Strictly’s Aljaz Skorjanec says it was ‘love at first sight’ when he met fellow pro Janette Manrara

Strictly Come Dancing may be famous for the ‘Strictly curse’, where contestants end up leaving their long-term partners for a new flame after taking part in the show. For professionals Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara however, being part of Strictly has only brought them closer together.

Janette Aljaz

The married couple have been discussing their relationship with The Times, with Aljaz revealing it was ‘love at first sight’ when he first met Janette at an audition for a touring theatre.

‘I remember the first time I saw Janette like it was yesterday’ he says, ‘I walked into the room and locked eyes on her straight away. It was love at first sight and from that moment on impressing her became just as important to me as getting into the show’.

Aljaz says he was immediately blown away by Janette’s beauty and dancing talent, but it took him a while to convince her to go on a date. ‘I had been ready to wait for her as long as she needed’ said Aljaz of their first date, which happened after a year of being friends.

The couple also revealed how being asked to take part in Strictly together after their touring show ended was a blessing because it meant they wouldn’t have to go back to their respective homes (LA for Janette, Slovenia for Aljaz) and embark on a long distance relationship.

While Janette – who has since left Strictly to present It Takes Two – says it was stressful to suddenly have their relationship in the spotlight by appearing on the show, there were benefits, including being able to choreograph their dance routines together. ‘The first waltz I danced with my partner Abbey Clancy in 2013 I choreographed with Janette in the little kitchen of the rented flat where we lived at the time’ revealed Aljaz.

The couple married in 2017 with three weddings – in London, Malibu and Slovenia – and say the secrets to their relationships is starting out as ‘best friends’ and always communicating. It certainly seems to be working for them!