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Strictly Come Dancing confirm 2022 professional dancers


Strictly Come Dancing confirm 2022 professional dancers

The pros taking part in the twentieth series of the celebrity ballroom battle have been announced.

Following last year’s glitzy series, that saw EastEnders performer Rose Ayling-Ellis and her professional dance partner Giovanni Pernice lift the series glitterball and Anne-Marie with her pro Graziano Di Prima take the Christmas gong, Strictly Come Dancing will be back on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this autumn for its twentieth series.

Made by BBC Studios, the nation’s favourite dance show will once again bring glitter, glamour and glorious dancing to Saturday and Sunday nights.

The professional dancers returning for Strictly Come Dancing 2022 are Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Giovanni Pernice, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington and Nancy Xu.

Sarah James, Executive Producer:

“We could not be more proud of the Strictly professional dancers and we are so happy to have so many returning for 2022. The world-class skill and extraordinary care they bring to everything they do, from working with their celebrity partners to choreographing and performing remarkable and unforgettable routines, never ceases to amaze us. They really are the best in the business and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the Strictly ballroom for our twentieth fabulous series.”

Further announcements and information, including any additional dancers joining the professional line-up, will be announced in due course the Beeb today noted.

Dianne Buswell

Dianne Buswell is an Australian Open Champion and four-time Amateur Australian Open Finalist. She was a professional dancer on the Australian version of Strictly Come Dancing before joining the UK series in 2017. Dianne reached the Strictly final with social media star Joe Sugg in her second series on the show, and her other previous partners include Radio DJ Dev and Max George from The Wanted.

Nadiya Bychkova

Nadiya Bychkova is a highly-decorated dancer originally from Ukraine. She is a two-time World Champion and European Champion in Ballroom and Latin ‘10’ Dance. Nadiya joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and has danced with celebrity partners including Davood Ghadami, Lee Ryan and David James. In 2021 Nadiya partnered BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, dancing all the way to the quarter final.

Graziano Di Prima

Sicilian-born Graziano Di Prima, an Italian Latin Champion, joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2018 and has partnered two celebrities in the main series, Vick Hope and Judi Love. In 2021 he was also crowned Strictly Christmas Champion with celebrity partner Anne-Marie. Before Strictly, as well as competing for his home country, Graziano also represented Belgium at the World Championships and made the top 24 at the Under 21 Latin World Championships.

Amy Dowden

Amy began dancing at the age of eight, is a four-time British National Finalist and went on to become British National Champion, making her one of the highest-ranking Ballroom and Latin dancers in the UK. Amy grew up watching Strictly Come Dancing from her home town of Caerphilly, South Wales and in 2017 joined the series as a professional dancer. In 2019 she danced all the way to the final with CBBC’s Karim Zeroual and most recently she partnered McFly’s Tom Fletcher.

Karen Hauer

Originally from Venezuela, Karen moved to the US when she was eight years old and there became American Rhythm Rising Star Champion, Professional World Mambo Champion and also appeared in the television series So You Think You Can Dance. Karen is the longest-serving Strictly dancer of the current pro line up, returning for her eleventh series. Over the years she has enjoyed many memorable partnerships including with Jeremy Vine, Mark Wright, Chris Ramsey, Jamie Laing and most recently actor Greg Wise.

Katya Jones

World Champion Latin dancer Katya Jones was born in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Competing for England, she became World Professional Latin Showdance Champion, three-time World Amateur Latin Champion and four-time undefeated British National Professional Champion. Katya is also a Strictly Come Dancing champion, having won the series with Joe McFadden in her second year on the show. Some of her other Strictly students include Ed Balls, Nicola Adams, and most recently Olympic swimmer, Adam Peaty.

Neil Jones

Neil Jones is a four-time undefeated British National Professional Champion and three-time winner of the World Amateur Latin Championships. In 2015, he was crowned World Professional Latin Showdance Champion and has won over 45 titles around the world during the course of his competitive career. Neil has been a Strictly professional since 2016 and his celebrity partners include professional footballer Alex Scott and most recently actress and comedian, Nina Wadia.

Nikita Kuzmin

Nikita moved to Italy aged 9 from his home country of Ukraine and there became a six-time Italian Champion. In 2020 he competed on Let’s Dance, Germany’s version of Strictly Come Dancing before joining the UK series in 2021. His first celebrity partner in the UK was Tilly Ramsay, and together they danced to week 10 of the competition.

Cameron Lombard

South African Latin Champion Cameron Lombard has won eighteen national titles across Ballroom and Latin during his dance career. In 2012 he was a finalist on South Africa’s Got Talent and in 2019 he represented South Africa at the World Championships. He joined Strictly in 2021, performing in all the show’s group numbers and across the series’ music acts.

Gorka Marquez

Gorka Marquez began dancing at the age of 12. He represented Spain in the World Latin Championships in 2010 and reached the semi-finals of the 2012 WDSF World Cup. After touring the world with dance show Burn The Floor, Gorka joined Strictly in 2016 and has danced in two finals, with Alexandra Burke in 2017 and with Maisie Smith in 2020.

Luba Mushtuk

Luba Mushtuk, originally from Russia, is a four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship and is also an Italian Open Latin Show Dance champion and Latin European Championship finalist. Luba was part of the Strictly Come Dancing family for several years as an assistant choreographer, before becoming a professional dancer on the programme in 2018. She has danced with two celebrity partners in the main series: James Cracknell in 2019 and Jason Bell in 2020.

Giovanni Pernice

Italian Champion Giovanni Pernice is now the longest-serving male professional amongst the current line-up of Strictly dancers, having joined the show in 2015. His celebrity partners have included Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee, Faye Tozer and Michelle Visage. In 2021, he was partnered with actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and together they lifted the Strictly Glitterball trophy, giving Giovanni his first Strictly win and making him the current reigning pro champion.

Jowita Przystal

Polish Open Latin Champion Jowita Przystal ended her competitive career in 2015 to join the cast of touring dance company, ‘Burn The Floor’ where she stayed for four years before moving to the UK in 2019 to pursue her dancing dreams. Jowita won the BBC’s ‘The Greatest Dancer’ in 2020, which gave her the prize of performing in the Strictly ballroom, and in 2021 she officially joined the Strictly professional line-up.

Johannes Radebe

Johannes Radebe is a two-time Professional South African Latin Champion and a three-time South African Amateur Latin Champion. He competed on Strictly Come Dancing South Africa twice, reaching the final both times. He joined the UK show in 2018 and most recently partnered celebrity baker John Whaite in the show’s first all-male partnership. Together they reached the final, and became the series’ runners-up.

Kai Widdrington

Southampton born Kai Widdrington was set to follow in his dad’s footsteps by becoming a professional footballer, but aged 9 he decided to take up dancing instead and by the age of 14, he became World Junior Latin champion. Kai joined the professional dancer line-up of Strictly in 2021 and his first celebrity partner was TV presenter AJ Odudu. The pair danced all the way to the Strictly final, but sadly had to pull out due to an injury.

Nancy Xu

Nancy Xu is a world-class Latin dancer who was a finalist in the Under 21 World Championships in 2010. She was also a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance in her home country of China. Nancy joined Strictly in 2019, performing in the show’s group routines and music acts. In the 2021 series she partnered her first celebrity, CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson, and together they reached the semi-final.

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