NAME: Gorka Márquez
AGE: 26 FROM: Bilbao, Spain
Gorka says: I was 11 when I had my first taste of dance. My mum had been dancing since she was a child, and she adored it, but my dad had two left feet. He secretly enrolled himself in ballroom classes to surprise her, and he took me along, too. I remember one evening Mum was angry because Dad was late home. He’d been at a dance lesson but, of course, she had no idea. He came in and began to twirl her expertly around the house. She was so amazed – it was a beautiful moment. Then I knew I wanted to dance.
Many people told me dance wasn’t a career but those comments only made me more determined. I entered my first competition by accident when I was a teenager, because one girl didn’t have a partner. To my delight, we won. That sense of achievement was incredible and I haven’t looked back since.
Being Spanish, I prefer Latin dances to ballroom – I feel like it’s in my blood. My favourites are the jive and the cha-cha because they’re fast, fun and cheeky. This series will be my second Strictly experience, and I’m more determined to win than ever.
I could tell Victoria had done some dancing before. She has a natural rhythm and is very graceful. As Strictly viewers know, that can’t always be taught! I was impressed by how she picked up the steps. The celebrities on the show do at least 12 hours of practice a week, which can be difficult when they have a day job, too. It means they have to be driven and committed, and I could tell Victoria is, too. She’d be the perfect Strictly partner!