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When did Strictly’s Janette Manrara start dancing?

The dancer came to the profession late

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Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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It Takes Two star Janette Manrara has quickly become one of our favourite TV hosts after making the change from dancer to presenter earlier this year. And while we now see more of Janette on screen than on the dance floor, fans want to know: when did the former professional start dancing?

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Although Janette may be one of the most well-known dancers to come out of Strictly, many might not know that she actually came to the profession late. She decided to pursue dancing as a career after attending Florida International University to study finance and working in a bank for seven years. Although, she did continue her dance training throughout this time. She learnt Ballroom, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Salsa, which she started at the age of 19.

WATCH: Janette lives in London with her husband Aljaž

At the age of 24, Janette had become a top eight finalist in the US version of So You Think You Can Dance. Since then she has enjoyed an illustrious career, having worked on the Academy Awards, danced with Jennifer Lopez, been a principal dancer on Glee and performed in the dance stage show Burn the Floor for several years.

When did Janette join Strictly?

Janette joined Strictly in 2013 and was paired with fashion designer Julien Macdonald before they exited the competition in week four. In 2014 however, she made it all the way to the semi-final with EastEnders star Jake Wood.

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In more recent years, she’s been paired up with the likes of JLS member Aston Merrygold, with whom she made it to week ten and even won the Christmas Glitterball with, as well as doctor and presenter Dr Ranj Singh, who made it to week seven.

janette manrara aljaz london© Photo: Getty Images

The couple have been married since 2017

In 2019 she was partnered with Paralympic table tennis champ Will Bayley but had to leave the competition in week six after he sustained an injury. 2020, however, proved to be Janette’s most successful year as she reached the final with popstar HRVY.

Who is Janette married to?

Janette is married to Strictly professional dancer Aljaž Skorjanec. The pair met in a London dance studio - the same place that Aljaž proposed, and the couple married in 2017.

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