How to be a professional dancer on strictly come dancing
Strictly Come Dancing Professional Dancers 2022
Find out which professionals are returning to the Strictly Come Dancing dancefloor in a bid to add their name to the glitterball trophy - and which celebrities they're paired with in 2022.
By Alex Fletcher Updated: 20 November 2022 - 8.00pm
By Press Association Updated: 20 November 2022 - 8.00pm
Entertainment Strictly Come Dancing
The Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers are the glue that holds the BBC One Saturday night hit together.
Bringing awe-inspiring footwork, a phwoar factor and an incredible talent for training up plodding amateurs, they are as important as the judges and celebrities in making Strictly a success.
In 2022 there are a couple of big changes as fan favourites and former Strictly winners Oti Mabuse and Aljaž Škorjanec depart the professional lineup. Their exit means there is room for four new pro dancers - Vito, Carlos, Lauren and Michelle.
As we prepare for an autumn of dazzling dancefloor delights, here is the full list of professional dancers taking part in Strictly 2022 and everything you need to know about them, including the identity of their celebrity dancer partners.
New pro dancers for 2022 | Male professionals | Female professionals
Strictly professionals - New for 2022
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Fleur East
11-time Italian Latin American Champion Vito Coppola began dancing at the age of 6 and by the age of 10 was winning national championships. His career highlights include being a 3-time World Championship finalist and European Cup Winner.
In 2021 he left the competition world as one of its highest ranking athletes to explore on screen opportunities, most recently competing in and winning Ballando con le Stelle, the Italian version of Strictly Come Dancing.
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Molly Rainford
Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu is a dancer at the very top of his game. He is a multiple world semi-finalist, placed 3rd at the German Open Championship and became Amateur Latin Rising Star Runner Up at the 2017 UK Open.
With further experience in ballroom, ballet and contemporary dance, Carlos brings a wealth of dance knowledge to the Strictly ballroom.
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: None. Lauren will take part in the group dances
Birmingham-born Lauren Oakley started dancing at just 2 years old and began competing soon after. Early successes include becoming Juvenile Champion at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival, winning across both Ballroom and Latin disciplines.
She was also crowned Under 21 British National Champion before exploring a career on stage. She has toured all over the world and most recently has been leading lady to Giovanni Pernice and Anton Du Beke in their national tours.
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: None. Michelle will take part in the group dances
Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas first started dancing at the age of six in her home country of Cyprus. There she became an undefeated champion, winning national titles consecutively from 2001-2011 before moving to London to study.
Whilst in the UK she continued to compete, representing England at major international championships before joining the world touring dance show Burn The Floor.
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Strictly Professionals - The MenBBC/Guy Levy
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Kaye Adams
Past celebrity partners: AJ Odudu
By the time he was 14, Kai was the World Junior Latin-American champion. As well as competing, Kai appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 aged 16 and made it to the final.
Kai has been a professional dancer on Dancing With The Stars in Ireland since its first series in 2017. He finished twice as runner-up on the show in 2018 and 2020.
Kai danced all the way to the Strictly final in his first series, but sadly had to pull out due to an injury to his celebrity partner AJ Odudu.
Kai and Kaye were eliminated in Week 2
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Ellie Simmonds
Past celebrity partners: Tilly Ramsay
Nikita was born in Ukraine and lived there until he was nine years old when his family moved to Italy to support his sister’s dancing career.
He started dancing aged four after initially wanting to do karate like his hero Jackie Chan.
During his nine years in Italy, Nikita became six-times Italian Champion in Latin and Ballroom.
In 2020 Nikita was a professional dancer on Let’s Dance, Germany’s version of Strictly Come Dancing.
Nikita and Ellie were eliminated in Week 7
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Richie Anderson
Past celebrity partners: Georgia May Foote, Laura Whitmore, Debbie McGee, Faye Tozer, Michelle Visage, Ranvir Singh, Rose Ayling-Ellis (winner)
Sicilian dancer Giovanni may be the butt of some good-natured jokes from his co-stars, but there’s nothing to be laughed at when it comes to his Strictly achievements.
He has danced in five series of the show so far and has reached the final three times – with Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee, and most recently Faye Tozer, and just missed out on it in 2020 with Ranvir Singh.
In 2021, he won his first Strictly title with his incredible partnership with Rose Ayling-Ellis.
Giovanni and Richie were eliminated in Week 3
Gorka MarquezSOPA Images
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Helen Skelton
Past celebrity partners: Tameka Empson, Alexandra Burke, Katie Piper, Maisie Smith, Katie McGlynn
Gorka began dancing at the age of 12 and has represented Spain across the globe in Latin championships.
He has been in the Strictly pros crew since 2016 and reached the final in 2017 with Alexandra Burke – the same year that he started dating another contestant, Gemma Atkinson, who he welcomed baby daughter Mia Louise with in July 2019.
Gorka reached the final with Maisie Smith in 2020, but has yet to win the big prize.
Graziano Di PrimaSOPA Images
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Kym Marsh
Past celebrity partners: Vick Hope, Judi Love
In 2018, Graziano was the show’s much-touted new signing who even got his own introductory dance when the series began.
However, despite looking like a promising pair with Vick Hope, they were a shock elimination in the early weeks so we didn’t end up seeing too much of Graziano.
He didn’t get a celebrity partner in 2019 or in 2020, but reached Halloween Week with comedian Judi Love in 2021.
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Ellie Taylor
Past celebrity partners: Catherine Tyldesley, Caroline Quentin, John Whaite
Johannes got his first partner in 2019, dazzling viewers with Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley, and left the 2020 contest much earlier than expected in a shock eviction with Caroline Quentin.
Johannes is no stranger to Glitterball glory, having reached the Final of Strictly Come Dancing South Africa twice.
He 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.
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: None. Neil will take part in the group dances
Past celebrity partners: Alex Scott, Nina Wadia
He’s been a part of the Strictly pros group since 2016 and has partnered celebrities in two Christmas specials, but it was only 2019 when he got first celebrity, footballer Alex Scott.
In 2020 he was back on the subs bench, but returned in 2021 with actress Nina Wadia.
Neil is the four-time undefeated British National Professional Champion and the three-time winner of the World Amateur Latin Championships with his now-estranged wife Katya Jones.
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: None. Cameron will take part in the group dances
No past celebrity partners
Reigning South African Latin Champion Cameron Lombard, 20, has won 18 national titles across Ballroom and Latin during his dance career.
He started competing aged six, and within a year he was already winning local and regional competitions.
In 2012 he was a finalist on South Africa’s Got Talent and in 2019 he represented South Africa at the World Championships.
Strictly Professionals - The WomenBBC/Guy Levy
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: James Bye
Past celebrity partners: Brian Conley, Danny John-Jules, Karim Zeroual, JJ Chalmers, Tom Fletcher
Welsh dancer Amy grew up watching Strictly and in 2017 achieved her dream of being cast in the show.
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.
In 2019 she danced all the way to the final with CBBC’s Karim Zeroual and most recently she partnered McFly’s Tom Fletcher.
Amy and James were eliminated in Week 6
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Tyler West
Past celebrity partners: Rev Richard Coles, Joe Sugg, Dev Griffin, Max George, Robert Webb
Australian Open Champion Dianne has toured the world with the dance company Burn the Floor, and was one of the pros on the Australian version of Strictly before she joined the UK show in 2017.
Dianne reached the final with social media star Joe Sugg in 2018 and the pair are now in a relationship. She had to withdraw from the show with 2021 when her partner Robert Webb suffered an injury.
Dianne and Tyler were eliminated in Week 9
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Jayde Adams
Past celebrity partners: Nicky Byrne, Dave Myers, Mark Wright, Jeremy Vine, Will Young, Simon Rimmer, Charles Venn, Chris Ramsey, Jamie Laing, Greg Wise
The longest serving pro on Strictly, Karen has been a popular dancer with the viewers and the contestants since she joined in 2012.
In 2020 she made it to the final with Jamie Laing who had returned after dropping out with an injury in 2019.
Venezuelan and New York-raised Karen has titles for United Amateur American Rhythm National Champion and Professional World Mambo Champion, and was a contestant on the US series So You Think You Can Dance.
Karen and Jayde were eliminated in Week 5
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Tony Adams
Past celebrity partners: Ed Balls, Joe McFadden (Winner), Seann Walsh, Mike Bushell, Nicola Adams, Adam Peaty
Russian dancer Katya has won a clutch of trophies with her ex-husband and Strictly pro Neil – the World Amateur Latin Championships, the World Professional Latin Showdance Championships, and the British National Professional Championships four times.
She won Strictly with Joe McFadden and is famed for her Gangnam Style routine with Ed Balls, but will be hoping that everyone has now forgotten about 2018’s controversial partnership with comedian Seann Walsh.
Katya became one half of the first-ever same-sex couple in the show alongside Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, although unfortunately they had to bow out early after Katya tested positive for coronavirus during the series.
Katya and Tony withdrew in Week 8.
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Matt Goss
Past celebrity partners: Davood Ghadami, Lee Ryan, David James, Dan Walker
Nadiya has multiple titles as the Slovenian Ballroom and Latin Champion, is a two-time World Champion and a European Champion in ballroom and Latin.
Her Strictly partners have included Davood Ghadami and Lee Ryan, who was a surprise early elimination in the second public vote of the 2018 series.
In 2021 Nadiya partnered BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, dancing all the way to the quarter final.
Nadiya and Matt were eliminated in Week 4
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Will Mellor
Past celebrity partners: Rhys Stephenson
Nancy, from China, is a world-class Latin dancer who has competed all over the globe. Her accolades include a bronze at the National Amateur Latin Championships and being named runner-up at the International Singapore Championships.
The 28-year-old was a finalist in China's So You Think You Can Dance, and has featured in the West End and Broadway casts of Strictly-star-studded show Burn the Floor.
In the 2021 series she partnered her first celebrity, CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson, and together they reached the semi-final.
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: Hamza Yassin
No past celebrity partners
Joining the show 2021, 26-year-old Jowita started ballroom dancing at the age of 12 and is a Polish Open Latin Champion.
In 2015 she joined the cast of touring dance company Burn The Floor, where she stayed for four years before moving to the UK in 2019.
Under the mentorship of Strictly Champion, Oti Mabuse, she won the BBC’s The Greatest Dancer in 2020, and the prize of performing on Strictly Come Dancing.
Strictly 2022 celebrity dance partner: None. Luba will take part in the group dances
Past celebrity partners: James Cracknell, Jason Bell
Luba may only have been cast as one of the pro dancers in 2018, but she has been a part of the Strictly family for years as an assistant choreographer.
Her titles include being the four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship, and winning the Italian Open Latin Show Dance. She’s also worked extensively with Broadway and West End show Burn the Floor.
In 2019 she was paired up with her first celebrity student, hoping to take Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell OBE to dancing victory. But they didn't make it past the first public vote, bowing out in Week Two.
Luba fared slightly better with Jason Bell in 2020 as the second couple to be voted out.
All the former Strictly Come Dancing professionals in past series
- Anton Du Beke – Series 1-18
- Brendan Cole – Series 1-15
- Camilla Dallerup – Series 1-6
- Erin Boag – Series 1-10
- Hanna Karttunen – Series 1
- John Byrnes – Series 1
- Kylie Jones – Series 1
- Paul Killick – Series 1-2
- Darren Bennett – Series 2-7
- Hazel Newberry – Series 2
- Ian Waite – Series 2-7
- Lilia Kopylova – Series 2-7
- Nicole Cutler – Series 2, Series 3-4
- Andrew Cuerden – Series 3
- Hanna Haarala – Series 3
- Izabela Hannah – Series 3
- Karen Hardy – Series 3-6
- Matthew Cutler – Series 3-7
- Flavia Cacace – Series 4-10
- James Jordan – Series 4-11
- Ola Jordan – Series 4-13
- Vincent Simone – Series 4-10
- Brian Fortuna – Series 6-8
- Hayley Holt – Series 6
- Kristina Rihanoff – Series 6-13
- Aliona Vilani – Series 7-9 / Series 11-13
- Katya Virshilas – Series 7-9
- Natalie Lowe – Series 7-10 / Series 12-14
- Artem Chigvintsev – Series 8-11
- Jared Murillo – Series 8
- Robin Windsor – Series 8-11
- Pasha Kovalev – Series 9-16
- Iveta Lukosiute – Series 10-12
- Anya Garnis – Series 11
- Jannette Manrara – Series 11-18
- Aljaž Škorjanec – Series 11-19
- Kevin Clifton – Series 11-17
- Joanne Clifton – Series 12 / S14
- Trent Whiddon – Series 12
- Tristan MacManus – Series 12-13
- Gleb Savchenko – Series 13
- Oti Mabuse – Series 13-19
- AJ Pritchard – Series 14-17
- Oksana Platero – Series 14
Strictly Come Dancing continues every Saturday evening on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Which professional dancers are on the show?
The popular show is back for another year!
Author: Alex RossPublished 23rd Oct 2022
After the success of the 2021 series - won by actress Rose Ayling-Ellis - fans of Strictly Come Dancing are over the moon that the show is back for 2022. Show bosses began by revealing 16 professional dancers that would be paired with this year's celebs back in May - later confirming the full line-up of 20 professional dancers that would be dancing in the 2022 series, with both new and familiar faces.
Who are the new professional dancers on Strictly Come Dancing?
The new faces were revealed on 11th July, with the BBC writing: '💃🕺 Say hello to your new #Strictly pros - Carlos, Lauren, Michelle and Vito! They take the roster of professional dancers to a FAB-U-LOUS 20 for Strictly Come Dancing 2022 🎉'.
The newly announced professional dancers are European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under-21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley, and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas.
Speaking about joining the show, Italian dancer Vito said: "I am really excited to become part of this family. I cannot wait to start this new adventure and to challenge myself."
He added: "Strictly sto arrivando!" which is Italian for "Strictly I am coming!"
Carlos also commented: "I'm thrilled to join Strictly and very excited to get started. It's a new chapter of my life," while Lauren Oakley and Michelle Tsiakkas both shared that they are big fans of the show and have dreamed of becoming professionals on Strictly since they were young.
Who are the professional dancers for Strictly Come Dancing 2022?
As well as the newly announced dancers, all of the new faces from last year, including Kai Widdrington, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard and Jowita Przystal, will all return, as well as Strictly favourites such as Gorka Márquez, Katya Jones, Johannes Radebe, Dianne Buswell and Karen Hauer.
There will also be some fan favourites not returning, as Aljaž Škorjanec quit the show after nine amazing years, as did Oti Mabuse, leaving the show after seven years.Check out all of the 2022 Strictly Come Dancing professionals and their celebrity partners below:
Ellie Simmonds OBE & Nikita Kuzmin
Tyler West and Dianne Buswell
Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima
Will Mellor and Nancy Xu
Helen Skelton and Gorka Márquez
James Bye and Amy Dowden
Fleur East and Vito Coppola
Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal
Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova
Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe
Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu
Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice
Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer
Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington
Tony Adams and Katya Jones
When did Aljaž leave Strictly and why?
Following nine years on the show, Aljaž Škorjanec sadly announced he would be leaving the show in March 2022.
He wrote: 'On a beautiful sunny day in May 2013 one phone call changed my life forever!
'It went like this... We would like to offer you a position on @bbcstrictly as a professional dancer. A dream became a reality and it was the biggest opportunity for a 23 year old boy from Slovenia. It didn’t matter how many beautiful ballrooms I performed in during my competitive career, stepping onto the sacred Strictly floor was the most nervous I had ever been.
'A little while ago I made the tough decision that Strictly 2021 would be my last. The show has given me an opportunity and freedom to create and express myself in front of millions of people every weekend for the last 9 years. The love and support I got from the team of producers was second to none. @jasongilkison, @sarahjamesface, @kimwinston, @jack.will.g are just a few of the unsung heroes behind the success of the show - I am forever grateful to them!
'Being a part of a group of professionals that inspire and push you to be better every step of the way is humbling and I will carry that inspiration with me forever. Every year the lineup of dancers would change but one thing stayed the same, WE WERE THE BEST! And this is one thing that I know will never change on Strictly!
'Strictly also has the BEST backstage team - the hair and make-up team, costume department, lighting, sound, props and special effects, camera operators… THANK YOU!
'My beautiful partners.. It's hard to put into words how many beautiful memories we have had. I LOVE YOU ALL!
'To my bucka.. from picking songs, creating stories and choreographing steps we always did it as a team. Your talent and selflessness knows no bounds. We got to perform with Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, BBC Symphony Orchestra.. moments I will keep in my heart forever. I LOVE YOU!
'And finally, thank YOU, the people that watch Strictly who have been so kind to me all these years. Every comment, vote, kind message never went unnoticed. You are the reason we all do it, thank you!
'I have lots of exciting stuff planned that I will fill you in on soon. I can't wait to see what the future holds!
'KEEEEEP DANCING! Aljaz x'. (sic)
Strictly Come Dancing airs every Saturday and Sunday night on BBC One.Now read:
Strictly Come Dancing stars who found LOVE on the dancefloor
Aljaž Škorjanec reveals he's QUIT Strictly after 9 years
Strictly Come Dancing: A recap of the 2021 seriesHow to listen to Hits Radio:
For the biggest hits, the biggest throwbacks and incredible competitions tune into Hits Radio on our Hits Radio app, your DAB radio, Smart Speakers or online.
- Strictly Come Dancing
How to become a dancer who does not interfere with anything?
Who is a dancer? A person who moves his arms and legs to the beat of music or his own internal rhythm is the simplest definition. From the point of view of art, the body is the same instrument as the cello or violin. This instrument expresses emotions, feelings and moods. Dancing is no less an art than wielding a brush. The harmonious unity of the mind, soul and body is important here.
Someone thinks that the ability to dance is an innate talent sent from above. This is not always the case, everyone can become a dancer. Anyone who loves music, who enjoys moving to it, is in fact already a dancer, in the broadest sense of the word. However, to become a truly professional dancer, you need aspiration, desire and perseverance.
As a rule, the title of a professional is given to someone who has studied several years in a dance class. Behind him are more than a dozen performances on stage, knowledge of the names of all dance movements and a pack of costumes on hangers.
When it comes to street dancing style, the academic school will not help here. A professional on the street is the one who dances the best in the area. Many people ask: how to become a street dancer? Only one way: watch and repeat. Watch how they do, what they do, what kind of music. Repeat at home in front of the mirror, over and over, until the result is satisfactory. The style of street dancing has long been on the stage, and you can learn it in studios with teachers. Of course, even when working in the studio, you cannot do without repetitions at home. You need to constantly hone your movements.
Success in the art of dancing directly depends on the goals set. Some want to dance professionally in the styles of Hip-Hop or Go-Go, others strive for a professional career in ballroom dancing, and others have long dreamed of participating in dance theater productions. People who from the very beginning wonder how to become a professional dancer often become the leading choreographers and art directors of their own dance studios.
Where to get knowledge to achieve your goals? We have already talked about the method of observation and self-study, as well as classes in dance circles. Another way to learn is to participate in master classes by visiting specialists and dance competitions. Any professional activity, including dancing, requires the intervention of experienced teachers. Dance competitions will help you get the necessary criticisms and tips to improve your technique. Naturally, one must be prepared for disappointments. But not a single remark should stop a true dancer on the way to his goal.
When a person thinks about how to become a good dancer, he thinks about how to acquire technique and finesse of movement, while forgetting about personal qualities. But they are no less important than the baggage of knowledge and experience gained. A lot is decided by the energy and charisma of the author of the issue. Does he have a talent, or does he mechanically repeat the learned movements? Is he lethargic or does his temperament make him get up from his chair and give a standing ovation? It is personal qualities that sound the very final chord that affects success.
Along the way, in the world of dance, physical abilities are improved, as well as spiritual traits of a person's character. Success in this field can boost self-confidence.
When deciding what events to go to and how to become a dancer, the main thing to remember is that you should like the dance style. The body should literally "tear to dance" with the sounds of salsa or flamenco. Dance revives energy and mood. After all, it is not without reason that there is an opinion that dance is life.
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Madina Beisekeyeva: 10 life hacks on how to become a professional dancer
Madina Beisekeeva - professional choreographer, director of the MB DANCE dance studio. She has been dancing all her life and today travels and teaches dance in China.
Set a goal
Why do you want to become a professional dancer? There are two types of people: professionals who dance for themselves, like to work on themselves, gain new knowledge and become better. And there are those who want to become a dancer for a specific purpose.
Work on oneself
It may be different. Physical activity: push-ups, jumps, squats or work on mistakes. To see your mistakes, you need to film the dance. You will find out what you are missing and work on it.
For those who choreograph
Try to update your playlist frequently. I am inspired by music. My choreography depends on the music and my mood. If the music is lyrical, then I dance accordingly. The same with hip-hop.
When there is no inspiration
This happens periodically. Especially among the residents of my country, because there are few events related to dancing. I advise you to leave the country, take master classes, return charged and teach others.
Try something else
Trying different types of dance is important. If a dancer dances in one direction and takes a master class in another, then he will not achieve anything. Therefore, I advise you to develop yourself in different styles.
Decide on a basic style
In order to achieve a certain effect, you need to focus on a specific style. You need to decide what you like best. For example, what do you do best?
Always go forward
There are times when you choreograph and you start to get stuck at one point. In such cases, I advise you to skip it and move on without getting hung up.
It's the 21st century, so no matter how talented you are, your resume and portfolio is Instagram.