Strictly Come Dancing 2015 has officially begun

Sparkles at the ready! The professionals are all together for the first time today as rehearsals get underway

Bring on the sparkles because Strictly Come Dancing 2015 has officially started. Yes, today all of the professional dancers have gathered with their choreographer for the first round of dance rehearsals. You might as well start stocking up on mince pies. It’s basically Christmas. 

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The line-up of 16 pros – which this year includes three new dancers – will now get to work learning a range of group dances, which they’ll perform throughout the series. Familiar faces Brendan Cole, Kevin Clifton, Pasha Kovalev, Ola Jordan and Aliona Vilani are among the bunch. They’ll line-up alongside three shiny new professionals: Russian-born Dancing With The Stars pro Gleb Savchenko, 2012 Italian champion Giovanni Pernice and eight-times South African Latin American champion Otlile Mabuse

But while their preparations are now underway, the pros are yet to find out who their celebrity partners will be for this year’s series. That comes later, although there are already plenty of rumours, of course.

However, today it’s all about the professionals, and the dancers have been getting excited sharing messages and pictures online as this thirteenth series gets underway. 

Here’s Aliona’s peek at the backstage action:

… although Janette Manrara has a different idea of how training should look:

James Jordan has also sent a message to wife Ola, after she injured herself in training for reality show The Jump earlier this year:

The team is already confident this year will be one to remember:

And it certainly looks like the competitive spirit has already kicked in…

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Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 this Autumn

For more head to www.radiotimes.com/strictly