Name: Curtis Pritchard
Curtis Pritchard was born in Cheshire, UK and began his dancing career at the tender age of 11. Following in the footsteps of his professional dancer father, Curtis specialised in Ballroom & Latin.
In fact, dancing is somewhat of a tradition in the Pritchard household, his brother AJ recently competed in Strictly Come Dancing as the professional partner of Olympic gymnast, Claudia Fragapane. The finished in a very respectable fourth place.
Curtis became a Ballroom & Latin Junior & Youth Champion and represented The UK in many World and European Championships.
A youth finalist in all major competitions in the UK, Curtis, in 2014 decided to retire from the competitive world of dance, believing his vocation was stage and entertainment, he enrolled in acting classes and vocal training alongside his dance training to venture on a path to become a proud member of Burn the Floor.
Curtis toured with Burn the Floor being a cast member of ‘Rebellion In The Ballroom’ and appeared in a production of ‘Priscilla Queen of The Dessert’.
His successful and varied career lead him to be accepted as a professional on DWTS Ireland, all at the age of 20.
Name: Emily Barker
Emily began her dancing career at the age of seven, specialising in Latin and Ballroom.
In 2010, Emily was crowned Ballroom and Latin Junior Champion and has represented the UK in many World and European Championships.
For only being a mere 19 years of age she has toured she has toured with the stage musicals, ‘Burn the Floor’, ‘Rebellion in the Ballroom’ and ‘Priscilla Queen of The Dessert’.
Name: Giulia Dotta
From a very young age Giulia developed an interest for sports and art.
At only four years of age, she was chosen to be part of the Italian National Team of Artistic Gymnasts, before deciding to move on to figure skating. However, a knee injury forced her to give it up for good. Giulia’s parents encouraged her to take up dancing and as soon as she stepped on the dance floor she knew that it was one of the greatest feelings she had ever felt!
One of her highlights was becoming a finalist at the UK Closed Championship in 2015.
Giulia has been working for the last three years with the Broadway production show, ‘Burn the Floor’ traveling in a worldwide tour.
She has appeared on TV programs such as ‘So You Think You Can Dance Australia’, ‘Dancing with the Stars Australia’ and 2005 Blackpool addition of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’
One of the highlights of her career was being the principal dancer in "The Girl in the Yellow Dress" Music Video by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.
She was a finalist at the UK Closed Championship in 2015.
Giulia’s favourite dish is carbonara pasta and her favourite movie is ‘The Lion King’.
Name: John Nolan
John is from Kilkenny and has been dancing since he could walk! By age 3 he was already learning ballet, Irish dancing and set dancing. By six years of age John had taken to ballroom and he hasn’t looked back since.
He has represented Ireland at World and European Championships and is Irish Champion in Ballroom and Showdance.
The Kilkenny native has worked as a full time teacher in Ballroom & Latin from the past 8 years and has been the head teacher in one of Ireland’s Top Latin Dance Schools Xquisite Dance for the last 5 years.
Name: Kai Widdrington
Kai’s father was a professional football player and initially Kai thought he’d follow in his father’s footsteps. Thinking dance lessons would help his footwork on the pitch he soon swapped the playing field for the ballroom and within just five years Kai became the World Junior Latin American Champion!
In 2012 Kai appeared in ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent and managed to reach the final with his partner Natalia. Kai reappeared on Britain’s Got Talent two years later with the Latin American super-group, Kings & Queens, and they reached the semi-finals of the show.
In 2014, Kai moved away from the competitive world of dancing and joined the Ballroom and Latin Dance company, ‘Burn The Floor’ where he toured the world.
A fun fact about Kai is that he is very good at impressions.
Karen is from Dublin and started dancing at the age of six.
She has studied many styles of dance.
At the age of 14 she started travelling to Great Britain and Europe on her own to extend her dancing and teaching abilities with the help of the best teachers in the world.
She now runs one of Ireland’s biggest and most successful dance schools teaching adults and kids and is Ireland’s top Latin dancer.
Karen still competes worldwide representing Ireland in all the major competitions around the world being well known on the Worlds dance scene.
When she’s not dancing Karen loves to shop till she drops and hit the gym!
Name: Ksenia Zsikhotska
Ksenia is 27 years of age and from the Ukraine. Her first introduction to dance was folk dancing classes. Aged 6, she moved from the Ukraine to the U.K.
Ksenia’s introduction to Ballroom dancing was in the World Famous Winter Gardens in Blackpool. She entered the Ballroom to the sound of a wonderful orchestra and into a world of beautiful dresses, colour and sequins and knew that this is what she wanted to do with her life.
At the age of 14 she went to her first dance class where she felt self-conscious, ‘I remember running for my first dance class, and my shoe broke! In my head I was thinking, "oh great, spot the new kid’
Since then Ksenia has achieved many successes with her dancing partner Ryan McShane, they are the current U. K and British Closed Latin Professional champions they also hold the Show Dance title.
She has a keen interest in fashion and design. Her secret pleasure is Nutella.
Name: Ryan McShane
Ryan started dancing aged four.
With his first dance partner they won everything in Ireland and moved quickly through the ranks. He really made his mark when he won to his first British Competition, which happened to be the British Nationals at Blackpool, where he made the Final of the Youth Category. Two Months later he returned to Blackpool for Champions of Tomorrow where he took the Youth title.
Growing up Ryan also played football, golf and volleyball competitively but dancing was always at the forefront of what he wanted to do. "Dancing was just the biggest challenge of my life, mixing Sport with Art I got the best of both worlds".
With his partner, Ksenia Zsikhotska, he is now the United Kingdom & British Latin Professional Champion & British Show Dance Champions.
Ryan says of this season of Dancing with the Stars, "I cannot wait for my first season on DWTS Ireland, expect fireworks!"
Name: Shauna Finn
Shauna is one of the professional dancers who will be involved in the pro numbers.
Shauna started Irish dancing after school at age 4 as every Irish child does and from that she started Latin and Ballroom at age 11. Since then she has been competing and winning in that ever since. She turned amateur at age 15 and represents Ireland at international competitions.
Shauna is the Irish Show Dance Champion 2016 and All Ireland Champion.
Shauna is thrilled to be part of the "Dancing with Stars" team and is looking forward to an exciting series!
Name: Valeria Milova
Valeria was born in Estonia and started dancing at the age of eight. She is a former Estonian hip-hop dancing champion and has experience in tap and jazz but specialises in Latin.
She represented her country at the World and European Latin-American Championships, where she was the finalist of the IDSF Amateur European Union Latin Championship and the finalist of the WDSF World Showdance Latin Championship in 2015.
Valeria took the silver medal in the Dancing with the Stars project in Europe and was invited as a choreographer and special guest performer on the second season of the same project.
She is a former cast member of world-wide famous ballroom show ‘Burn the Floor’.
Name: Vitali Kozmin
Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Vitali started dancing at the age of eight.
He represented Estonia in World and European Latin-American Championships and is a former National Champion and finalist of many international championships.
Vitali was the winner of ‘Dancing with the Stars Project’ in Europe in 2012 and a group-dance choreographer on the same project.
Vitali was a finalist of WDSF World Showdance Latin Championship in 2015,that took place in Vienna, Austria.
He is a former cast member of world-wide famous ballroom show ‘Burn the Floor’.