'Strictly Come Dancing' reveals the 2022 pro dancer line-up

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·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·3-min read
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Amy Dowden, Giovanni Pernice and Johannes Radebe are all returning to Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC)
Amy Dowden, Giovanni Pernice and Johannes Radebe are all returning to Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing has released its pro dancer line-up for the 2022 series, confirming that no more of the established cast will join Oti Mabuse and Aljaz Skorjanec in quitting.

This week, Skorjanec announced that he had decided the 2021 series of the BBC One dance contest would be his last after nine years on the show, while earlier this year two-time winner Mabuse said that she would be leaving after seven years.

Read more: Aljaz Skorjanec denies behaving aggressively backstage at Strictly

Now, the pro cast list has been revealed - showing that the rest of the well-known dancers will be back, as well as a few newer names who joined last year.

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Kai Widdrington, AJ Odudu - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Kai Widdrington had a successful first series with AJ Odudu. (BBC)

Female dancers hoping to get a celebrity partner later this year include Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Jowita Przystal and Nancy Xu.

They'll be joined by male dancers Graziano Di Prima, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard, Gorka Marquez, Giovanni Pernice, Johannes Radebe and Kai Widdrington who are also vying to win a spot in the main cast.

Read more: Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice's silent dance nominated for Bafta

Other pro dancers may be announced at a later date, as the cast usually includes a wider group of performers who do not get a celebrity partner to compete with but appear in group dances.

The Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers Nancy Xu - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Nancy Xu got her first celebrity partner in 2021. (BBC)

Widdrington, Kuzmin, Lombard and Przystal were all new to Strictly last series, with Widdrington reaching the final as AJ Odudu's partner - although they were unable to compete for the trophy as she was injured - and Kuzmin having a strong first series as Tilly Ramsay's partner.

Xu has been in the wider pro cast for a few years, but got her first celebrity partner in 2021 with Rhys Stephenson who reached the semi-final.

Read more: Nikita Kuzmin reunites with grandmother after she escapes Kyiv

Pernice was last series' winner with Rose Ayling-Ellis and Radebe was runner-up with John Whaite as the show's first-ever all-male couple.

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing - TX: 17/10/2020 - Episode: Launch show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Katya Jones - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Katya Jones is returning to the cast. (BBC)

Executive producer Sarah James said: "We could not be more proud of the Strictly professional dancers and we are so happy to have so many returning for 2022.

"The world-class skill and extraordinary care they bring to everything they do, from working with their celebrity partners to choreographing and performing remarkable and unforgettable routines, never ceases to amaze us.

Aljaz Skorjanec has quit <em>Strictly</em> after nine years. (BBC)
Aljaz Skorjanec has quit Strictly after nine years. (BBC)

"They really are the best in the business and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the Strictly ballroom for our twentieth fabulous series."

When Skorjanec announced his exit earlier this week, he paid tribute to his fellow pro dancers by saying: "Being a part of a group of professionals that inspire and push you to be better every step of the way is humbling and I will carry that inspiration with me forever. Every year the lineup of dancers would change but one thing stayed the same, WE WERE THE BEST! And this is one thing that I know will never change on Strictly!"

Watch: Motsi Mabuse confirms Ukrainian in-laws are now living with her

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