First Strictly Come Dancing 2019 contestants confirmed as pros start rehearsals

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 pro rehearsals

The first Strictly Come Dancing 2019 contestants have been confirmed as the pro dancers begin rehearsals for the new series.

So far six celebrities have been officially announced for the Strictly Come Dancing line up.

They include former England Goalkeeper David James, stand up comedian and TV presenter Chris Ramsey and EastEnders actress Emma Barton.

Joining the currently confirmed cast are social media star Saffron Barker, former Corrie actress Catherine Tyldesley and BBC Sports presenter Mike Bushell.

Alongside the celebs, the new series will welcome a revamped line up of pro dancers who started their rehearsals this week.

The line up includes new pro dancer World-class Latin dancer Nancy Xu. Nancy Xu, 28, from China was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance in China and a dancer on hit West End and Broadway show Burn The Floor.

A specialist in Latin, Nancy was a finalist in the U21 World Championships in 2010, took third place in the 2010-2012 CBDF National Amateur Latin Championships and was a runner up at the 2013 International Singapore Championships.

However Pasha Kovalev is leaving Strictly after eight years. Pasha said of his exit previously: "After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching 4 finals and lifting 1 glitter ball, it's time for me to find a new challenge and so I've decided to make last year - my final season on Strictly.

"I've had 8 fantastic years, full of wonderful memories, thanks to the incredible partners, professionals and myriad of behind the scenes teams who all work to make Strictly the amazing production that it is.

Therefore making up the Strictly 2019 pros are, for the men, AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Anton Du Beke, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Kevin Clifton and Neil Jones.

The women joining them alongside newbie Nancy are my Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Janette Manrara, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova and Oti Mabuse.

The group posted a photo on Twitter this week, captioning it: "It's beginning to feel a lot like #Strictly."

Meanwhile, the new series will also welcome brand new judge Motsi Mabuse who replaces Darcey Bussell.

Strictly typically launches in September on BBC One.

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