Latin dancer Nancy Xu has joined Strictly Come Dancing as the new professional dancer, BBC One announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The 28-year-old will replace Pasha Kovalev, who departs the show ahead of its 17th series this autumn. The news comes after it was announced last week that Motsi Mabuse will replace Dame Darcey Bussell on the judging panel.
“I’m thrilled and excited,” Xu said in a statement. “I cannot wait to start this new journey with all these amazing people and share the magic together. Thank you so much Strictly for one of the most beautiful birthday gifts ever, thank you for making my dream come true!”
Xu joins the show after being a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance in her home country of China. She also was on the West End and Broadway show Burn The Floor and specialist in Latin. Her winnings include third place in the 2010-2012 CBDF National Amateur Latin Championships and was a runner up at the 2013 International Singapore Championships.
Xu joins pros AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Anton du Beke, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Janette Manrara, Johannes Radebe, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Kevin Clifton, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones and Oti Mabuse.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in the autumn.