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96 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Professional Dancers

1. Pasha Kovalev’s former competitive dance partner is Anya Garnis, who joined ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ as a pro for one series in 2013, where she partnered ‘Casualty’ actor Patrick Robinson.

2. Pasha and Anya moved to the US in 2001 and began competing professionally, becoming US National Latin Finalists and Ohio Star Ball Finalists.

3. Pasha’s professional partner now is former ‘Strictly’ dancer, Katya Virshilas, although he is touring with Anya in 2018.  

4. Pasha was a contestant on the third series of Cat Deeley’s US dance show ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’ in 2007, where he finished in fifth place. 

5. Pasha later served as a choreographer on the show for seven series, most recently appearing in 2014. 

6. Pasha holds the record for the record for most perfect scores (8) on ‘Strictly’.

7. Pasha and Kevin jointly hold the record for the most tens ever awarded (61).

8. Pasha is in a long-term relationship with ‘Countdown’ star Rachel Riley, after they were partnered on the show in 2013. 



Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
Pasha Kovalev and Rachel Riley

9. Pasha hails from Siberia. 

10. Oti Mabuse was previously a professional dancer on the German version of ‘Strictly’ called ‘Let’s Dance!’ in 2015.

11. Oti’s sister, Motsi, serves as a judge on the show, having previously been a professional dancer.  



Rex/Shutterstock
Motsi Mabuse on ‘Let’s Dance’

12. Oti studied Civil Engineering at university. 

13. Oti is eight times South African Latin American Champion, and was also a semi-finalist in the World European Latin, World Cup, World Cup Freestyle Latin and European Championship Latin competitions. 

14. Oti hails from born in Pretoria in South Africa. 

15 Oti is married to Romanian dancer Marius Iepure, who has appeared as a background dancer on ‘Strictly’, most recently during Blackpool Week in 2017.

16. Kevin and Karen Clifton are married, having tied the knot in July 2015. 

17. Kevin proposed to Karen on stage at a performance of ‘Burn The Floor’ on her birthday. 

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