She’s lifted the coveted “glitterball” and danced Gangnam Style with a former politician - now Katya Jones is coming to Peterborough.
The multi-world Latin dance champion, best known for her Strictly Come Dancing exploits live on BBC1 on Saturday evenings, will be treading the boards at Peterborough New Theatre’s pantomime spectacular – The Wizard of Oz - this December, in her pantomime debut as Glinda the Good Witch.
Katya joined the Strictly team as a professional dancer in 2016 and quickly became a viewers’ favourite - partnered with former Cabinet Minster Ed Balls she was nominated for a BAFTA in the Must-See TV Moment category for their unforgettable - and often repeated - Gangnam Style Salsa.
The following year she took the glitterball trophy home as the 2017 series winner with celebrity dance partner Joe McFadden, although during the 2018 series she was caught up in the “kissgate” controversy with dance partner comedian Seann Walsh.
Prior to joining the smash-hit BBC show, the World Latin Champion and partner Neil Jones (her husband)won the World Amateur Latin Championships a total of three times before turning professional in 2013.
In 2015, they became the World Professional Latin Showdance Champions and their show Sominium is soon to open at Sadlers Wells.
The Wizard of Oz will be Katya’s pantomime debut.
Katya says: “I’m doing my first ever Pantomime! The Wizard of Oz will be a first for me and the Prime Pantomime production so I think we’re a little over excited!
“ I’ll be swapping my dancing shoes for a pair of wings as Glinda and I can’t wait to bring some sparkle to Peterborough New Theatre.
“I am so excited, honestly. When I came to this country (she originates from Russia) Neil said we should go to a panto. I said ‘what’s panto?’
“But having since been, it is amazing, something for the whole family. So when I got this opportunity I said ‘yes, of course.’”
So, what can we expect from Katya’s Glinda, lots of singing and dancing?
“I can’t sing, but I love to push myself, so who knows I might squeeze a song in,” she said.
“As for dancing, I hope so. I am so used to going out on a stage and entertaining people with dancing, so that would be really nice.
“Because of doing the Strictly shows and the tours and now our own show and rehearsing it is about dancing all year round and it becomes quite consuming.
“So it will be nice doing something different, panto, challenging myself, and working with a new team with different talents, that always inspires me.
“Plus, making people happy at Christmas, what could be better?
“Panto is a wonderful experience for the whole family. It’s full of magic and joy! So if you love celebrating winter festivities as much as I do, then I will be seeing you there!”
The Wizard of Oz promises to be the biggest panto in town and is being created specifically for a local audience. A perfect treat for the whole family with all of your favourite panto ingredients. Expect lashings of audience participation, dazzling costumes and plenty of laughter, guaranteed to have you shouting, clapping, and singing along to a host of chart-topping hits.
You can join Katya as Glinda helps Dorothy on a whirlwind adventure through the Emerald City, as she and her loyal friends: the brainless but cheeky scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and the heartless (literally!) tap-dancing Tin Man, navigate through the magical Land of Oz in search of the mighty and mysterious Wizard.
With the Wicked Witch of the West determined to stop them by any means necessary, however, will the spirit of friendship triumph over evil?
The Wizard of Oz will be brought to the stage by Prime Pantomimes as part of their debut season from December 14 to 31 (although due to Strictly commitments Katya will not be performing in either show on the opening day).
Prime Pantomimes is a dedicated pantomime production company founded by award-winning Selladoor Worldwide (who take over fully running the theatre in September) and Immersion Theatre Company, and will be directed and written by James Tobias with choreography from Philip Joel.
Tickets are on sale now, so click your heels together and book your tickets at www.newtheatre-peterborough.com.
There’ll be no place like Peterborough this Christmas.