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'Strictly' star Katya Virshilas announces engagement to fellow dancer Klaus Kongsdal

3 January 2011
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While there was an undeniable chemistry between rugby player Gavin Henson and his Strictly Come Dancing partner, HELLO! magazine can reveal that Katya has her heart firmly set on another man. In this week’s HELLO! Katya exclusively announces her engagement to her boyfriend of 14 months, Danish dancer and coach Klaus Kongsdal. Klaus surprised her with a romantic proposal shortly after she returned home from the last group celebrity rehearsal before the final.


“I opened the door and there were hundreds of rose petals and candles,” she tells HELLO! in their first interview and photoshoot together. “My first thought was ‘oh my God, I forgot our anniversary or something’ because for the past three months I had been so absorbed with Strictly.” 

Klaus, who as a professional dancer was European champion and ranked number one in the world, had been planning to propose for a few months. “But the biggest deal for me was that she had to be finished with Strictly first, because it takes over so much of your life,” he says. Even though it is Klaus who has won her heart, Katya tells HELLO! that is was Gavin who stole her first waking thought: “Every single morning when I was waking up, I was thinking about Gavin, even if it was only how to make his falls softer, and his highs higher.” 

Gavin, who split from Charlotte Church, the mother of his two children, last year, has revealed that he is ready to meet someone new. Katya tried to set him up with a friend of hers. “I tried once and he said ‘don’t try again,’” she told HELLO!. Fortunately Klaus wasn’t jealous of the amount of time Katya was spending with the rugby hunk. 

“It was funny, because in the first few weeks I said to Gavin: ‘You’ve got to grab her, come on, you’ve got to look like you’re going to kiss her,’” laughs Klaus, who is one of the main coaches for the Danish ballroom team. “Gavin was looking at me as if to say: ‘Are you nuts?’ “But I have to say that Gavin is such a great guy that I never had any reason to be worried.” 

It was Strictly that brought Katya and Klaus together. Klaus’s best friend, Jason Cutler, whose brother is former Strictly Come Dancing champion Matthew, had introduced them in the BBC bar after a live show in October last year. “I was a huge fan of Klaus’s,” reveals Katya, who was born in Lithuania, but raised in Israel and Canada. “He’s a bit of a celebrity in the ballroom world,” she smiles. The couple are planning to marry in 2012.

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