Otlile Mabuse has been named as the first black person to appear as a professional dancer since Strictly Come Dancing’s launch over a decade ago.
Otlile’s dancing pedigree is highlighted by the fact that she has been crowned South African Latin American dance champion eight times, and has made it to the semi final of the World Cup Championship.
The South African born dancer hopes that her inclusion within the professional lineup will lead to a greater representation of diversity amongst the pros, given the amount of talented dancers around the world. Otlile said “There should be more black dancers on Strictly. It’s a shame as there are so many in South Africa and also in Mozambique and Botswana”.
The 24-year-old has been passionate about ballroom dancing from a young age where she danced alongside her sister, who is an equally talented professional dancer and judge on the German version of Strictly Come Dancing. Otlile made an appearance on the German version of Strictly in 2013 where her nimble footwork and elegant movement impressed.
Otlile has displayed her excitement over her new role on Strictly but she will be displeased with her partner Anthony Ogogo, the boxer has recently injured his arm and has it in a sling. Therefore the restricted movement of her celebrity partner could hinder Otlile’s ability to produce her best within her first appearance on the show.