Strictly Come Dancing celebrities come and go, but it’s the professional dancers who really keep the show on its toes, putting generations of hapless contestants through their paces and turning them into twirling superstars.
So it’s little wonder that when we asked you to name your favourite Strictly pro ever, you voted in your thousands. Over 11,000 votes were cast for the favourite male and female pro dancer… and there was one clear winner.
Step forward Aliona Vilani, 2015 winner with Jay McGuiness.
The Strictly pro won both the series 13 Glitterball AND the 2015 Christmas special with The Wanted star, but announced soon after that she would not be returning for this year’s series.
Going into this Strictly Come Dancing Series13, I decided that no matter what would happen, it will be my last one❤️ pic.twitter.com/SrIVMhihSo
— Aliona Vilani Kavanagh (@AlionaVilani) December 22, 2015
She’s clearly dearly missed, coming top overall in our poll of Strictly pros past and present. Having been on the show for seven years, she chose not to appear with this year’s crop – although the good news is, she and Jay are back in the Strictly rehearsal room preparing for the Keep Dancing live tour.
Current pro Natalie Lowe, who’s partnered with Olympic star Greg Rutherford this year, came in second place, while the most popular male pro dancer was former pro Tristan MacManus, who just edged out current pro partner Aljaz Skorjanec.