Strictly Come Dancing finds new professional

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 24 June 2012
Len Goodman

Strictly's Len Goodman

'Strictly Come Dancing' has found a new professional dancer, with 30-year-old Karen Hauer replacing Katya Virshalis on the show

Karen Hauer has joined 'Strictly Come Dancing' as a professional.

The 30-year-old Venezuelan will be replacing Katya Virshilas - who has now left the show - on the BBC series and is "excited" to get started.

She said: "If I could dance how I feel about joining strictly, then you'd be able to see how excited I am."

The former World Mambo Champion has previously worked with Jennifer Lopez and auditioned for the US show 'So You Think You Can Dance' three years ago.

Katie Taylor, Controller of Entertainment at the BBC, added she could not "wait" to see what she will bring to the show.

She said: "We welcome Karen to our 'Strictly' family - we're thrilled to have such a fresh and talented professional join us and I can't wait to see what she will bring to the ballroom this summer."

Karen could find herself teamed with former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, who is believed to have signed up after friend and former 'Strictly' star Robbie Savage encouraged him to.

An insider said: "Michael was chuffed that the BBC asked him to take part. But he was really uncertain about it. He had to think hard about having to dress up in pink and sequins and learn how to dance in front of millions of viewers.

"He asked a lot of his sporting mates if he should do it and Robbie immediately told him to say yes, as he had such a great time in last year's show."