TV & Movies

Strictly Just Released Some Sultry New Photos Of The Professional Dancers

Four new professionals will be joining the line-up this year.

by Bustle UK
Originally Published: 
'Strictly Come Dancing' professionals

Autumn could not come sooner for fans of the BBC’s flagship dancing show, and now the Strictly 2021 celebrity line-up has bee announced, anticipation really is reaching fever pitch. But it’s not just the celebrities causing buzz. There’s a lot of change happening this year on Strictly, with Anton Du Beke officially taking over from Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel and four new dancers joining the professional line-up.

On July 19, it was revealed that Kai Widdrington, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard, and Jowita Przystal would be added to Strictly’s pro roster. The new additions were confirmed upon announcement that Janette Manrara would not return to the dance floor after eight years as a pro. Instead, she’ll be taking over from Zoe Ball as a co-host of BBC Two’s It Takes Two.

The new dancers are no strangers to television. Some viewers may recognise Przystal as the winner of The Greatest Dancer, for example, while Widdrington was a finalist on Britain's Got Talent and served as a professional on Dancing with the Stars Ireland. Elsewhere, Kuzmin has competed as a professional on Let's Dance Germany and Lombard was a finalist on South Africa’s Got Talent in 2012.

Strictly fans have already had an exciting sneak peek at this year’s professional line-up when the BBC released some sultry images of the dancers ahead of the 19th series. The photos show the professionals in black and red outfits, posing together in an abandoned warehouse.

Keep reading to find out who you’ll be seeing in this year’s professional line-up.

Oti Mabuse

Eight-time South African Latin American champion Oti Mabuse is the only dancer in the history of Strictly to have won two consecutive series. She joined the show in 2015 and won the much-coveted mirrorball trophy with actor Kevin Fletcher in 2019 and comedian Bill Bailey in 2020.

Aljaž Škorjanec

Aljaž Škorjanec joined Strictly in 2013, where, alongside Liverpudlian model and presenter Abbey Clancy, he won the glitterball trophy. He has been dancing since he was five years old, and represented Slovenia in world championships for over a decade.

Gorka Marquez

Gorka Marquez has been with Strictly since 2016 and entered two rounds of finals, once in 2017, with singer Alexandra Burke, and in 2020, with actor Maisie Smith. Marquez has been dancing since he was 12.

Amy Dowden

Welsh dancer Amy Dowden has been perfecting her skills since the age of 8. She is the first dancer from Wales to take part in Strictly and has previously partnered with CBBC’s Karim Zeroual and TV presenter JJ Chalmers. She joined Strictly in 2017.

Dianne Buswell

Before joining Strictly in 2017, Dianne Buswell participated in the Australian version of the show. In her second series, she reached the final with Joe Sugg, of social media fame, who is now her real-life partner. She’s also an Australian Open Champion.

Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni Pernice has impressively made the Strictly final three times, with Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee, and Faye Tozer in 2015, 2017, and 2018, respectively. Even more impressively, in 2017, he smashed the Guinness World Record for Most Charleston swivel steps in 30 seconds on BBC Two’s It Takes Two. He joined Strictly show in 2016.

Graziano di Parma

Another Sicilian, Graziano di Prima joined Strictly in 2018, where he partnered Vick Hope, radio presenter and host of Capital FMs Capital Breakfast show. He’s represented Belgium internationally and, in 2021, will tour with ballroom ensemble Burn the Floor.

Janette Manrara

Janette Manrara began her Strictly journey in 2013. She has performed on stage with Jennifer Lopez and was a principal dancer in hit TV series Glee. Her partners have included Eastenders’ Jake Wood, singer Peter Andre, and NHS doctor Ranj Singh.

Nadiya Bychkova

Nadiya Bychkova, who hails from Ukraine, is a two-time World Champion. In her first year with Strictly in 2017, she made it to the quarter finals with actor Davood Ghadami. Other previous partners include singer-songwriter Lee Ryan and footballer David James.

Johannes Radebe

Two-time Professional South African Latin Champion, Johannes Radebe joined the Strictly family in 2018. He’s partnered actresses Catherine Tyldesley and Caroline Quentin in 2019 and 2020 respectively. On the South African version of the show, he’s reached the final twice.

Nancy Xu

Nancy Xu joined Strictly in 2019. She was previously a finalist in the Under 21 World Championships in 2010 and participated in So You Think You Can Dance China. This will be the first year Xu is paired with a celebrity to take part in the competition.

Katya Jones

Katya Jones began her Strictly career in 2016. Last season, she was one half of Strictly’s first same-sex pairing, alongside Olympic boxer Nicola Adams. She won the Strictly championship in 2017, with actor Joe McFadden. Other notable partners include former politician and former Chancellor Ed Balls.

Neil Jones

Neil Jones has been a Strictly professional since 2016 and danced in group numbers. In 2019, he made his debut as a competitor when he was partnered up with footballer Alex Scott. The pair placed 5th.

Luba Mushtuk

Prior to becoming a professional on the show, Luba Mushtuk participated in Strictly as an assistant choreographer. Her partners include athlete James Cracknell and American football player Jason Bell.

Karen Hauer

The former dance partner of presenter Jeremy Vine and TV personalities like Mark Wright and Jaime Laing, Karen Hauer moved to New York at eight to pursue dancing. This year will be her tenth on Strictlyin the show’s history, she is the longest-serving female professional dancer.

Jowita Przystal

One of the new professionals this year, Jowita Przystal is a 26-year-old dancer who began ballroom dancing at the age of 12. She is the Polish Open Latin Champion 2014 and won The Greatest Dancer with her partner Michael Danilczuk in 2020.

Kai Widdrington

By the time Kai Widdrington was 14, he had already snagged the title of 2010 World Junior Latin-American champion. Two years later, he reached the final of the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent. Widdrington has previously worked as a professional dancer on Dancing With The Stars Ireland, placing second in 2018 and 2020.

Cameron Lombard

Cameron Lombard, 20, is a reigning South African Latin Champion. He’s won 18 national titles across ballroom and latin during his time as a dancer and was a finalist on South Africa’s Got Talent in 2012.

Nikita Kuzmin

Nikita Kuzmin is a 23-year-old dancer and choreographer from Ukraine who has been dancing for almost two decades. He is a six-time Latin and Ballroom National Champion in Italy and has competed as a professional dancer on Let’s Dance (Germany’s equivalent to Strictly).

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