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“Strictly” professionals announced

Posted on June 16, 2011

web square tess and bruce

web_square_tess_and_bruceThe countdown to “Strictly” has begun, with the announcement of the professional dancers for this year’s series.

The female professionals will be Erin Boag, Flavia Cacace, Ola Jordan, Natalie Lowe, Kristina Rihanoff, Aliona Vilani and Katya Virshilas. They will be joined by male dancers Artem Chigvintsev, Brendan Cole, Anton Du Beke, James Jordan, Vincent Simone and Robin Windsor, plus one new dancer, Latin specialist Pasha Kovalev.

Kovalev, a Russian native, trained in ballet and jazz. He and his partner Anya Garnis have appeared on “Dancing with the Stars”, the US version of “Strictly”, “So You Think You Can Dance” and in the international dance show “Superstars of Dance”.

Executive producer Moira Ross said: “I’m delighted to welcome back our ‘Strictly’ professionals and really excited about introducing new dancer Pasha to our audiences. We’ve some exciting treats in store for series nine.” Sir Bruce Forsyth, newly knighted in this month’s Birthday Honours, will return to host the series. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will host the results shows.

Picture: Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly

Photograph © BBC

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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