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Soul Searching: Flavia Cacace

When I was seven...

I was already dancing and my mum took me to a local class with my sister. We have lots of photographs of me at that age doing my medal tests and dressed in funny costumes that my mum would make. I was shy and fairly introverted. We moved to the UK from Naples in Italy just before my fifth birthday. By the time I was seven, I was pretty fluent in English.

The first time my heart was broken ...

Luckily, touch wood, I don't remember it happening for romantic reasons. It has been broken in other ways.

The wisest thing my grandmother told me ...

I didn't spend much time with my dad's mother, but I remember my grandmother on my mum's side quite well. I spent a lot of time with her when I was very young as she used to look after me. From what my family say, I'm very similar to her in that she was also introverted and shy. She took pride in her appearance as I do too. I remember she had long hair she would put up every morning and wear gloves whenever she went out for the day. I have mostly visual memories of her rather than any advice as such.

The biggest adversity I have overcome ...

Changing countries as a young child and not being able to speak the language was hard. There are always hurdles in life – work, relationships and so on. As a dancer you have to make sacrifices, but I don't regret anything. I believe everything happens for a reason.

My motto for life ...

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

My soul mate is ...

My other half Jimi [Mistry]. We met when he was my partner on Strictly Come Dancing and got together two years ago. He's outgoing, funny and we have a real laugh together. I'm close to my family too – they are a huge part of my life.

Not many people know that ...

I can play the violin. I try to play whenever I can – usually when no one else is around – and find it relaxing.

The most inspiring book I've read was ...

I'm not a big reader. When I do, I prefer more factual books to fiction. I like things with positive quotes that make me feel uplifted.

If ever I feel lonely I ...

Listen to music. Depending on my mood I might listen to something peaceful and mellow, if I want something a bit more exciting I'll put on some salsa, or if I'm feeling upbeat it's jive. Whenever I'm down, I'll play some rumba.

I believe the secret to a strong relationship is ...

Honesty, trust and being able to be yourself around that person.

Something I wish I'd done earlier ...

There isn't. I believe everything happens at the right time.

My all-time favourite YouTube clip ...

I love watching cats and dogs do ridiculous things. There's one with a tiny black cat and big ginger cat. The little cat thinks he's a giant but then the bigger cat jumps on him. That's my top one. It's hilarious.

My childhood hero was ...

I really didn't have one which I think is probably down to the fact I moved countries at a young age. I was trying to learn a new language and fit in at school and within the community. I never looked up to people on television or had posters of idols in my bedroom.

The place I most like to call home ...

Guildford in Surrey. It's where I grew up and have spent most of my life. You can put me anywhere, though, and I'll adapt.

Flavia Cacace is the face of Scottish jewellery brand Ortak. Visit www.ortak.co.uk

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