Not another one?! Third Strictly professional dancer quits the show


by Emma Dodds |
Published on

Joanne Clifton has announced her decision to leave Strictly Come Dancing after three years on the show

Strictly Come Dancing are having a RATHER large shake-up of their professional dancers.

Natalie Lowe announced that she was leaving last month, and Ukranian Oksana Platero has also revealed that she will not be coming back to the show later this year.

But Strictly fans face another blow as 2016 winner Joanne Clifton has decided to bow out - not only from Strictly, but from professional dancing as a whole.

Joanne has announced her departure from Strictly (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

Joanne has revealed that she is leaving the world of ballroom dancing after her revelatory stint as the main character in the UK tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

The 33-year-old has been performing in the show for the past six months, and has absolutely loved her experience.

Having achieved everything she set out to in the world of ballroom dancing, she's now ready to try something different.

In a statement, she said: "I've always had a childhood dream to be on stage, and now that I've achieved everything I've worked for in dancing by becoming a World Champion, winning the Strictly Glitterball and the Christmas Special, I think it's now time to follow my dream.

"That feeling I get every night onstage the past 6 months as Millie has only confirmed that for me."

Joanne has thoroughly enjoye her time as Modern Millie (Credit: Instagram/ Joanne Clifton) ©Instagram/ Joanne Clifton

Joanne added that it wasn't an easy choice to make: "Being part of the Strictly experience has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I will miss the show so much.

"It’s been a tough decision but I am looking forward to facing new challenges and focusing on my musical theatre career."

Joanne's 2016 winning partner TV presenter Ore Oduba, who himself has enjoyed success off the back of the show, confessed to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain this morning that he has known she would be leaving for some time.

He said: "I've known about this for a while. Here is a girl who has achieved such great things in everything she's done; she was world ballroom champion, she won the Strictly glitterball trophy and now she is embarking on a new adventure.

"She is going to be absolutely smashing it night after night on stage and we are all so proud of her. What she has done is so brave, jumping off a great show like Strictly into this new world. We are wishing her all the best."

The dancer took to Twitter to express her delight and sorrow at leaving the show.

Joanne's second big announcement was that she would be joining the cast of the UK tour of Flashdance as main character Alex.

BBC bosses revealed that the three professional dancers who would be replacing Natalie, Joanne and Oksana are Dianne Buswell, from Australia, Nadiya Bychkova, from Ukraine and Amy Dowden, from Wales.

With all this change, we're left wondering how long Anton will stay in the show - especially as he's now father to two little babies!

Joanne and Ore's winning jive (Credit: BBC/ Strictly Come Dancing)

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