The BBC can today confirm the line-up of professional dancers partnering celebrities for the next series of BBC One’s flagship entertainment series Strictly Come Dancing, including two brand new faces – Tristan MacManus and Joanne Clifton.
Joanne Clifton joins Strictly as a professional partner alongside her brother Kevin, who joined Strictly in 2013 and was partnered with Susanna Reid. They are the first siblings to participate in the show.
Joanne is World Ballroom Showdance Champion and has competed in over 20 countries around the world. Over the years, Joanne has won numerous awards and accolades and is five-time British Champion, European Professional Champion and recently, champion of the World Dancesport Games in Taiwan.
Irish born Tristan MacManus joins Strictly after three years as a professional dancer on Dancing With The Stars in America, where he most notably partnered Gladys Knight and Pamela Anderson.
Tristan began dancing his home of Bray, Co. Wicklow before competing around Europe, winning numerous juvenile, junior and amateur competitions. He has appeared in many successful stage shows including Dirty Dancing and Burn The Floor.
Also returning to Strictly as a professional partners is four-time Australian Dance Champion Natalie Lowe, who will be back in the ballroom once again after withdrawing from last year’s series due to injury.
There will be eight female and seven male professional dancers this year. Sadly both Artem Chigvintsev and James Jordan will not be returning to the series, alongside Anya Garnis who will not partner a celebrity, but will remain part of the choreography team.
Former Strictly Champion and 2013 series finalist, Artem, departs the series as he has decided to remain in the USA after featuring in the most recent series of Dancing with the Stars.
James Jordan departs Strictly for pastures new after eight series on the show, but his wife Ola will return.
Louise Rainbow, Executive Producer says: “We’re delighted that Joanne and Tristan will be joining our fantastic cast of professional dancers this year and look forward to them becoming part of the Strictly family.”
“A huge thank you goes out to both Artem and James for being hardworking, dedicated dancers on the show, and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One this autumn.
The full line up of professional dancers is as follows:
Females: Aliona Vilani, Iveta Lukosiute, Janette Manrara, Joanne Clifton, Karen Hauer, Kristina Rihanoff, Natalie Lowe and Ola Jordan
Males: Aljaž Skorjanec, Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole, Kevin Clifton, Pasha Kovalev, Robin Windsor, Tristan MacManus