Strictly Come Dancing’s New Professional Dancers: Meet The 2016 Series’ Latest Recruits

There's no shortage of Latin experts. (The dance, not the language...)

03/09/2016 08:20

The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ celebrities aren’t the only ones who will be new to the show this year, as the BBC has also recruited six new professional dancers.

Changes to the line-up - including the departures of Gleb Savchenko and Aliona Vilani, have left spaces to fill - which is where Oksana Platero, Gorka Marquez, Chloe Hewitt, AJ Pritchard, Katya Jones and Neil Jones come in.

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As the months roll on, we’ll be seeing these six among the pros pushing the celebs to their limits and with the action kicking off, it’s time to get to know them a little better.

So, without further ado, here they are…

Oksana Platero

From: Ukraine

Expert Areas: Ballroom and Latin

Credentials: Oksana was previously part of the ‘troupe’ of dancers on the US show ‘Dancing With The Stars’, which meant she performed on the show, but was not paired with a celebrity partner.

Gorka Marquez

Doug Peters/Doug Peters

From: Spain

Expert Area: Latin

Credentials: Before the series began, he was already being touted as “the new Gleb”, so it’s fair to say expectations are high. Luckily, he’s more than ready for the role and since beginning to dance at the age of 12 has represented his country at the World Latin Championships and the Dance Sport Federation World Cup.

Chloe Hewitt

From: England

Expert Area: Latin

Credentials: TV fans may recognise Chloe - and AJ - from the 2013 series of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. At 21, she’s the youngest professional to ever appear on ‘Strictly’.

AJ Pritchard


A photo posted by AJ Pritchard ✌🏻️ (@aj11ace) on

From: UK

Expert Area: Latin 

Credentials: AJ and Chloe have been dancing together for six years, winning titles including - deep breath - the British National Youth Latin Contest, the United Kingdom Youth Ballroom Championships, the Champions Of Tomorrow Youth Ballroom & Latin, and the all England Youth Ballroom & Latin tournament.

Katya Jones

From: Russia

Expert Area: Latin

Credentials: Katya is another World Champion and dances with her husband Neil Jones (who will introduce you to now, as he’s also signed up for the show. Watch out Kevin and Karen Clifton!

Neil Jones

From: UK

Expert Area: Latin

Credentials: As well as racking up plenty of world titles with Katya, Neil has made a series of TV appearances, shaking his hips on shows including ‘Children In Need’, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, and as part of a troupe of dancers on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in the UK, France and Korea.

'Strictly Come Dancing' 2016 Contestants
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