The Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer line up has been confirmed today and it features three new faces.
World Champion Katya Jones, Ukrainian Champion Oksana Platero and top Spanish dance professional Gorka Marquez are joining the 2016 series.
Returning to the pro dancer line-up this year are male dancers Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole, Kevin Clifton, Pasha Kovalev, Aljaž Škorjanec, Giovanni Pernice; and female dancers returning are Karen Clifton, Natalie Lowe, Joanne Clifton, Janette Manrara and Oti Mabuse.
In a rather surprising development, Gleb Savchenko will not be returning to the show. The pro dancer was partnered with Anita Rani during the 2015 series and proved to be one of the most popular dancers on the show.
Gleb said, “I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the last series of Strictly Come Dancing and especially the way that the UK gave me such a warm welcome but due to family commitments I won’t be returning to the show for the next series – I’ll definitely be tuning in though.”
Louise Rainbow, Executive Producer of Strictly Come Dancing said, “We are delighted with our professional dancer line up this year and we welcome three new stunning dancers to our Strictly family. Our most recent series was a terrific one for Strictly, winning both an NTA and BAFTA Television Award, and we are all so excited to build on that and look forward to yet another brilliant and entertaining series.”
Gleb’s departure is sure to be sad news for many Strictly fans. Tristan MacManus and also to Ola Jordan, Kristina Rihanoff and Aliona Vilani will also not be returning to the show.
Other professional dancers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in the Autumn when the celebrity line-up will also be revealed.