Danny Cipriani dons Santa’s suit for Strictly Christmas dance

The eagerly awaited Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special is set to feature rugby star Danny Cipriani and professional dancer Jowita Przystał, who recently shared their excitement and behind-the-scenes insights.

The pair are one of six couples on this year’s Strictly festive special.

Danny, expressing his gratitude for the opportunity, says: “I feel absolutely privileged that I get the opportunity to learn a dance with professional dancers who are experts in their role, and I get coached by them, to get to a level where I feel happy enough to go out and perform it to an audience.”

Jowita, who has previously experienced the magic of the Christmas special, recounted: “It’s so nice, I love doing the Christmas Special… There’s a feeling about the Christmas special, the atmosphere, everyone is so calm and so happy, there’s no stress and even if something goes wrong, it doesn’t matter because it’s Christmas.”

When asked what motivated him to join Strictly, Danny shared a heart-warming anecdote: “It was something that I definitely wouldn’t have done years ago. But I was with my friend and they said, ‘you have to do it, you love to dance’. I felt it in my chest that it was the right thing to do, so I committed to that and felt like I wanted to do it, so I said yes.”

Danny’s natural affinity for dancing is evident, as he explains: “Just a lifetime of stepping into the beat. I really enjoy dancing. Learning steps is different but now I understand a bit about the Cha Cha Cha and what I need to do to bring it alive, so I am looking forward to that.” His positive outlook on dancing is infectious: “I enjoy the way that I move to the beat of the music. Because it makes me feel good. I think everyone looks good when they dance if they are giving it their best shot, even if they are out of beat, it still is a talent to do that because that’s different.”

Jowita commended Danny’s skills, saying: “I’m telling you, you look great. Your Cha Cha looks great!” to which Danny jovially responded: “Cheers coach!”

Jowita described Danny as “an absolute trooper,” praising his quick learning ability. “He’s got the moves,” she added.

Regarding their Christmas themed performance, Jowita revealed: “Well, we’re dancing to ‘Celebration’! So it’s a Christmas party song, and Danny is…Mr Santa Claus and I am Mrs Claus.” Danny playfully added: “I’ve got a waistcoat on and…no shirt. It’s a modern version of Santa Claus.”

Danny’s signature dance move, the Dougie, is a fan favourite. “Well, what people know me for is the Dougie, because when I was 22, I scored a try and did the Dougie afterwards. Now I do the Dougie everywhere I go because I like it and add bits to it,” he explained. When asked if he’d perform it if they win, he confidently replied: “No problem.”

Regarding the competition, Danny maintains a relaxed attitude: “I don’t know, I’ve not even thought about it…or do the Dougie.”

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special airs on 4:40PM on BBC One.