Former Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard warns pro dancers that new arrivals are ‘competitive’

‘It will be interesting to see who gets partnered!’ Former Strictly star AJ Pritchard warns pro dancers that new arrivals are ‘competitive’

AJ Pritchard has warned Strictly Come Dancing Professionals that the new arrivals could be a threat. 

Four new pro dancers have joined the line-up, which means that 20 professionals in total are ready to bring their skills to the BBC show’s dancefloor later this year.  

And the former Strictly star, 27, revealed he knows two of the new dancers and spoke on how ‘competitive’ they are. 

Warning: AJ Pritchard has warned Strictly Come Dancing Professionals that the new arrivals could be a threat

Warning: AJ Pritchard has warned Strictly Come Dancing Professionals that the new arrivals could be a threat

AJ, who left in 2020, told the Sunday Mirror: ‘I know Lauren and Carlos – because he was taught by one of my teachers, so it’s exciting.

‘I used to compete against Lauren. I think a fresh buzz could be interesting. I think everybody who does dancing is competitive. It will be interesting who gets partnered and who doesn’t. That’s the waiting game.’ 

The four new world class dancers completing this year’s professional troupe are European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas. 

Line-up: Four new pro dancers have joined the line-up, which means that 20 professionals in total are ready to bring their skills to the BBC show's dancefloor later this year

Line-up: Four new pro dancers have joined the line-up, which means that 20 professionals in total are ready to bring their skills to the BBC show’s dancefloor later this year

AJ, who left the show in 2020, told The Sunday Mirror: 'I used to compete against Lauren. I think a fresh buzz could be interesting. I think everybody who does dancing is competitive. It will be interesting who gets partnered and who doesn't. That's the waiting game.'

AJ, who left the show in 2020, told The Sunday Mirror: ‘I used to compete against Lauren. I think a fresh buzz could be interesting. I think everybody who does dancing is competitive. It will be interesting who gets partnered and who doesn’t. That’s the waiting game.’

They join the professional dancers already revealed for the upcoming series: Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Giovanni Pernice, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington and Nancy Xu. 

Show favourites Alijaz Skorjanec and Oti Mabuse both quit Strictly Come Dancing earlier this year. 

Not every pro dancer will be paired with a celebrity with four traditionally performing only in the pro routines

New faces: The four new world class dancers completing this year's professional troupe are European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas

New faces: The four new world class dancers completing this year’s professional troupe are European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas

Vito Coppola said of his new role: ‘I am really excited to become part of this family. I cannot wait to start this new adventure and to challenge myself. Strictly sto arrivando! (or: Strictly I am coming!)’

Carlos Gu added: ‘I’m thrilled to join Strictly and very excited to get started. It’s a new chapter of my life and a new challenge as well. I’m absolutely ready to take on this journey and to shine.’

Former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley gushed: ‘I’ve grown up watching Strictly, always hoping that one day I could be part of the best show on television, doing what I love the most.’

‘Now that it’s happening, it doesn’t quite seem real. I can’t wait to start this new sequined adventure and join this incredible family.’

Latin champ Michelle Tsiakkas said: ‘Being a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing has been my dream ever since I was a little girl.’

‘I cannot believe my dream has come true! I’m so grateful to be joining this incredible family and I can’t wait to step on that magical dance floor and give it my all!’

Saying goodbye: Aljaž Skorjanec announced earlier this year that he has quit Strictly Come Dancing following nine years on the show as a professional dancer

Saying goodbye: Aljaž Skorjanec announced earlier this year that he has quit Strictly Come Dancing following nine years on the show as a professional dancer

The upcoming series will be the first in three years to be broadcast without Covid measures, which forced bosses to introduce restrictions including ‘bubbles’ for training and limited audience numbers. 

The celebrity competitors won’t be confirmed until later in the year with the latest rumours including Channel 4 presenter Steph McGovern, Coronation Street star Kym Marsh and former footballerv Tony ‘Donkey’ Adams.

Strictly Come Dancing returns for its 20th series this autumn on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. 

Out! Double champion Oti Mabuse has also quit to pursue new TV opportunities (Pictured in 2020 with Bill Bailey as they won series 18)

Out! Double champion Oti Mabuse has also quit to pursue new TV opportunities (Pictured in 2020 with Bill Bailey as they won series 18)

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