Aljaž Škorjanec

is undoubtedly one of the brightest stars in Slovenian dance scene.

As a pre-schooler he enrolled himself in kindergarten’s dance rehearsals, never imagining that one day he would become an international dance star. He probably just perceived dancing as having a good time.

Through the upcoming years this joy for dancing turned into more serious and intensive Standard and Latin dance trainings, first in his hometown Slovenska Bistrica and later in Ljubljana at the Fredi Dance Club. The coaching duo Fredi and Daniela Novak quickly recognized Aljaž’s motor and personality virtues and directed the traits in competitive dancing. Aljaž and his dance partner Valerija Rahle thus stood on the highest step at the national championships nineteen times. Aljaž won all three competition categories: Standard, Latin, and Ten Dance. As the greater part of his career in competitive dancing took place in his early youth, his success was largely due to his parents who always supported him to the fullest. Aljaž and Valerija also achieved the highest results at many international dance competitions. From pioneer category wins to many finals’ qualifications in Junior I, Junior II, and Youth categories, the young couple from Slovenska Bistrica attracted attention on the international dance scenes. They represented Slovenia several times at official European and World Championships, reaching the semi-finals three times. They also danced in the European Cup Ten Dance.

After Aljaž retired from competitive dancing he was offered an amazing opportunity to join a professional dance team from Australia, which has successfully represented standard and Latin American dancers with the show called Burn The Floor for many years. A team of international dance stars, led by choreographers Jason Gilkison and Peta Roby, first toured in Australia and then around the world. It was there where he met his current wife, an American dancer, Janette Manrara. They were both invited to participate on an original BBC TV show in 2013. The show was called Strictly Come Dancing and quickly became a hit on many TV stations around the world. Last year has been his ninth year in a row as a member of the cast. Aljaž already took home the winning trophy in his first series of the show. Viewers of the show which was rewarded many times as the most popular entertainment TV show in England, love Aljaž very much. Not only do they know how to pronounce his name correctly, but they also know where he is from, as Aljaž always happily says that he comes from the most beautiful place, Slovenia.

Aljaž and Janette also successfully undertook independent projects. They have already staged two dance spectacles, Remembering Fred and Remembering the Movies, with which they not only filled the hall at the London Palladium several times, but also successfully toured all major English cities. The third project, Remembering the Oscars, was originally thwarted by the pandemic and will be carried out this year.

 

All of us who know Aljaž are convinced that he has not yet said his final word and will continue to shine even brighter in the near future as I believe he will have a successful career not just in dancing but also in modelling and film.

 

Written by Daniela Novak