Strictly Come Dancing: First Chinese pro-dancer unveiled

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Nancy Xu/BBC

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Xu said she “could not wait to start this new journey”

Latin dancer Nancy Xu has joined the pro-dancer line-up for the new series of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.

The 28-year-old will become the show’s first Chinese dancer when she replaces the outgoing Pasha Kovalev in series 17 of the show in September.

Xu was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance in her home nation and is also a dancer on the West End/Broadway show, Burn The Floor.

Reacting to the news on Tuesday, Xu said she was “thrilled and excited”.

She added it was “one of the most beautiful birthday gifts ever”.

Xu will perform alongside such fellow professionals like Anton du Beke, Katya Jones and Kevin Clifton.

“I cannot wait to start this new journey with all these amazing people and share the magic together,” she said.

Her appointment follows the departure of Kovalev, who announced he was leaving the show earlier this year.

It was announced last week that Motsi Mabuse will replace Dame Darcey Bussell on the judging panel.

Her younger sister Oti will also be among the show’s professional dancers.

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