Strictly Come Dancing is one of the most popular TV shows in the United Kingdom – and continues to draw a large number of viewers and fans. For over 19 seasons, we have seen countless dances, amazing sequences and all-round drama.
Most of the focus on the show is put on the celebrities. But what about the professional dancers? The professionals are highly-skilled individuals who work tirelessly to perfect their routines.
We have taken a look at all 19 seasons to date and crunched the numbers to find out who is the most successful professional. This is something that many people ask, now we have the ranks below.
There have been 58 professional dancers in total, but in the interest of fairness, we have only considered those to have entered more than 3 times. Otherwise, we could get the occasional professional who entered just once, but performed brilliantly – which would arguably be unfair.
We have taken the position they ranked and found out their average positioning. So now that the housekeeping is out the way – hopefully it makes some degree of sense to you. With that said, let us dive into the rankings – with 35 professionals having entered at least 3 seasons.
35th. Iveta Lukošiūtė (Average: 11)
Kicking things off is Lithuanian dancer Iveta Lukošiūtė, who took part in three Strictly seasons. Her highest finish was 7th, but her other performances unfortunately mean she ranks 35th. Still, she managed to make it to the big screen, good for her.
34th. Dianne Buswell (Average: 10.4)
Australian dancer Dianne Buswell has entered on five occasions, with her highlight being in Season 16, where she partnered Joe Sugg as they reached the final. Unfortunately, aside from that, she has had a rather torrid time, resulting in an average of 10.4.
33rd. Gorka Marquez (Average: 9.4)
Spaniard Gorka Marquez has appeared five times on the show, with two top-three finishes among them. However, his remaining three appearances have resulted in him bombing out early on, resulting in an average of 9.4th.
Tied 31st. Nicole Cutler (Average: 9.3)
It may take more of a diehard Strictly fan to remember Nicole Cutler, who entered three times in Seasons 2, 4 and 5. Along with two 7th place finishes, Cutler also finished 14th, resulting in a disappointing average of 9.3.
Tied 31st. Nadiya Bychkova (Average: 9.3)
Russian professional Nadiya Bychkova has entered on four occasions. Due to her status as being the tallest female dancer on the show, she is often paired with the tallest male, which can either be a blessing or a recipe for a disaster! Her best finish has been 5th, with her worst being 14th.
30th. Janette Manrara (Average: 9.1)
Spanish professional Janette Manrara was a fan favourite in her time on the show. She made eight appearances on the show. Her best finish came in Season 18, placing 3rd. But she unfortunately had some low finishes too, including 3 consecutive 10th place finishes.
29th. Kristina Rihanoff (Average: 8.8)
Kristina Rihanoff is one of the best-known Strictly professionals, and competed for 8 years. Unfortunately, Rihanoff was never able to capture victory, with a runner-up finish in Season 12 proving her best. Sadly, a few low finishes push her average up.
28th. Karen Hardy (Average: 8.75)
Karen Hardy competed for four years, and for the first time in our list – we have a winner! Hardy captured glory in Season 4 alongside Cricketer Mark Ramprakash. Aside from victory, Hardy finished 6th and had two 14th finishes.
27th. Ola Jordan (Average: 8.7)
Ola Jordan completed an impressive 10 seasons. To attain an average of 8.7th over so many years is impressive! Ola won Season 7 alongside Cricketer Chris Hollins. Aside from victory though, she mainly placed in the midfield, along with a few early exits. She is another professional that has become almost as famous as her celebrity counterparts – having featured on I’m a Celebrity… Get me out of here! in the past.
26th. Katya Virshilas (Average: 8.6)
Katya Virshilas took part for just three years between Season 7 and Season 9. In this time, she placed 8th, 5th and 13th. Sadly for the Lithuanian-Canadian dancer, she didn’t compete in subsequent years.
25th. Anton du Beke (Average: 8.5)
Perennial journeyman Anton du Beke took part in an incredible 18 seasons of Strictly, before becoming a judge. du Beke was unable to win during his time on the show, with a place in the final in Season 17 his highest finish. Unfortunately, du Beke was often partnered with the more comedic entries, limiting his chances. He now sits on the judges panel.
24th. Flavia Cacace (Average: 8.3)
Flavia Cacase took part in seven seasons of Strictly. She finished runner-up with Matt Di Angelo in Season 5, before having some mediocre results. Her final season was in Season 10, where she signed off in style, winning with her partner Louis Smith – Olympian.
23rd. Aliona Vilani (Average: 8)
Aliona Vilani took part in six seasons of Strictly over a seven-year stretch. Vilani is known for being one of the very few 2-time winners on the show, having won in Season 9 with musician Harry Judd and Season 13 with singer Jay McGuinness. Season 13 was her swansong, meaning she went out on a high.
Sadly for her, three low finishes (14th, 15th and 15th), combined with a 2nd place finish, left her with an average of 8th. But to win twice is an amazing feat. An injury ruled her out of Season 10.
22nd. James Jordan (Average: 7.9)
James Jordan was a well-known face on Strictly – taking part from Season 4 to Season 11. In this time, Jordan reached the final once with Denise van Outen, but this was his highest finish. Aside from this, he placed in a range of positions. Jordan later appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and competed on and won Dancing on Ice.
Tied 20th. Karen Hauer (Average: 7.8)
Karen Hauer is a fan-favourite, and is known for her range of ever-changing hair styles and fun nature. She is currently the longest-standing Strictly professional, having competed since Season 10. In her 10 appearances on the show, 3rd place in Season 18 is her highest finish. Some lower finishes have limited her average.
Tied 20th. Matthew Cutler (Average: 7.8)
Matthew Cutler appeared on Strictly from Season 3 to Season 7. He is best-known for winning Season 5 alongside singer Alesha Dixon. Aside from this, a pair of 5th place finishes were offset with a 12th and 16th place finish – resulting in his average score of 7.8.
19th. Robin Windsor (Average: 7.75)
Robin Windsor competed over four seasons, with a highest finish of 5th in Season 10, and a lowest finish of 12th in Season 11. Windsor didn’t return after Season 11, with an injury ruling him out of Season 12. Although he partook in some Christmas specials, Windsor never rejoined the main cast.
18th. Natalie Lowe (Average: 7.7)
Natalie Lowe competed over seven seasons. Her highest finish was 2nd in Season 7 alongside actor Ricky Whittle. Apart from this, her finishes ranged from 4th to 13th, with a few in-between. This left her with an average of 7.7.
17th. Brendan Cole (Average: 7.6)
Brendan Cole is one of Strictly’s most famous faces. He competed from Season 1 all the way to Season 15. To have an average finish of 7.6 over 15 years is amazing. He won the first season alongside media personality Natasha Kaplinsky.
Unfortunately for Brendan, he was unable to ever scale such heights again. His other highest finish was 3rd in Season 6. He had a range of partners in his time, and it came as a surprise when he didn’t return for Season 16. Cole has hinted his departure was somewhat acrimonious, referring to it as an “editorial” decision that was given to him over the phone.
16th. Katya Jones (Average: 7.5)
Katya Jones has appeared on six Strictly seasons. Her best result came in Season 15, as she won the show whilst teaming with Scottish actor Joe McFadden. However, since then, her highest finish has been 8th.
Tied 13th. Darren Bennett (Average: 7.3)
Darren Bennett made an incredible start to Strictly after joining in Season 2. He won alongside actress Jill Halfpenny. He competed for a further five seasons, with a 3rd place finish in Season 4 his next best result. His final two seasons saw him finish 13th twice, lowering his average to a respectable 7.3.
Tied 13th. Lilia Kopylova (Average: 7.3)
Lilia Kopylova took part in six seasons of Strictly. She won Season 3 alongside cricketer Darren Gough. She was then runner-up the very next year. However, the wheels well and truly fell off the wagon from there, with her final three appearances failing to yield anything higher than 10th. But still, Lilia was able to achieve an average of 7.3.
Tied 13th. Amy Dowden (Average: 7.3)
Welsh professional dancer Amy Dowden has competed in 5 Strictly seasons. Her highest finish came as a finalist in Season 17 alongside TV personality Karim Zeroual. Consistent performances in other years have seen her finish with an average of 7.3 so far. But with Amy still competing on the show, there is plenty of room for her to rise up these rankings more.
12th. Vincent Simone (Average: 7.15)
Vincent Simone took part in seven seasons, right from Season 4 to Season 19. His highest finish was 2nd alongside singer Rachel Stevens in Season 6. He had three further top 5 finishes too. Unfortunately, a 13th and 14th place finish pulled his average down, albeit to a strong 7.1.
11th. Erin Boag (Average: 7.1)
Erin Boag was a stalwart in the early years of Strictly – competing from Season 1 right through to Season 10 before leaving. She had four finishes in the top 5, with her best being a runner-up finish in Season 3. But three 12th place finishes brought down her average, with a commendable finish of 7.1 – an impressive feat given how she appeared ten times.
10th. Pasha Kovalev (Average: 7.05)
Russian professional Pasha Kovalev competed over 8 seasons of Strictly. He is best known for winning Season 12 alongside media personality Caroline Flack. It is arguable though that his true victory came in Season 6, where he partnered with future wife Rachel Riley. He finished as runner-up twice in Season 9 and Season 10, and 3rd place in Season 16. Unfortunately, a disappointing 15th place finish in Season 15 drags his average down.
9th. Johannes Radebe (Average: 7)
South African professional dancer Johannes Radebe has only appeared three times so far, but has performed well. His best finish was in Season 19, where he and chef John Whaite finished 2nd. Aside from that, he has placed 11th and 8th. Radebe remains on the show.
Tied 7th. Ian Waite (Average: 6.67)
Ian Waite appeared in six Strictly seasons between Season 2 and Season 7. In this time, his best finish was 2nd in Season 2 alongside athlete Denise Lewis. The following year he finished 3rd, but after this, it was finishes ranging from 6th to 13th. He left the show at the end of Season 7.
Tied 7th. Aljaž Škorjanec (Average: 6.67)
Slovenian dancer Aljaž Škorjanec is known for his infectious smile and of course for winning Strictly at the first attempt. He won in Season 11 alongside model Abbey Clancy. Aljaž appeared in nine seasons, and never finished lower than 10th – an impressive feat. He finished runner-up in Season 15 alongside model Gemma Atkinson. Aside from this, a range of finishes between 6th and 9th resulted in an average of 6.67. Sadly, Aljaž left the show after Season 19.
6th. Oti Mabuse (Average: 6.4)
Oti Mabuse competed on Strictly for seven years. She is best known for incredibly winning two seasons on the bounce – an achievement that was never done before, or since. Her two victories came in Season 17 with actor Kelvin Fletcher, and in Season 18 with singer Bill Bailey.
Mabuse also finished as a finalist in Season 14. However, 14th and 11th place finishes, along with 8th and 7th, mean her average was 6.4 She left the show at the end of Season 19.
5th. AJ Pritchard (Average: 5)
AJ Pritchard had a hugely impressive average of 5. He competed on Strictly four times, achieving remarkable consistency with 4th, 6th and a brace of 5th place finishes. It was a shame that he couldn’t ever reach the final. He left at the end of Season 17. Still though, an average of 5 is pretty amazing.
4th. Giovanni Pernice (Average: 4.9)
Giovanni Pernice has cemented himself as one of Strictly’s best dancers. He has appeared on Strictly six times, and reached the final an incredible three times. Unfortunately, he hasn’t yet won. However, Giovanni remains on the show, and will hope to finally claim an elusive victory. His lowest finish came in Season 14, with a 9th place finish.
3rd. Camilla Dallerup (Average: 4.7)
Camilla Dallerup appeared on Strictly six times. She was very consistent, with her lowest finish being 8th. Her best finish was victory in Season 6, where she partnered actor Tom Chambers. This triumph was her final appearance on the show, meaning she went out on a high.
2nd. Kevin Clifton (Average: 4.6)
Kevin Clifton produced a simply remarkable career on Strictly. Over seven appearances, he made the final a whopping five times. On his first four appearances, Kevin reached the final in each one, coming up agonizingly short on each occasion.
He placed 7th in Season 15, but finally claimed glory in Season 16 alongside TV presenter Stacey Dooley – who became his partner after the show. Kevin’s victory was celebrated heavily by the other dancers.
The only disappointment was that Kevin’s final performance saw him finish 14th – seeing his average fall. Despite this, he is considered a Strictly legend, and has a very strong record to look back on.
1st. Artem Chigvintsev (Average: 4.4)
Finishing top of the pile is Artem Chigvintsev, who competed for four seasons on Strictly between Season 8 and 11. On his maiden appearance in Season 8, Artem won alongside actress Kara Tointon.
He finished 4th in Season 9, 10th in Season 10, before making the final with actress Natalie Gumede in Season 12. Artem therefore had an average of 4.4 – representing an average that no other dancer has achieved. For now at least, Artem tops the list as statistically the best professional dancer on Strictly.
So there we have it – a complete run down of the average finishes of all of Strictly’s professionals that competed at least 3 times on this juggernaut of a show. Strictly shows no signs of stopping anytime soon either!
Of course, the ability of the celebrity, the dance style and viewer votes all play a huge role – meaning that for as good as the professionals are, there are always other factors in play. But still, the rankings above provide interesting viewing.