Who are the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 professional dancers?

STRICTLY Come Dancing has finally returned to our screens.

Each year there's huge anticipation over which celebrities are taking part – but the line-up of professional dancers is just as exciting.

Who are the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 professional dancers?

Aljaž Škorjanec

Aljaž joined the Strictly crew in series 11 and stormed to victory with Abbey Clancey.

He finished second in 2017 with actress Gemma Atkinson, and danced with Clara Amfo in 2020.

This series, the Slovenian dancer is partnered up with Sara Davies.

On Thursday 4 November,Aljaž appeared on BBC It Takes Two and revealed the sad impact of a judge's remarks.

Aljaz and Sara Davies appeared in the studio for an interview with Janette Manrara, his wife, and her co host Rylan Clark Neal.

The dancer is a 19-time Slovenian champion in ballroom, Latin and Ten Dance.

Amy Dowden

Amy made her Strictly debut in 2017 with celeb partner Brian Conley, but the pair were eliminated in week four.

However, she came back for the 2018 series and achieved the first 10 of the series with her partner Danny-John Jules.

In 2019, Amy set a personal record, making it to the final with celeb partner Karim Zeroual.

This year, she's partnered up with Tom Fletcher.

It was revealed on Thursday 4 November that Amy Dowden missed out on accepting a BAFTA Cymru award recently, which she won for her documentary Strictly Amy: Crohn's & Me, so that she could concentrate on training.

Dianne Buswell

Dianne made her debut on Strictly in 2017, when she was partnered with Reverend Richard Coles. The two were sent home in week three.

However, things took a turn for the better when Dianne was partnered in 2018 with Joe Sugg – as the pair are now a real-life couple.

She partnered Max George in 2020.

Dianne has also starred on So You Think You Can Dance Australia and Dancing With The Stars Australia.

This year, she partnered up with Robert Webb but early on in the series, Robert had to pull out due to health reasons.

Giovanni Pernice

Despite only joining the show five years ago, Giovanni has managed to get to the final three times!

He finished second with Georgia May Foote in 2015, before he repeated the feat with Debbie McGee in 2017.

In 2018 he was paired with Faye Tozer and made it to the final again.

Ranvir Singh was his celeb partner in 2020 and they made it to the semi-finals.

Giovanni has been paired this year with Rose Ayling-Ellis, the show's first deaf contestant.

Gorka Marquez

Gorka joined Strictly back in 2016. A year later, the pro dancer made it to the final with partner Alexandra Burke.

In 2018, Gorka was paired with TV presenter and charity campaigner Katie Piper, but the duo were sent home in week four.

In 2019, Gorka wasn't partnered up with a celeb – but in 2020 he was paired with EastEnders actress Maisie Smith and the pair made it to the final and finished runners-up.

Gorka's celebrity partner for this series was Katie McGlynn but they were sent home after four weeks.

Graziano Di Prima

Graziano joined the Strictly pros in 2018.

He made his debut with DJ Vick Hope, but left the competition in the fifth week.

He hasn't been paired with a celebrity since but remains on the show as a support dancer.

Graziano is an Italian Latin Champion and has represented Belgium at the World Championships.

Graziano exited the competition on Sunday 31 October after he and Judi Love lost out in the dance-off to Adam Peaty and Katya Jones.

Johannes Radebe 

Johannes got his first celebrity pairing in 2019 with Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley.

The pair got knocked out in the Halloween episode.

He got his second shot at the Glitterball Trophy in 2020 with Caroline Quentin but the pair made an early exit.

Johannes is a two-time Professional South African Latin Champion and three-time South African Amateur Latin Champion.

Johannes is currently partnered with John Whaite.

Karen Hauer

Karen is Strictly's longest serving female pro dancer, first hitting the dance floor in 2012.

In her third Strictly series, Karen was paired with Essex boy Mark Wright and made it to the final.

In 2019, she made it to the semi finals with comedian Chris Ramsey.

Jamie Laing was her 2020 partner and the pair made it all the way to the final.

This year, Karen was paired with Greg Wise before they were voted off.

Katya Jones

Katya claimed the Glitterball prize in 2017 along with Holby City actor Joe McFadden.

The Russian pro was previously married to Strictly professional Neil Jones.

But she became widely known after THAT kiss with 2018 dance partner Seann Walsh.

In 2019, Katya made it to week eight with Mike Bushell, but she was forced to pull out of the 2020 series after testing positive for coronavirus.

She had made history by being part of the show's first same-sex pairing with Nicola Adams.

Katya is paired with Adam Peaty this series.

The two sparked controversy when they produced a sizzling Argentine Tango  that had some viewers convinced the Olympic swimmer came close to smooching his pro partner.

Luba Mushtuk

Luba officially joined Strictly in 2018.

In 2019, she had her first celebrity pairing, with Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell.

However, the pair only made it to week two.

She remained as a pro backing dancer in 2020 despite not being paired with a celeb.

This year's professional line-up has undergone a bit of a shake-up, with two cast members leaving and four newcomers joining – meaning Luba did not have a partner this year.

Nadiya Bychkova

Nadiya also made her debut in 2017 and made it to week 11 with EastEnders star Davood Ghadami.

She exited the show in week three in 2018 with partner Lee Ryan.

In 2019, Nadiya and celeb partner David James made it to week five, but she failed to bag a celeb in 2020.

This year, Nadiya's been paired with BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker.

Neil Jones

Neil Jones has been a Strictly dancer since 2016.

However, Neil only got his first celeb partner in 2019 with ex-footballer Alex Scott.

After going without a celeb partner in 2020, Neil failed to find success in the 2021 series – as his dance partner Nina Wadia were eliminated in week two.

Nancy Xu

Nancy  joined Strictly in 2019.

However, 2021 could mark the first year in which she is given a celebrity partner.

Nancy has been a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance in China and starred in West End and Broadway show Burn The Floor.

Oti Mabuse

2021 is Oti's seventh year on the show.

In 2019 the South African dancer took home the Glitterball with partner Kelvin Fletcher.

She lifted the trophy again in 2020 with partner Bill Bailey, making her the first professional dancer to win Strictly in consecutive years.

In 2019 she was also on the box as a judge on The Greatest Dancer.

Oti and rugby player Ugo Monye have been eliminated from the show.

Jowita Przystal

Jowita, 26, won BBC show The Greatest Dancer in 2020 – mentored by Oti – and bagged the prize of performing on Strictly Come Dancing.

She said: “This is my biggest dream come true. No words can describe how I feel right now.

"I’m still pinching myself to check if this is real but I am beyond excited to be joining the Strictly Come Dancing family and I can’t wait to give all of my heart and soul on that dance floor!”

Kai Widdrington

Kai, 25, danced on Britain’s Got Talent when he was 16 in 2012, making it to the final.

He's been a professional dancer on Strictly's Irish spin-off since 2018.

He said going on the show was his "childhood dream come true".

He added: "Watching Strictly from the very first series as a young boy from Southampton and now 18 years later, to be a professional dancer on the show is the most amazing feeling and the biggest accomplishment of my career.

"I can’t wait to step on to the Strictly floor and experience the exciting times that lie ahead.”

Nikita Kuzmin

Ukranian-born Nikita, 23, was a pro dancer on Let’s Dance, Germany’s version of Strictly Come Dancing.

He said: “I’ve always been amazed by the magic Strictly Come Dancing brings.

"No matter what country I have found myself living in, I’ve never missed a chance to watch it."

Cameron Lombard

Cameron, 20, a finalist on South Africa’s Got Talent, said: "Thank you Strictly Come Dancing for this life changing opportunity.

"Not only is this a dream come true but a challenge I am accepting with both hands. 

"I am excited beyond imagination and looking forward to leaving my mark on the dance floor!”

Cameron was expelled from his school as a teenager but said he has "learned" from it adding: "I’m a dancer, I’m not a fighter."

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