Strictly: Aljaz Skorjanec gets surprised with message from family
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Aljaz Skorjanec, 31, began dancing from the age of five, but had a change of heart when he turned 18. After years of living his dream, he decided to call it quits and stopped competing. At the time, the Strictly Come Dancing star’s decision left his family and, particularly his mum, “devastated”.
Reflecting on the situation, he recalled: “Different things become a priority in your life in your late teenage years.
“One of the biggest reasons [why he now regrets the decision] was my family, because I knew how much financial support and time they had invested in me.
“And it was a really difficult decision.”
Aljaz said his family had supported him both financially and emotionally throughout his early dancing years, so he felt bad that he didn’t inform them about his decision.
Speaking to wife Janette Manrara on their Twist and Shout podcast, he went on to say: “Regardless of all that, I decided to not dance anymore.
“I knew it was going to break my parents’ heart. I kind of made the decision before I spoke to them about it.
“I think that was unkind for me because they were so involved with my whole dancing world.”
He added: “At the end of the day it was always going to be my decision, but I should’ve included them in my decision more.
“I know I broke their hearts at the time, my mum was devastated.”
The dancer added he wished he could turn back time and change the way he dealt with the situation.
Thankfully, Aljaz’s love for dancing reprised and he started competing again.
To date, he is a 19-time Slovenian champion in Ballroom, Latin and Ten Dance.
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Between 2000 and 2008 his professional partner was Valerija Rahle Mbanwi.
Aljaz developed a whole new fan base when he joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.
On his first series, he won the Glitterball trophy with Abbey Clancy.
He will return to the dance floor next month when the show returns to BBC One.
Janette, who also joined the show in 2013, will return with a slightly different role this year.
Back in June, she was announced as the new host of Strictly: It Takes Two.
The dancer will front the spin-off show with Rylan Clark-Neal, following Zoe Balls’ departure.
Aljaz and Janette have been married since 2017 and have almost been together for 10 years.
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