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Strictly news!

Posted on July 30, 2019

In the last week, Strictly Come Dancing has welcomed not one but two new dancers for series 17 of the BBC show.

Motsi Mabuse, the sister of professional dancer Oti Mabuse, will replace Darcey Bussell on the judging panel. Originally from South Africa, Motsi is a former South African champion and German Latin champion and a judge on Strictly Come Dancing’s German version.

Mabuse, 38, said on Instagram: “I am absolutely thrilled and overjoyed to be joining the @bbcstrictly judging panel. I have so much respect and admiration for the other three judges and hope to add my own bit of sparkle to the show. I can’t wait to get started!”

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said Motsi Mabuse would be “a brilliant addition to the show” when it returns this autumn.

“She is a wonderful dancer in her own right and already has years of experience as a judge under her belt,” she said. “We’re all looking forward to welcoming her to the Strictly family.”

This week, it was announced that Latin dancer Nancy Xu has also joined the professional dancer line-up for the new series. The 28-year-old will become the show’s first Chinese dancer when she replaces the outgoing Pasha Kovalev in September.

Xu was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance in her home nation and is also a dancer on the stage show, Burn The Floor.

She said: “I cannot wait to start this new journey with all these amazing people and share the magic together.”

Pictured: Motsi Mabuse. Photograph: BBC.

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, is out now as an ebook and available on Amazon, with the paperback following on August 22.

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