Karen Hauer celebrates after becoming the longest serving female pro dancer on Strictly Come Dancing after signing up for the 2021 series
The 2021 series of Strictly Come Dancing has kicked off with a bang - but did you know that this year marks a particularly special year for pro dancer Karen Hauer?
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Back in March, the dancer took to Instagram to explain why being included in this year's line-up means so much to her. The star shared a montage clip showing her with her dance partners over the years and wrote: "I am absolutely bursting with pride and happiness that I can now announce I am confirmed for my TENTH series of @bbcstrictly.
WATCH: Karen Hauer becomes Strictly's longest-serving female pro dancer
"I don't talk too much on here like this but I'm beyond overwhelmed to say that I'm now officially the longest running female pro on the best show on the planet!"
Her caption continued: "I have adored every celebrity partner I've worked with. We've laughed, we've worked our butts off, we've danced for the nation and we've had fun every step of the way. Thank you to every single Strictly Come Dancing supporter for the love you pour into this show year on year. We do this for you."
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While Karen, 38, is now the longest-serving female dancer on Strictly, Anton du Beke has also cemented his position as the longest-serving male on the show.
Karen is now the show's longest-serving female pro dancer
The 54-year-old has appeared on every single series of Strictly since the show began in 2004 – and last season even spent two weeks on the judging panel while Motsi Mabuse self-isolated.
Karen was inundated with congratulatory messages following her Instagram announcement. Fellow Strictly dancers Neil Jones, Dianne Buswell and Oti Mabuse all celebrated her achievement while a number of her former celeb partners also responded.
Anton du Beke has appeared on Strictly ever since it started in 2004
"One hell of an achievement that mate! Bloody well done! X," wrote Chris Ramsey, who teamed up with Karen in 2019, while Jamie Laing, who danced with the star last year, added: "You 100% deserve it goose - you rockstar."
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Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers, who was partnered with Karen in the 2013 series, sweetly commented: "Proud to be on your list! You are a very special lady D x."
Karen joined Strictly in 2012 when she was teamed up with Westlife's Nicky Byrne. Her other celeb partners have included Mark Wright, Will Young, Jeremy Vine and Jamie Laing. This year she is partnered with actor Greg Wise.
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