This year’s spectacular series kicked off with an unmissable Red Carpet opening dance from the professionals, a dazzling routine from our celebrities, stellar performances from Rod Stewart and Jessie J, and last year’s winners, Louis and Flavia, showing the class of 2013 how it’s done! We didn’t think it could get any better! But of course, the best was yet to come. The nail-biting moment we’d all been waiting for; the all-important pairings...

Abbey Clancy and Aljaz Skorjanec:

Ashley Taylor Dawson and Ola Jordan:

Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff

 

Dave Myers and Karen Hauer:

Deborah Meaden and Robin Windsor:

Fiona Fullerton and Anton Du Beke:

Julien Macdonald and Janette Manrara:

Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute:

Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvintsev:

Patrick Robinson and Anya Garnis:

Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev:

Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Brendan Cole:

Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton:

Tony Jacklin and Aliona Vilani:

Vanessa Feltz and James Jordan:


Now we need YOUR help to name our dynamic duos. Could Karen & Dave go back to Neanderthal beginnings with ‘Kave’  or could Susanna and Kevin become ‘Sevin!’... a prophecy of Len’s marks for them perhaps!? Share your ideas below.

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  • Comment number 131. Posted by KevinInEssexUk

    on 19 Sept 2013 11:14

    Carrie Ann Inaba @CarrieAnnInaba (DWTS judge with Len & Bruno in America, running concurrently with @BBCstrictly in a few weeks), placed this quote on twitter:
    "I dance because there's no greater feeling in the world than moving to a piece of music and letting the rest of the world disappear.
    I thought it was very nice.
    I added this quote from the series TSCC, spoken by Cameron, she is trying to be more humanlike:
    "Dance is the hidden language of the soul", as she practised her ballet moves.

    So, keeeep daaaaancing (if you're able to. Ho hum).

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  • Comment number 130. Posted by carol

    on 18 Sept 2013 22:05

    When they dropped Aliona initially I had decided not to watch SCD this year as she is my favourite dancer and I love re- watching her dances with Matt and Harry. I was so excited that she was back in the show but then saw who her partner was! Aliona, still glad your back it was not the same without you last year, don't care what anyone says! I must try and get a ticket to SCD whilst there is still a chance to see you dance ......

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  • Comment number 129. Posted by pasopeter

    on 18 Sept 2013 19:55

    Thanks for the update lightbuffer (message 127). Interesting that Tony & Aliona are putting her part of the name at the front. Usually the pros part in the team nickname is at the end which is why I listed my team names the way I have. I suppose there is a certain sense to Juliens nickname but for me it only says something about him and his job. It doesn't really incorporate his partner in there.

    By the way I made a mistake when typing my nickname for Debbie & Robin as I added an extra N in so my suggestion for them is Team Meadsor

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  • Comment number 128. Posted by Stephalex

    on 18 Sept 2013 19:04

    7 words for the BBC Strictly Team

    HURRY UP WITH THE TEAM BLOGS PLEASE!!!!!!

    For all those who were on the Pasherley and Ton and Jerry blogs last year

    TOFFEE APPLES are on the side if you want one.

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  • Comment number 127. Posted by lightbuffer

    on 18 Sept 2013 16:15

    124 Pasopeter, I think ( from reading of tweets) that Julien is going for team sparkle - or perhaps team sparkly, can't quite remember it now and Tony and Ali are going for team Aliony. The rest are still up for grabs, as far as I know.

    Just been through the current list of first steps. Seem good overall, although I am starting to feel that those initial 'hellos' are not initial. I think Dave and Karen's partnership could be good for both of them, as Dave might help Karen to 'mellow' her current image down a little. Sheathe her claws.

    Is LCCP's 'either than' a speed type of 'Neither can' ? I can easily see a slipped N at the start, but am not so sure about deriving 'can' from 'than'.

    Anyway, I can't wait for the kick off, either. Good luck one and all and keep dancing.

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  • Comment number 126. Posted by lostchachachamp

    on 18 Sept 2013 13:36

    Either than I Craig Austin

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  • Comment number 125. Posted by craig Austin

    on 15 Sept 2013 21:41

    Can't wait for the live show

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  • Comment number 124. Posted by pasopeter

    on 15 Sept 2013 18:07

    I am excited about the new series and am intrigued to see how the show develops as they start with an odd number of couples. The pairings certainly looked good on the whole. If we were looking for couples nicknames how about the following:

    Ashley & Ola - Team Ashla
    Ben & Kristina - Team Cohenoff (as stated above)
    Abby & Aljaz - Team Abjanec
    Dave & Karen - Team Myer (a mix of their last names. Can't see Daves suggestion of Hairy Dancers sticking somehow)
    Deborah & Robin - Team Meandsor
    Fiona & Anton - Team Fullton
    Julien & Jeanette - Team JM2 (as they both have the same pair of initials)
    Mark & Iveta - Team Beniute
    Natalie & Artem - Team Artalie
    Patrick & Anya - Team Patya
    Rachel & Pasha - Team Rivalev
    Sophie & Brendan - Team Sole
    Susanna & Kevin - Team Reivin
    Tony & Aliona - Team Jackilani
    Vanessa & James - Team Feldan

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  • Comment number 123. Posted by LyndaCS

    on 14 Sept 2013 23:05

    Hi Julie @ 116. See we agree about Natalie. I am new to this and didn't know until recently that there was a Strictly website. Hi also to Golfing Widow @ 119 and Kevin @ 121. Did a lot of dancing in my younger days. Watched Artem and Natalie. Think Artem was teaching Natalie a Rumba walk.

    Lyn.

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  • Comment number 122. Posted by Abbeyfan

    on 13 Sept 2013 20:43

    Hello Lightbuffer and Kevin, thanks so much for your info v kind. Not very good with twit tweet stuff, but did click on link to see Artem and Natalie, she does look good already, yes it looks like they are doing a Latin dance of some kind judging by her hip action! Husband is quite welcome to the bar on a Saturday evening with his cronies, keeps him out of my way!

    I am going to get hooked on here I just know it. Thanks again, shall keeeeeeep watching.

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