Strictly Come Dancing – Professional dancers – the women

Ballet News | Strictly Come Dancing – Professional dancers – the women 

Photograph : BBC Pictures

The Strictly professional ladies were interviewed before they knew who their partners would be, so it’s interesting to see whether their wishes have been granted as the season begins at the end of this month. Or was it a case of “be careful what you wish for ?”

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 USA and in 2008 became part of 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!”

Aliona is partnered with Harry Judd.

Erin Boag

Kiwi Erin is a strong competitor and specialises in ballroom, alongside her professional parter 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, “I’ve had my fair share of sportsmen and this year I’m hoping for someone completely the opposite!”

Erin is partnered with Rory Bremner.

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 5, is excited at the prospect of this year “I hope to have a partner who is enthusiastic and willing to win.”

Flavia is partnered with Russell Grant.

Katya Virshilas

Lithuanian-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 said 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.”

Katya is partnered with Dan Lobb

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 USA 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 everybody to enjoy.  The main thing is to have someone who is excited to be on the show and who is willing to work hard.”

Kristina is partnered with Jason Donovan

Natalie Lowe

Ballroom specialist Natalie started dancing in Australia at the age of 3.  She 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 during the dance competition.”

Natalie is partnered with Audley Harrison

Ola Jordan

Ola began dancing at the age of 12 and by 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!”

Ola is partnered with Robbie Savage

For all the photos so far, click here

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