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Reality TV Reality Bites

Meet the new 'Strictly' pros: Artem Chigvintsev

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Paul Daniels! Ann Widdecombe! Michelle Williams! Aren't you excited for Strictly yet? If not, why not? If you need another excuse to dust off those sequins and cancel your Saturday night plans, here's one more reason why this year's show looks like being the best yet. So You Think You Can Dance legend Artem Chigvinstev is one of the three new pros to have joined the Strictly family over the summer. Do you want to know more about the man? Well then keep reading for our short bio:

Artem Chigveintsev from Strictly Come Dancing

© BBC



Russian-born Chigvinstev immigrated to the US at a young age in order to pursue his passion for dancing. A Latin and ballroom champion, he competed in the first season of the American dance show So You Think You Dance but was eliminated alongside his fellow contestant Melissa Vella. Speaking of his time on the hit US series, Chigvinstev said: "It was a great experience for me because I was on so much television, so many fans, so much experience being on stage and performing." Following the programme, it became clear that he was hugely popular and his success led to him landing the role of assistant choreographer in the second season.

He also made an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. While working on the show, Chigvintsev met and began dating Carrie Ann Inaba, one of Dancing judges, but their relationship ended in 2008 after two and a half years.

As well as his many television appearances, Chigvintsev is passionate about teaching dance and has brought his expertise to the Ballroom Dance Channel, where he teaches International Style Latin Dance to a global web audience. He has also made small cameo appearances in a few films, including I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and The Great Observer.

Following his split from Inaba, Chigvintsev joined the cast of Burn The Floor, the worldwide dancing phenomenon that was first performed at Elton John's 50th birthday party. Artem performed both on Broadway and more recently in the West End, but was forced to rapidly return to the US in August this year after being threatened with deportation due to immigration laws stating that he cannot work more than 20 hours a week in a second job. With the West End musical wanting him for 38 hours on top of his Strictly schedule, he had to leave his role in the production. Chigvintsev has now arranged a work visa that enables him to return to the UK and participate in Strictly.

Additional reporting by Emma Humphrey

Do you think Artem will be a good fit in the Strictly family? Leave your opinions in the box below!

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