Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Professional dancers

  • Anton Du Beke

    Ballroom specialist Anton is an English gentlemen and first started dancing at the age of 14. Financing his dancing as a baker, daily routines saw him getting up at 3am and then heading to dance studio in the evenings to practice. His professional partner is fellow Strictly dancer Erin Boag. Anton is excited about the new series: "I hope to have a great experience, have a fabulous partner and essentially, I hope to have lots of fun! And who knows? I might make it to the finals this year!"

  • Artem Chigvintsev

    Last year was Artem's first series on Strictly Come Dancing and although he was a newcomer, he made a lasting impression, beating off the competition to lift the glitter ball with partner Kara Tointon. Dancing has taken Artem all over the world and he has also worked on various dance projects, including So You Think You Can Dance. Looking forward to the new series, he'd like a partner who has a "passion for dance and wants to have the time of their life!"

  • Brendan Cole

    Kiwi Brendan specialises in all things Latin-American and has featured on Strictly since the first series. Initially not taking to dancing at the age of six, Brendan is now a seasoned performer and has also been a judge on the New Zealand version of Strictly. Having enjoyed the sweet taste of success in series one with Natasha Kaplinsky, Brendan "hopes to lift the glitter ball trophy this year and hopes his partner is as competitive as he is!"

  • James Jordan

    Straight-talking James is a Latin American specialist who started dancing at the age of 11. Together with his professional partner, wife and fellow Strictly professional dancer, Ola Jordan, James has competed in many competitions and they have also both taught Latin American dance in Hong Kong. After taking a break, the duo returned to competitive dancing in 2005, becoming Latin American Closed British Finalists. After reaching the final last year with Pamela Stephenson, this year James is hoping for "a real contender to help him lift the glitter ball trophy."

  • Pasha Kovalev

    Siberian-born Pasha is this year's new boy, who brings his fun-loving personality and a passion for all things Ballroom and Latin. Since his early dancing days, Pasha has gone from strength to strength; he was a finalist on the US version of So You Think You Can Dance and has also performed on Broadway and in the West End in Burn The Floor. Pasha is really excited to be part of the new line-up and asks that his celebrity partner has "a willingness to learn and be open to new experiences, and to practice hard. It's a dance competition after all."

  • Robin Windsor

    Last year Robin joined the Strictly professionals and proved a huge hit. Having started dancing at the age of three, Robin had a successful youth career until the age of 20. He followed this with a major worldwide touring dance show, performing on Broadway and the West End. He is looking forward to the challenge of the new series, saying: "This year I'm up for the challenge and I can take on anyone. Bring it on! I have already purchased a brand new set of vests!"

  • Vincent Simone

    Italian Vincent joined the dancing scene aged seven and has strong roots, as his parents are professional ballroom and Latin dance teachers. He has performed worldwide and has achieved many titles alongside his professional partner and Strictly dancer, Flavia Cacace, including Professional Ten Dance and World Argentine Tango Show Champions. He is excited to meet his celebrity partner as long as she has passion: "I hope my partner this year will be excited to be part of this amazing show and very keen on winning. I think this is my year to win and lift the glitter ball trophy."

  • Aliona Vilani

    Aliona began ballroom dancing in Russia at the age of 11 and as an all-round contender she specialises in Ten Dance (Ballroom and Latin) as well as Salsa, Hip-Hop and Jazz. In 2001, Aliona was selected by the National Dance Congress to compete against the World Teams for the US and in 2008, became part of the Dancing With The Stars Tour. Aliona is looking forward to the new series, promising that if her partner "gives me his best efforts I promise to do my best to make the dancing fun, exciting and great!"

  • Erin Boag

    Kiwi Erin is a strong competitor and specialises in Ballroom, alongside her professional partner and fellow Strictly dancer, Anton du Beke. Having danced together since 1997, turning professional in 2002, the pair have graced the series from the very beginning. Erin's experience on Strictly is extremely valuable to her and she can't wait to find out who she will be partnered with: "I've had my fair share of sportsmen and this year I'm hoping for someone completely the opposite!"

  • Flavia Cacace

    Ten Dance and Argentine Tango specialist Flavia was born in southern Italy and has been dancing with her current professional partner and Strictly dancer Vincent Simone, for the past 14 years. Flavia loves the show element of Strictly and after her second place in series five, is excited at the prospect of who her celebrity might be this year: "I hope to have a partner who is enthusiastic and willing to win."

  • Katya Virshilas

    Lithuania-born Katya specialises in a variety of styles, including Ballroom and Mambo and discovered dancing when she moved to Vancouver with her family. She became the youngest ever British Columbian Latin Dance Champion at the age of 16 and has trained various film stars including Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. After being paired with sporting stars in the past two series, she says her ideal partner "would be in the entertainment business. I've had a cricket player and a rugby player but this year I'm ready for something different."

  • Kristina Rihanoff

    Siberian-born Kristina is passionate about Latin and Ballroom. Dancing from a young age, Kristina has won a multitude of competitions and began teaching dance at the age of 16. As well as Strictly, she has been involved with Dancing With The Stars in the US and assisted with choreography in So You Think You Can Dance. This series, Kristina is hoping for a partner who oozes enthusiasm: "I would love to create memorable dances with my new partner for everyone to enjoy. The main thing is to have someone who is excited to be on the show and who is willing to work hard."

  • Natalie Lowe

    Ballroom specialist Natalie started dancing in Australia at the age of the three. She has appeared in seven series of Dancing With The Stars in Australia and has an impressive track record on the show, winning the first series and coming second in three others. This year, Natalie would like to be partnered with an athlete as "they are disciplined, most are team players and I like the competitive edge that comes out in them during the dance competition."

  • Ola Jordan

    Ola began dancing at the age of 12 and by the age of 17 was placed in the Top 12 of the World Championships. She danced to victory in the seventh series of Strictly with partner Chris Hollins and is married to her professional partner and Strictly professional James Jordan. Speaking of their rivalry, she says: "there is a bit of competition between us of course, but we both want each other to do the best we can. But I do want to win!"

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