a different kind of career. It’s a different change of lifestyle definitely, but it’s not a change of career, it’s just a different career.

For this show your leading lady is Luba Mushtuk, what’s it been like working with her?

We’ve been doing this show together for two years so I started my show with her. We’ve been working together before that because she works on Strictly; she was a choreographer on the show and now she’s a professional dancer on the show, which is a bonus for everybody because she deserves to be there. So it will be really nice to see what she’s going to achieve on the show.

What about the rest of the cast, what are they like to work with?

The cast is unbelievable they are really, really, good. They’re great dancers, all of them, but most importantly they are really lovely people to work with. There’s a really good energy between us and every night on stage is just a laugh. It’s really nice vibes and that’s what you want from your cast. They become part of the family, in a sense.

So when does the build-up to this year on Strictly start?

We start rehearsals in August with all the professional dancers. We just do a couple of short numbers all together and then we start shooting in September.

Do you think you get more freedom on this tour than you do on TV?

No, because I always feel freedom even when I’m dancing for TV. Of course you have to follow all the routines, of course you have to follow everything you prepare for the celebrity, but when I’m on stage I can enjoy it more because it’s more relaxing.

Do you have a favourite dance to perform on this tour?

I do love the jive, it’s my favourite dance, and every time there’s a jive I’m really, really, happy.

So, finally, if anyone reads this and is interested in coming to the show, what would you say to get them down to see you?

They should come to see the show because it’s the best that you’ll see in the country at the moment. The reviews have been really amazing, I didn’t expect to see any reviews like this. So they can come and let us know what they think.

By the time you read this Giovanni will have just ten dates left of his tour, two of which are close to home.

He takes to the stage at the Pavilion Theatre in Worthing, before more ventures around the UK, and then a return to Sussex to perform at The Hawth in Crawley.