Strictly Come Dancing | The Male Professionals
At 23 years-old Aljaz is one of two new male professionals joining Strictly this year. Born in Slovenia, Aljaz took to the dance floor at the age of five, enjoying success in his home country where he won 19 Slovenian championships in ballroom and Latin. For over a decade, Aljaz has represented Slovenia in the World Latin and Ballroom Championships, and has also appeared in Slovenia’s Dancing with the Stars. In 2010, Aljaz joined the cast of Burn the Floor where he has since performed around the world as one of its leading males.
Anton Du Beke
Strictly favourite Anton specialises in ballroom dancing and has been performing since the age of 14. As a seasoned pro, Anton has appeared in every series of Strictly to date, but he is still yet to lift the glitter-ball trophy. Anton was memorably matched with former MP Ann Widdecombe, making it to the quarter-finals together in 2010. Last year he partnered model Jerry Hall.
Russian born Artem is a Latin specialist, and lifted the glitter-ball with actress Kara Tointon in series eight. Dancing has taken Artem all over the world and he has worked on various dance projects, including So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. Last year Artem partnered TV presenter Fern Britton.
Kiwi Brendan specialises in all things Latin-American and began dancing at the age of six, going on to become the New Zealand and Asian Open Professional Champion. Brendan was the first dancer to lift the glitter ball trophy in series one with newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, and has also been a judge on the New Zealand version of Strictly. He and Anton are the longest serving professional dancers on Strictly, and last year Brendan partnered Olympian Victoria Pendleton.
Straight-talking James is a Latin American specialist who started dancing at the age of 11. Together with his wife and fellow Strictly professional dancer, Ola Jordan, James has competed in many competitions and they have also both taught Latin-American dance in Hong Kong. He was a finalist in last year’s Strictly with TV presenter and West End star Denise Van Outen.
A new addition to the Strictly line-up, Kevin is a former Youth World Number One and four time British Latin Champion, who has won International Open titles across the globe. He trained in ballroom and Latin from an early age, taught by his parents, former World Champions Keith and Judy Clifton. Kevin made his musical theatre debut in 2010, starring in Dirty Dancing in the West End, and he has been a principal dancer of the Burn the Floor Dance Company for several years. Kevin has already performed in some of the group dances on last year’s series, and he is engaged to fellow Strictly professional Karen Hauer.
Siberian-born Pasha returns to Strictly after being a runner up last year with Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh. Since his early dancing days Pasha has gone from strength to strength; he was a finalist on the US version of So You Think You Can Dance, performed on Broadway, and starred in the West End’s Burn the Floor. He has also been a finalist as several US Open Ballroom Championships with his partner Anya Garnis.
Having started dancing at the age of three, Robin had a successful youth career until the age of 20. He followed this with a major worldwide touring dance show, and performing on Broadway and in the West End in shows such as Burn the Floor and Floorplay. Last year he and celebrity partner, actress Lisa Riley, knocked the socks off the Strictly audience with their memorable routines, and won the hearts of the nation reaching the semi-finals.