Katya Jones caught the public’s imagination last year thanks to the wonderfully wacky routines she choreographed for celeb partner Ed Balls in her debut series.
This year has been a different kettle of fish for the dancer, as she partners one of the hot favourites to win - Joe McFadden. Here’s what you need to know about Katya:
Who is Katya Jones?
World Latin Champion Katya was born in St Petersburg, Russia, and started dancing at the age of six. Polymath Katya also trained in gymnastics, singing, drawing and piano.
Since 2008 Katya has danced professionally with Neil Jones, who is also her husband and another Strictly pro. Former Strictly pro – and It Takes Two favourite – Karen Hardy has trained Katya in the past.
Neil and Katya have won both amateur and professional Latin dance competitions and, by her own admission, Katya is very competitive.
“I know it is extremely intense, but so am I. I am fierce, fabulous and would love to win,” she said on joining Strictly.
In her first series of Strictly Katya was partnered with former politician Ed Balls. #TeamGlitterballs reached round 10, coming sixth.
Outside of dancing, Katya and her husband Neil have a range of apparel called The Joneses’ Apparel – a unisex clothing line which comes complete with a QR code which links to interactive content.
“I started The Joneses’ Apparel because I knew that Katya loved it all so much,” Katya’s husband Neil, another Strictly pro, explained to the Daily Mail. “I got her started and I was like ‘you design it and I'm going to fund it and now it’s yours. We still work on it together but it's yours’.”
Katya certainly paid her dues by coaching Ed through last year's contest, and 2017 has seen her in the spotlight for very different reasons as the partner of final favourite Joe McFadden.
The Holby City star has quietly crept up the leaderboard and achieved some of his best scores with the Charleston, Quickstep and Samba.
Joe and Katya may not have garnered the same level of gushing praise from the judges as some of their rivals, but they've gone down a storm with viewers and have a great shot at being crowned the winners.
Best-ever finish: Katya came sixth with Ed Balls in her debut Strictly appearance, but has already smashed that record by being in the 2017 final with Joe McFadden.
Worst-ever finish: Having only been on the show for one year so far, sixth is also her worst performance and she's well and truly beaten it in 2017.
Former celebrity partners: Ed Balls.
Did you know? Katya and Neil have a dog called Crumble.
Celebrity partner 2017: Joe McFadden
Photo credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock