Who is Katya Jones? Meet the Strictly Come Dancing pro dancer

Katya has had a memorable time on Strictly with Ed Balls, Joe McFadden and Seann Walsh. Here’s what you need to know about her.

Last updated: 4 October 2019 - 3.00pm

Katya Jones caught the public’s imagination thanks to the wonderfully wacky routines she choreographed for celeb partner Ed Balls in her debut series.

But it hasn't been the only time she's hit the headlines, both for good reasons and bad. Here's all you need to know.

[Read more: Where are the Strictly Come Dancing winners now?]

Who is Katya Jones?

Katya Jones with Seann Walsh

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.

[All the victims of the Strictly Come Dancing curse]

Since 2008 Katya has danced professionally with Neil Jones, another Strictly pro who she was married to for six years until they announced their split just ahead of the 2019 series.

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.

She had a very different year in 2017, winning the competition with actor Joe McFadden.

[Read more: 6 things you didn’t know about Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood]

But in 2018, Katya was at the centre of one of Strictly's biggest controversies when she was caught kissing celeb dance partner Seann Walsh in the street. Katya was still married to Neil, and it was also on Seann's then-girlfriend Rebecca Humphries' birthday.

Strictly winner

Joe McFadden and Katya Jones

Katya certainly paid her dues by coaching Ed Balls and in 2017 she returned to the spotlight for very different reasons as the partner of Joe McFadden.

[Read more: Who are the Strictly 2019 pro dancers?]

The Holby City star 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 slowly established themselves as the dark horses of the competition and eventually triumphed in the final ahead of Alexandra Burke, Debbie McGee and Gemma Atkinson.

Best-ever finish: 2017 winner with Joe McFadden

Worst-ever finish: Katya came 11th with Seann Walsh in the 2018 series.

Current celebrity partner: Mike Bushell

Former celebrity partners: Ed Balls, Joe McFadden, Seann Walsh.

Did you know? Katya and Neil have a dog called Crumble. 

Joe McFadden on Katya

"Any partner is going to do well with that girl. I’m jealous of all the partners that she’s going to have because they’re all going to do well because she wouldn’t have it any other way."

Ed Balls on Katya

"Above all the only reason we have been able to learn and to entertain is because of Katya, and it's her first series. She is going to go on to be a total dynamite, knock-out Strictly star, she is just the best there is. Absolutely amazing. She is utterly brilliant."

Sean Walsh kiss scandal

Seann Walsh's fake tan had barely even had time to dry before he got caught in a scandal with Katya.

Just three weeks into the 2018 competition, The Sun published photos and video of a drunken Seann and Katya on a night out in London where they stumbled out of a bar and snogged in the street.

What made it even worse was that the kiss happened on his girlfriend actress Rebecca Humphries' birthday, and Katya was married to fellow Strictly pro Neil Jones.

 

 

Both Seann and Katya tweeted apologies after the story broke, putting it down to a drunken mistake, but Rebecca tweeted her own version of events, which made it clear Seann had not bothered to try to make amends in real life.

 

 

[Read more: Katya already working on 2018 Strictly stunner]

Photo credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

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