Strictly Come Dancing announce four new professional dancers joining 2021 series
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Strictly Come Dancing has announced four new professional dancers for the 2021 series.
Kai Widdrington, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard and Jowita Przystal will be joining the Strictly cast with a chance of raising the famed glitterball trophy.
It’s not yet known if they will be joining as competitors for the show or if they will participate in the pro group dances, acting as reserves in case another star is unable to perform.
They replace Janette Manrara – who has left the competition after eight years to co-host spin-off series It Takes Two – and Anton Du Beke, who will replace Bruno Tonioli as a judge for this year’s series.
Kevin Clifton and AJ Pritchard also both left the show last year and weren’t replaced.
Here are the new stars and where you might have seen them before.
Jowita, 26, is a Polish Open Latin Champion, and a previous cast member of the Burn The Floor touring production.
She moved to the UK in 2019, and the following year competed in the short-lived BBC dance competition The Greatest Dancer in 2020.
With the help of Strictly pro Oti Mabuse, she was crowned the winner of the series –where the prize was to perform on Strictly.
Seems like she made quite the impression as she’s now a permanent member of the cast.
“This is my biggest dream come true,” Jowita said. “No words can describe how I feel right now. I’m still pinching myself to check if this is real but I am beyond excited to be joining the Strictly Come Dancing family and I can’t wait to give all of my heart and soul on that dance floor!”
Kai, 25, has been dancing from the age of nine and was the World Junior Latin-American champion by the age of 14.
He appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and 2014, making it through to the final and even competing with fellow pros Neil and Katya Jones in the process.
In 2017, he became a pro on Ireland’s Dancing With The Stars, and in the four years since has made it to the final twice.
In 2020, he was runner-up with Miss Universe Ireland Grainne Gallanagh.
He is close friends with Giovanni Pernice, even living with him in London.
Kai was initially reported to take part in the 2020 series, but due to Covid, the show was stripped back.
“This is my childhood dream come true. Watching Strictly from the very first series as a young boy from Southampton and now 18 years later, to be a professional dancer on the show is the most amazing feeling and the biggest accomplishment of my career,” he said.
“I can’t wait to step onto the Strictly floor and experience the exciting times that lie ahead.”
Ukraine born Nikita, 23, moved to Italy at the age of nine with his family to support his sister’s dancing career.
While he initially wanted to pursue karate, he soon joined his sister in dancing, and became six-times Italian Champion in Latin and Ballroom.
In 2020, he joined Let’s Dance Germany – the country’s version of Strictly.
“I’ve always been amazed by the magic Strictly Come Dancing brings,” Nikita said. “No matter what country I have found myself living in, I’ve never missed a chance to watch it.
“And joining it as a professional dancer is my big chance to make some magic on the most famous dance floor. I can’t wait to give it my all!”
Cameron Lombard, 20, is the reigning South African Latin Champion – and has won eighteen national titles across Ballroom and Latin during his dance career.
In 2012 he made it to the finals of South Africa’s Got Talent, and in 2019 he represented South Africa at the World Championships.
“Thank you Strictly Come Dancing for this life-changing opportunity,” he said. “Not only is this a dream come true but a challenge I am accepting with both hands. I am excited beyond imagination and looking forward to leaving my mark on the dance floor!”
Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year on BBC One.
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