Janette Manrara

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Janette Manrara
Born (1983-11-16) 16 November 1983 (age 35)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
OccupationDancer, choreographer
Years active2009–present
Aljaž Skorjanec (m. 2017)

Janette Manrara (born November 16, 1983) is an American professional dancer and choreographer from Miami, Florida[1]. Originally a Salsa dancer, learning from her Cuban family, she formally studied dance from the age of 19. Manrara is best known for her appearances on the US series So You Think You Can Dance and British dance reality television competition, Strictly Come Dancing.

Personal life[edit]

Manrara began performing in musical theatre at age 12, and started her formal dance training at 19, studying ballroom, ballet, pointe, jazz and hip-hop. Manrara studied Finance at Florida International University whilst completing her dance training.[2]

In 2015, Manrara became engaged to long time partner, Strictly Come Dancing and Burn the Floor co-star, Aljaž Skorjanec.[3] They were married on 15 July 2017.[4]

So You Think You Can Dance[edit]

Manrara originally auditioned for the Fourth season of So You Think You Can Dance but failed to make it through to the top 20. She auditioned again in season 5 and made it through to the top 20, where she was paired with contemporary dancer Brandon Bryant. Like Manrara, Bryant had come through Las Vegas week during Season 4 only to be cut during the Top 20 selection. During her time on the show, Janette received much praise from the judges; both Mia Michaels and Nigel Lythgoe said Janette was their favorite female dancer that season and Lythgoe went on to say he hoped she would win the entire competition.[5] An Argentine Tango she performed with Bryant was the first dance on Season 5 to receive a standing ovation from the judges.[citation needed] However, Manrara was eliminated during week 7 along with contemporary dancer Jason Glover.

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

Highest and lowest scoring performances per dance

In 2013 Manrara became a professional dancer on British TV show Strictly Come Dancing. Her first celebrity partner in the 11th series was fashion designer Julien Macdonald; they were the third couple to be eliminated. She returned for the 12th series and partnered actor Jake Wood, with whom she made it to the Semi-Finals and finished in 5th place overall. For the 13th series, she was paired with TV personality Peter Andre; they were the 9th couple to be eliminated. As well as her main series appearances Manrara has also taken part in one off specials of the show. In 2013 she performed a Quickstep with actor Ricky Norwood on the Christmas special. In 2014 Manrara scored a maximum of 40 points in 'The People's Strictly for Comic Relief' for an American Smooth with, 'Kidz R us' founder, Phillip Barnett. Manrara took part in the 2016 'Strictly Come dancing Live tour' with her series 12 partner Jake Wood. For series 14, she was partnered with radio DJ Melvin Odoom. They were the first couple to be eliminated after receiving the fewest number of public votes, there was no dance off due to fellow competitor Anastacia's injury. Odoom and Manrara reprised their partnership in the 2016 Christmas special, she also danced with canoeist Joe Clarke in the 2016 Children in Need special. For series 15, she is partnered with former JLS singer Aston Merrygold. They were the sixth couple eliminated in week 7, losing the dance-off to Mollie King and her partner AJ Pritchard.

Series Partner Place Average score
11 Julien Macdonald 13th 20.8
12 Jake Wood 5th 32.1
13 Peter Andre 7th 30.8
14 Melvin Odoom 15th 22.5
15 Aston Merrygold 10th 32.1
16 Dr. Ranj Singh 10th 24.3

Strictly Come Dancing performances[edit]

Series 11[edit]

For series 11, Manrara was paired with Julien Macdonald.

Series 12[edit]

For series 12, Manrara was paired with Jake Wood.

*In week three Guest Judge, Donny Osmond, gave Jake and Janette 8 extra points

Series 13[edit]

For series 13, Manrara was paired with Peter Andre.

Series 14[edit]

For series 14, Manrara was paired with Melvin Odoom.

Series 15[edit]

For series 15, Manrara was paired with Aston Merrygold.

*In week 5, Bruno Tonioli was not present, so scores were out of 30

Series 16[edit]

For series 16, Manrara was paired with Dr. Ranj Singh.

Dance tours and other professional engagements[edit]

Janette took part in the national Strictly Come Dancing - The Live Tour in 2017

In 2018, Janette & Aljaz Skorjanec announced dates for their 2019 UK Tour 'Remembering The Movies'.[6]

In October 2018, Janette announced she would be teaching & performing with Aljaž Skorjanec at Donahey's Dancing with The Stars Weekends in 2019.[7]

Other projects[edit]

Following her appearance on So You Think You Can Dance Manrara joined, Musical TV series, Glee as a principal dancer. She also made her "Burn the Floor - West End" debut at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London on 21 July 2010. Additionally, she was part of the Burn the Floor US cast, which toured the United States from late 2010 through May 2011.


  1. ^ "The People's Strictly for Comic Relief - Janette Manrara - BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  2. ^ "BBC One - Strictly Come Dancing - Janette Manrara". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  3. ^ by hellomagazine.com. "Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara announce their engagement". Hellomagazine.com. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  4. ^ Henden, Amalie (2018-10-27). "Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec: When did Strictly professionals get married?". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  5. ^ "So You Think You Can Dance: Chatting with Janette Manrara". www.buddytv.com. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  6. ^ "Remembering The Movies Tour 2019". Ents24. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  7. ^ "Amazing 5* Weekend Breaks with the stars ofBBC Strictly Come Dancing". www.donaheys.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-24.

External links[edit]