Janette Manrara says long distance almost ended Strictly romance

Aljaž Škorjanec's acting discussed by partner Janette Manrara

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Janette Manrara, 39, and Aljaz Skorjanec, 32, have enjoyed marital bliss for the past five years after the couple tied the knot in 2017. The former Strictly Come Dancing duo have been in a relationship for just over 12 years.

The married couple spoke candidly in a new interview about their romance and the Cuban-born dancer admitted the long distance almost ended their relationship.

Janette revealed it was divine intervention that saved the couple after they both secured the Strictly gig in 2013.

Speaking to Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time podcast, the Strictly It Takes Two host explained she had plans to move back to the United States.

It comes after the pair wrapped up their stage work for Burn The Floor in the UK.

“The long distance thing we were doing. The run we were doing together in the UK was finished,” Janette explained.

“I was going to go back to my place in LA and Aljaz was going to go back to Slovenia.”

The BBC favourite admitted she was unsure if the pair could make their relationship work long distance.

Janette went on: “Going back to the long distance and going back to being so far apart, we thought ‘we don’t know if we’re going to make it.’.

“There’s long distance and then there is Los Angeles and Slovenia. Two completely different parts of the world.”

She continued: “However you want to look at it – universal synchronicity, or abundance, something aligned for us and we both ended up getting Strictly Come Dancing.

“I think the fact that we both got Strictly at the same time. We cried, we screamed and we laughed.

“It was just the most magical moment because immediately our first thought was, ‘we can stay together.'”


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Janette added: “Luckily we got Strictly and it allowed our romance to blossom. To not only do what we love but to do it together.”

Aljaz and Janette both joined Strictly in 2013 but last year the Cuban American dancer announced she had quit the dancefloor in 2021.

Her husband followed suit when he announced his departure from the BBC show in March after nine years on the programme.

In an emotional social media post, he explained: “A little while ago I made the decision that 2021 would be my last.

“The show has given me the opportunity and freedom to create and express myself in front of millions of people every weekend for the last nine years.”

He later added: “I have lots of exciting stuff planned that I will fill you in on soon. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!


Meanwhile, Janette and Aljaz are touring the UK this month for their stage show A Christmas To Remember.


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