Strictly Come Dancing: Pro dancers confirmed for Comic Relief special

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The BBC has confirmed the line-up of professional dancers for Strictly Come Dancing's Comic Relief special.

The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief will air later this year on BBC One.

Six professional dancers from the Strictly Come Dancing family will each be paired with a deserving member of the public, as they compete to be crowned The People’s Strictly champions.

The dancers are:

Natalie Lowe

Natalie joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2009, when she danced with Hollyoaks’ Ricky Whittle. Since then, she has competed with celebrity partners including EastEnders’ Scott Maslen, boxer Audley Harrison, cricketer Michael Vaughn and most recently, Antiques Expert Tim Wonnacott.

Natalie began dancing at the age of three and represented Australia from age eight. She also won Dancing with the Stars in Australia, holding up the glitter ball in 2009.

Janette Manrara

Janette joined the Strictly Come Dancing family in 2013, when she partnered fashion designer Julian MacDonald. In 2014, she reached the semi-final with EastEnders’ Jake Wood.

Janette was the principal dancer in the TV series and the live tour of Glee. She was also a finalist in So You Think You Can Dance USA, before joining the cast of Burn The Floor at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre in 2010.

Aljaz Skorjanez

Aljaz joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013. In his first year on the show he and his celebrity partner, model and TV presenter Abbey Clancey, were crowned Strictly Come Dancing champions. In 2014, he reached week seven of the competition with celebrity partner, TV presenter Alison Hammond.

Aljaz has won 19 Slovenian championships in ballroom and Latin and, for over a decade, he represented Slovenia in the World Latin and Ballroom Championships. In 2010, Aljaz joined the cast of Burn the Floor where he performed around the world as one of its leading males.

Aliona Vilani

Aliona Vilani lifted the glitter-ball trophy back in 2011 with contestant Harry Judd. In more recent years, she has competed with celebrity partners including comedian Johnny Ball, golfer Tony Jacklin and Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace. She also won the 2014 Christmas Special with gymnast Louis Smith.

Aliona specialises in Ten Dance as well as salsa, hip-hop and jazz. In 2001, Aliona was selected by the National Dance Congress to compete against the World Teams for the US and in 2008, she became part of the Dancing With The Stars Tour.

Ian Waite

Ian joined the Strictly family back in 2004. His celebrity partners include athlete Denise Lewis and It Takes Two presenter Zoe Ball, both of whom took Ian to the final.

In 2011 Ian joined sister programme It Takes Two as a permanent fixture and heads up ‘Waite’s Wednesday Warm-up’ in which he gives the fans a sneak peek of the Strictly rehearsals while also offering his critique on their routines.

Ian has won the Dutch Professional, UK Ten Dance, Amateur Latin American Championship as well as countless other international achievements.

Robin Windsor

Robin’s inaugural Strictly year saw him team up with actress Patsy Kensit in 2010. He’s enjoyed success in the show with subsequent partners, actresses Anita Dobson and Lisa Riley.

Having had to withdraw from Strictly Come Dancing 2014 due to a back injury, Robin returned to the dance floor for the 2014 Christmas Special, where he once again paired up with Lisa Riley.

Robin spent nine years touring the world with a major dance show, performing on Broadway, in the West End, and on the Australian version of Strictly Come Dancing.

The six professional dancers will guide their contestants through their Strictly journey, taking them behind-the-scenes of Strictly Come Dancing and immersing them in the full showbiz experience.

Each couple will then embark on five weeks of professional dance training as the contestants prepare to perform to the nation on the famous Strictly Come Dancing dance floor.

‘The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief’ will air on BBC One in the lead up to Red Nose Day on Friday 13th March.

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