Strictly Come Dancing pro Aljaž Škorjanec has confirmed he is leaving the show after nearly 10 years.
Aljaž, who is married to fellow Strictly star Janette Manrara, is a firm favourite cast member among fans. He has been paired with the likes of Alison Hammond, and most recently Sara Davis, in Strictly 2021.
He danced to victory with Abbie Clancy in 2013, but before he could claim a second win, Aljaž has announced that he’s leaving the show for good.
This comes just months after fellow pro, Oti Mabuse announced that she too was leaving the dancing competition.
Aljaž took to Instagram to break the news, posting a collage of all his best moments on Strictly.
In the caption, he reflected on how his journey began. He said, “On a beautiful sunny day in May 2013 one phone call changed my life forever! It went like this… We would like to offer you a position on @bbcstrictly as a professional dancer. A dream became a reality and it was the biggest opportunity for a 23-year-old boy from Slovenia.
“It didn’t matter how many beautiful ballrooms I performed in during my competitive career, stepping onto the sacred Strictly floor was the most nervous I had ever been.”
He then revealed that Strictly 2021 was his last time competing on the show. He wrote, “The show has given me an opportunity and freedom to create and express myself in front of millions of people every weekend for the last 9 years. The love and support I got from the team of producers was second to none…
“Being a part of a group of professionals that inspire and push you to be better every step of the way is humbling and I will carry that inspiration with me forever. Every year the lineup of dancers would change but one thing stayed the same, WE WERE THE BEST! And this is one thing that I know will never change on Strictly!”
He continued, thanking all of the backstage team and ended his heartfelt message with, “And finally, thank YOU, the people that watch Strictly who have been so kind to me all these years. Every comment, vote, kind message never went unnoticed. You are the reason we all do it, thank you!”
Assuring fans that he has some exciting plans in the works, he signed off his message with the iconic Strictly catchphrase, “Keep Dancing”.