Growing up, Vancouver beauty Katya Virshilas was made fun of for being a ballroom dancer, but that hobby is helping her waltz into fame and fortune.

Virshilas, 26, who runs a dance studio in Vancouver, has been chosen as one of 16 professional dancers on Strictly Come Dancing, the United Kingdom’s version of Dancing With the Stars.
Her celebrity partner will be revealed tomorrow.

“This is my dream job,” Virshilas told Metro Vancouver from London, where she is rehearsing for the show.

“I kind of feel I’m in a dreamland because everything that (I worked) for as a little girl finally came true.”

Virshilas said the recent popularity of reality dance shows are exposing the art form to more people.

“When I was 13 and started dancing, ballroom dancing wasn’t cool and you were teased and called names,” said Virshilas.

“Now, a girl who’s passionate (about dance), she can be proud of it. The dance studios are fuller.”

Virshilas said starring on the show will give exposure and credibility not only to her style of dance, but also to Vancouver’s art culture. She added she’ll be bringing what she’s learned back to the studios here.

The show will air in the fall.

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