Three more new pro-dancers for 2016
Today we can exclusively reveal three more professional dancers will be joining the show! The all-British dancers include World Champion Neil Jones and British and European Youth Latin and Ballroom Champions, AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt, who will be the youngest ever professional dancers to appear on Strictly Come Dancing!
Professional dancers already announced for the new series are Aljaz Skorjanec, Anton Du Beke, Brendan Cole, Pasha Kovalev, Kevin Clifton, Gorka Marquez, Giovanni Pernice, Karen Clifton, Joanne Clifton, Katya Jones, Janette Manrara, Natalie Lowe, Oti Mabuse and Oksana Platero.
AJ was born in Stoke-on-Trent and is aged 21. In 2015, AJ and his dance partner Chloe Hewitt won one of the biggest championship in the world to become British Open Youth Latin Champions. That same year they also became European Youth Latin Champions. Over their nine year competitive career they have set records by becoming the National Youth Latin Champions for three years in a row from 2012 - 2014 in the two biggest British competitions and uniquely they have been champions in both the Ballroom and Latin syllabuses. When Strictly Come Dancing first started in 2004, AJ was only aged nine and he has grown up watching the series.
AJ said, “Watch out Strictly, here I come, it is going to be amazing and I feel ecstatic!”
Chloe is aged 20 making her the youngest ever dancer to take part in Strictly Come Dancing. Born in Chester, Chloe was aged eight when Strictly Come Dancing first aired on TV. After watching the show, she decided to take up dancing and started going to Ballroom and Latin lessons. Last year, Chloe and her fellow dance partner AJ Pritchard won one of the biggest championships in the world to become British Open Youth Latin Champions. That same year they also became European Youth Latin Champions. Over their nine year competitive career they have set records by becoming the National Youth Latin Champions for three years in a row from 2012-2014 in the two biggest British competitions.
Chloe said, “My childhood dream of being on Strictly Come Dancing is now reality! The sheer excitement is exhilarating and I cannot wait to be part of the Strictly family.”
Neil is the undefeated 4-time British National Champion, and the three-time winner of the World Amateur Latin Championships with his wife Katya Jones, who also joins the show this year. In 2015, Neil and Katya were crowned World Professional Latin Showdance Champions. Neil was born in a British Army Camp in Munster, Germany and started dancing at a local ballet school at the age of three. He concentrated mainly in Ballroom and Latin, and also trained in tap, modern and ballet. He holds many titles including the UK, British, European and World Latin Champion.
"I am so thrilled to be joining the cast of Strictly Come Dancing! As a British dancer I have grown up watching this amazing show, it is a massive honour and I am feeling pumped and excited to be part of the Strictly family."