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Strictly Come Dancing professionals line-up: Meet the 2022 dancers

Who's in and who's out?

Strictly Come Dancing professionals
Published: Thursday, 31st March 2022 at 4:31 pm

There's all change to the Strictly Come Dancing 2022 professionals line-up, with long-standing dancer Aljaz Skorjanec having officially quit the BBC series.

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His wife, Janette Manrara, quit last year, so it is little surprise Aljaz followed suit.

At the moment there's little word on who will be stepping onto the dance floor to fill his place, but it's likely Cameron Lombard, a newbie in 2021, could step up to the main line-up and get a celebrity this year.

That's not all, Oti Mabuse announced earlier in the year that she wouldn't be returning to Strictly. As above, her replacement hasn't been announced so it could be a good time for Jowita Pryztal to take her place...

We'll be sure to keep this page updated with any news on the pro line-up, but until then, meet the Strictly Come Dancing professionals who have been confirmed for the 2022 series.

Strictly Come Dancing professionals line-up: Meet 2022 dancers

Kai Widdrington

Strictly Come Dancing: Kai (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Kai (BBC)

Instagram: @kaiwidd

Twitter: @Kaiwidd

Kai is World Junior Latin American Champion 2010 and a former Dancing With The Stars Ireland professional. He has previously featured in group numbers and toured with a number of the current Strictly pros.

He was previously partnered with AJ Odudu, and was guaranteed a place in the finale in 2021 had she not sustained an injury. A great start for a new pro - can he improve his position in 2022?

Nikita Kuzmin

Strictly Come Dancing: Nikita (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Nikita (BBC)

Instagram: @nikita__kuzmin

Nikita joins Strictly from Germany’s Let’s Dance and is a six-time Latin and Ballroom National Champion in Italy.

He was partnered with Tilly Ramsay in the 2021 Strictly season who came sixth, and will no doubt be up for getting a partner once again.

Cameron Lombard

Strictly Come Dancing: Cameron (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Cameron (BBC)

Instagram: @cameronkylelombard

Cameron is the reigning South African Latin Champion, and he's up for the challenge in the UK.

Sadly Cameron wasn't given a celebrity partner in 2021, but with Aljaz parting ways with the show, Strictly 2022 could be his season...

Jowita Przystal

Strictly Come Dancing: Jowita (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Jowita (BBC)

Instagram: @jowitaprzystal

Jowita, who won the BBC’s The Greatest Dancer last year, was the Polish Open Latin Champion in 2014.

Like Cameron, Jowita also didn't get a partner for the 2021 season and with Oti Mabuse out, she could be lucky this year.

Amy Dowden

Strictly Come Dancing: Amy (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Amy (BBC)

Twitter: @dowden_amy

Instagram: amy_dowden

Won: N/A

British national champion Amy Dowden grew up watching Strictly from her native Wales, finally achieving her dream of joining the show in 2017. Amy was paired with Danny John-Jules in 2018 when the Red Dwarf actor was accused by the tabloids of “bullying" her – allegations he strenuously denied. Amy encountered less controversy in 2019 when she reached the final with CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual. She was partnered with JJ Chalmers in 2020, but unfortunately, they only made it to Week Seven. In 2021, she danced with McFly's Tom Fletcher - the pair came seventh.

Dianne Buswell

Strictly Come Dancing: Dianne (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Dianne (BBC)

Twitter: @dbuzz6589

Instagram: diannebuswell

Won: N/A

Australian Open Champion Dianne Buswell honed her skills on Strictly Come Dancing down under before joining the British edition in 2017. She was eliminated third with radio DJ Dev Griffin in 2019 but had better luck the year before when she reached the final with vlogger Joe Sugg.

Dianne and Joe been dating ever since and even launched their joint YouTube channel, In The Pan.

In 2020, she was partnered with Max George, but they only made it to Week Four. Dianne was forced to stop competing a little earlier than planned with her celeb partner Robert Webb, who had to withdraw in Week Four citing medical reasons.

Giovanni Pernice

Strictly Come Dancing: Giovanni (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Giovanni (BBC)

Twitter: @pernicegiovann1

Instagram: pernicegiovann1

Won: Season 19 (Rose Ayling-Ellis)

Italian stallion Giovanni Pernice won the Italian Championships in 2012, before joining the Strictly professional line-up in 2015. He's reached the final an impressive three times - with Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee and Faye Tozer. Last year, he made it to Week Eight with Good Morning Britain star Ranvir Singh. He stormed to victory in 2021 with his partner Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Oh, and he's also the Guinness World Record holder for Jive kicks and flicks, as well as Charleston swivels - the more you know.

Gorka Marquez

Strictly Come Dancing: Gorka (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Gorka (BBC)

Twitter: @gorkamarquez1

Instagram: gorka_marquez

Won: N/A

Spanish dancing sensation Gorka Marquez is back for another shot at the Glitterball trophy after coming runner up with Alexandra Burke in 2017. While he didn't win the competition he did win the heart of contestant Gemma Atkinson - the two welcomed baby Mia in July 2019 and danced together in the 2019 Christmas Special.

In 2020, Gorka made it all the way to the finals with EastEnders actress Maisie Smith – however, they just missed out on the Glitterball as Bill was crowned the 2020 winner. He came 14th with Katie McGlynn in 2021.

Graziano Di Prima

Strictly Come Dancing: Graziano (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Graziano (BBC)

Twitter: @GrazianoDiPrima

Instagram: grazianodiprima

Won: N/A

Sicilian-born Graziano Di Prima took a year off in 2019, after partnering with radio presenter Vick Hope in 2018. He didn't actually have a celebrity partner in 2019 or 2020 but did perform as part of the professional dance routines which take place every Saturday and Sunday.

In 2021, Graziano was paired with Judi Love - the pair came 10th after winning lots of fans with their saucy Samba.

Asides from Strictly, Di Prima made the top 24 at the Under 21 Latin World Championships, and also toured the world with his dance company Burn The Floor.

Johannes Radebe

Strictly Come Dancing: Johannes (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Johannes (BBC)

Twitter: @jojo_radebe

Instagram: johannesradebe

Won: N/A

Two-time Professional South African Latin Champion Johannes Radebe reached the final of Strictly South Africa twice and joined the British edition in 2018. He was given his first celebrity partner Catherine Tyldesley in 2019 but was eliminated in week six. In 2020, he was partnered with actress Caroline Quentin, but unfortunately, they only made it to Week Five in the competition. He did a lot better in 2021 when he was paired with runner-up, John Whaite.

Karen Hauer

Strictly Come Dancing: Karen (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Karen (BBC)

Twitter: @karen_hauer

Instagram: karenhauer

Won: N/A

The longest-serving female professional on Strictly, Professional World Mambo Champion Karen Hauer has had memorable partnerships with celebrities such as Jeremy Vine, Mark Wright and Charles Venn. She came tantalisingly close to the Glitterball Trophy when she reached the final with Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing in 2020. In 2021, she came 12th with her partner, Greg Wise.

Katya Jones

Strictly Come Dancing: Katya (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Katya (BBC)

Twitter: @Mrs_katjones

Instagram: mrs_katjones

Won: Season 15 (Joe McFadden)

World Professional Latin Showdance Champion Katya Jones has had many memorable moment on Strictly, from dancing to Gangnam Style with Ed Balls to winning with Joe McFadden in 2017. The then-married Katya caused controversy when she was photographed kissing partner Sean Walsh in 2018, though had a quieter 2019 with BBC Breakfast’s Mike Bushell.

Katya was part of the show's first-ever same-sex pairing in 2020 when she danced with boxer Nicola Adams.

She teamed up with Olympic champ Adam Peaty in 2021, but the pair only managed to come ninth.

Luba Mushtuk

Strictly Come Dancing: Luba (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Luba (BBC)

Twitter: @LubaMushtuk

Instagram: lubamushtuk

Won: N/A

Four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship, Luba Mushtuk was an assistant choreographer on the show for several years before finally being given celebrity partner James Cracknell in 2019. Unfortunately, they were voted first. She managed to get a little further in 2020 when she was partnered with Jason Bell, however, only made it to Week Three. Luba didn't get a partner in 2021.

Nadiya Bychkova

Strictly Come Dancing: Nadiya (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Nadiya (BBC)

Twitter: @NadiyaBychkova

Instagram: nadiyabychkova

Won: N/A

A two-time World Champion and European Champion in Ballroom and Latin ‘10’ Dance, Ukrainian-born Nadiya Bychkova is back for her fifth year on the show. She has partnered with Davood Ghadami, Lee Ryan and David James, with whom she was eliminated fifth.

Nadiya performed a little better with Dan Walker, coming in a respectable fifth place in 2021.

Nancy Xu

Strictly Come Dancing: Nancy (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Nancy (BBC)

Twitter: @Nancy_xuxi

Instagram: nancy_xuxi

Won: N/A

A new addition in 2019, Nancy Xu performed in the group numbers and was partnered with Eastenders actor Rudolph Walker in the Children in Need Special. Xu was a finalist in So You Think You Can Dance in her home country of China, and was a finalist in the U21 World Championships in 2010. The pro dancer teamed up with Rhys Stephenson in 2021 and came in fourth.

Neil Jones

Strictly Come Dancing: Neil (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing: Neil (BBC)

Twitter: @Mr_NJones

Instagram: mr_njonesofficial

Won: N/A

World Professional Latin Showdance Champion Neil Jones has won 45 titles around the world during his competitive career, though is yet to claim that of Strictly Come Dancing champion. After acting as a stand-in for several years, Neil got a celebrity partner in 2019 and reached the fifth place with professional footballer Alex Scott. He wasn't given a celeb partner in 2020, but teamed up with Nina Wadia in 2021 - the pair were eliminated first, unfortunately.

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Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One later this year. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for all the latest news.

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