Joanne Clifton

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Joanne Clifton
Joanne Kirsty Clifton

(1983-10-26) 26 October 1983 (age 35)
Waltham, Grimsby North East Lincolnshire, England, UK
EducationCaistor Grammar School
OccupationDancer, presenter, actress, singer
Years active1987–present

Joanne Kirsty Clifton (born 26 October 1983 in Waltham, North East Lincolnshire) is an English professional dancer, presenter, actress, and singer. She won the World Ballroom Showdance Championship in 2013,[1] and won the European Professional Ballroom Championship and World Dancesport Games.[2] She has been a professional dancer on the BBC TV series Strictly Come Dancing since 2014, winning the Christmas Special in 2015 with Harry Judd who was series 9 champion and the fourteenth series in 2016 with Ore Oduba. She also appeared as an expert presenter on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in 2015.[3]

Clifton played the title role of Millie Dillmount in the UK tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2017. She is currently playing the lead role of Janet Weiss in the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

Dancing career[edit]

Clifton started dancing ballroom and Latin as a child in her home village of Waltham, taught by her parents, former world number ones Keith and Judy Clifton.[4] She competed nationally and internationally as a child, initially partnering her brother Kevin.[5] Later, she chose to specialise in ballroom so as not to directly compete against her brother.[6] She has competed in both ballroom and Latin since the age of 4. She has been a British Champion five times and Italian Champion three times, and was Professional Ballroom European Champion in 2012 and Professional World Dancesport Games Champion in 2013.[7]

In 2000, Clifton moved to Bologna, Italy, to train with Team Diablo, the biggest dance school in Europe. She was initially partnered with Marco Cavallaro, reaching sixth in the world in amateur rankings with him.[8] She moved to professional competition when she was chosen to partner Paolo Bosco in 2011.[9] In 2013, they were amongst ten other professional dancing couples to be invited to perform at the Kremlin.[10] She and her partner became champions of the World Dancesport Games in Taiwan in 2013[11] and won the World Professional Ballroom Showdance Championships in Merano, Italy, later that year.[12] Clifton danced with Bosco competitively until his retirement on 15 December 2013.[13] She retired from competitive dancing on 19 December 2013.

From April to May 2014, she joined her brother as a dancer in the Burn the Floor Dance Company, performing in the show's tour of Australia and Japan.

In 2015, Clifton appeared in her first musical production, Face the Music at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, playing Street Walker for which she received an Offie nomination for her role. In 2016, she appeared in Norma Jean The Musical, playing the title character, Marilyn Monroe.

In early 2017, Clifton appeared as the lead role of Millie Dillmount, in the UK Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie. She will play the lead role of Alex Owens in the UK Tour of Flashdance the Musical.[14]

Between December 2017 and January 2018, Clifton played the role of Dale Tremont in the musical Top Hat. The production was a fringe version performed at the Gatehouse London, with rave reviews about Clifton's performance.[15]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

In 2014, Clifton was confirmed as a professional dancer on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. She was partnered with the DJ Scott Mills.[16] They made it through to week six but were eliminated in the Halloween show.[17] On 6 November 2014, Clifton appeared on BBC Radio 1's Innuendo Bingo.[18] Clifton remained part of the professional line up for the following series but was not given a partner for the main show. She did, however, compete in the Children in Need special with the actor Stephen McGann and went on to win the Christmas Special with the series 9 winner Harry Judd. Clifton returned full-time to the main show for the fourteenth series and was paired with the TV presenter Ore Oduba. On 17 December they were crowned the winners, giving her her first win of the main series.

It was announced on 21 June 2017 that Clifton was to leave Strictly Come Dancing as a professional dancer after three years, due to wanting to progress in her musical theatre career.[19]

Series Partner Place Average
12 Scott Mills 11th 18.2
14 Ore Oduba 1st 35.7


Series 12 with Scott Mills

Series 14 with Ore Oduba

Personal life[edit]

Clifton grew up in the small North East Lincolnshire village of Waltham with her older brother, Kevin Clifton, mother, Judy Clifton and father Keith Clifton. She attended East Ravendale Primary School and Caistor Grammar School.[20]


  1. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing: James Jordan and Artem Chigvintsev quit show as Kevin Clifton's sister Joanne joins up". Mirror. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Dancesportinfo". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Local Dancers set Strictly Come Dancing Return". Grimsby Telegraph. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Cliftons Dance Academy". Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Stage Star to put on Show in Grimsby". Grimsby Telegraph. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing's Karen Hauer and Kevin Clifton: 'If you get that one shot, you must hang on to it'". The Telegraph. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Burn The Floor". Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  8. ^ "It's a waltz for Joanne Clifton as she takes European Professional Ballroom Championship crown". Grimsby Telegraph. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Local dancer chosen to be world ballroom champion's partner". Grimsby Telegraph. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Dancer Joanne Clifton performs in Grimsby". Grimsby Telegraph. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  11. ^ "United Agents". Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Parents' pride as Kevin Clifton reaches Strictly Come Dancing final with Susanna Reid". Grimsby Evening Telegraph. 17 December 2013. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  13. ^ "World Dance Sport Federation". Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Joanne Clifton and Ben Adams to Star in UK Tour of FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL". Broadway World. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Full Casting Announced for TOP HAT at Upstairs at the Gatehouse". 10 November 2017.
  16. ^ "The Mirror". Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  17. ^ "The Mirror". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  18. ^ BBC Radio 1 (6 November 2014). "Strictly Come Bingo: Scott & Joanne" – via YouTube.
  19. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing: Joanne Clifton quits and new dancers revealed". 21 June 2017 – via
  20. ^ "Dancing her way to the top of the world!". Grimsby Telegraph. 26 September 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2014.

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