Updated 17th January 2022
Strictly Come Dancing Professional Dancer 2021
In 2021 Kai partnered TV presenter AJ Odudu
AJ and Kai’s journey sadly came to an abrupt ending the day before the 2021 Strictly Final, due to AJ suffering a torn ligament. Truly inspirational, AJ has progressed from a non-dancer to becoming a beautiful dancer before our eyes. We have been privileged to watch the two of them on their Strictly journey together.
The partnership between Kai and AJ was electric – following their spectatcular opening Jive in week 1, Kai & AJ continued to wow the judges with their elegant Slow Foxtrot in week 2. Their week 4 Samba was energetic and charismatic.
Kai & AJ performed a sizzling hot Argetine Tango in week 5, choreographed by our good friends Leandro & Maria. AJ is proving to be a “Dangerous Woman” to watch in this competition. In Halloween week AJ and Kai performed an exquisite Viennese Waltz which earned them their best score yet of 37 – their first 10.
Kai and AJ were simply brilliant in week 7. They took us back to the roaring 20’s with their fabulous Charleston earning them top spot on the leaderboard with a score of 39 – Shirley didn’t have a paddle high enough.
Aj & Kai performed a sassy salsa in the quarter final, they certainly “Got up and made it happen” in the dance off.
AJ and Kai earned their first perfect score for their fabulous Quickstep in this year’s semi-final. They showed us a piece of heaven with their romantic Rumba – earning themselves a place in the final.
On joining Strictly, Kai Widdrington said: “This is my childhood dream come true. Watching Strictly from the very first series as a young boy from Southampton and now 18 years later, to be a professional dancer on the show is the most amazing feeling and the biggest accomplishment of my career. I can’t wait to step onto the Strictly floor and experience the exciting times that lie ahead.”
Kai is a former pro on Dancing With The Stars Ireland.
Learn all about Kai Widdrington’s amazing dancing career, view photos & videos plus read all their latest news below
4* Weekend Breaks with the stars of Strictly Come Dancing
Who better to teach you to dance than the professional dancers from Strictly Come Dancing? You can meet the stars, learn their steps and be captivated as they perform spectacular shows just for you.
Fri 22nd – Sun 24th July 2022
5* Celtic Manor Resort Hotel
Newport, South Wales
Join Strictly Stars Aljaz Skorjanec & Janette Manrara, Katya & Neil Jones, Amy Dowden & Ben Jones, Strictly Head Judge Shirley Ballas, British National & World Ballroom Champions Warren & Kristi Boyce, plus Argentine Tango stars Leandro Palou & Maria Tsiatsiani for an unforgettable weekend break.
Google Reviews of Donahey’s 5* Weekend Breaks
The Donahey's Dancing With The Stars Weekends are Fab-U-Lous.The organisation is second to none, every little detail has been thought of and the Donahey's staff do everything to make your weekend enjoyable.Seven hours of dance workshops with Top Class teachers (including the Strictly Stars). Plenty of time to practise and then Dancing through the night in the Stateroom Ballroom.The Show Dances from The Strictly Stars and the other Professionals are worth it on their own.We've already booked next year and looking forward to itTrevor & Brenda
12:58 12 Mar 20
The whole weekend was amazing from start to finish. The organisation is superb and the people are all so friendly. When you break down what you get it really is value for money. This is an event to look forward to year after year.
Kerry Garner (Oldfleet)
18:06 11 Mar 20
Just back from a stunning weekend at Alton Towers Dancing with the Stars! The whole experience was fabulous from start to finish. The communication from Donaheys before, during and after the event was good. The organisation of the workshops was superb...we were in the improvers group ...each one pitched perfectly for the ability level and the teaching was great. Obviously the Strictly stars were lovely as expected, but also the world champions and the Donaheys staff were terrific. We have fallen in love again with Argentine Tango particularly. The showcase dances were spectacular every time, breathtaking performances in a cabaret setting. The Donaheys team were always on hand to offer support and guidance both on and off the dance floor and the hotel staff were friendly and accommodating. We loved dancing to the band on Saturday night!By the end of the weekend we were exhausted....in a good way! Thank heavens for the on line workshop reminders, as we did so much our recollection of all the steps is a bit hazy! We needed no nudging to book again for next year before we left. Many thanks and best wishes to all the team.
14:48 11 Mar 20
Just back from a FAB-U-LOUS weekend at Alton Towers Resort Hotel.Is the first time we have ever been to an event like this, infact, its the first time my other half and I have ever danced!Everything was organised to a tee, the workshops, the showcases and the evening events.The Donaheys staff were on hand throughout the weekend to assist in anyway and they were so helpful and not at all judgemental as we had never danced a steep before!The only fault in the whole weekend, and it is NOT related to Donaheys. We the lighting in the bedrooms and bathrooms. It was so incredibly dim that it was a struggle to put make up on! Not sure how anyone would manage if they had to take medication. But, this was NOT a fault on Donaheys and it didn't stop us from having an amazing weekend.
13:01 11 Mar 20
First time here, what an absolutely fantastic amazing weekend, Melanie & I loved it... and our first time having dance lessons!!! If you love dancing you will love these weekends!!!Everyone is so friendly & helpful. We have already booked for next year, fingers crossed as better dancers. Xx
14:23 10 Mar 20
10:47 03 May 19
A huge Thank You to Paul and the whole Donaheys team. Just back from an amazing experience at Celtic Manor. The organisation, the workshops and the showcase evenings where truly spectacular. We enjoyed every minute. The hotel and staff are first class.All the strictly stars, professionals and experienced teachers made the workshops interesting, challenging and fun. we came away with new steps from each of them. Already booked for next year. The weekend is good value for money, and worth every penny. We enjoyed it so much we extended our stay. You have a fantastic team working with you. Well done to all of them and again THANK YOU.
19:39 02 May 19
Brilliant weekend yet again. So good I had already booked to go back twice this year. Atmosphere, lessons and the show dances by Strictly stars are outstanding. Already booked again for next year.
07:34 01 May 19
Another fabulous Donahey's Dancing with the Stars weekend. The Workshops led by the Strictly Stars and Championship dancers were entertaining and informative and the showcases were amazing. We attended Alton Towers last year, which we enjoyed tremendously, but this was our first time at the Celtic Manor and have to say that this venue, food and staff were all first rate. The hotel was easy to navigate and nothing was too much trouble. The Donahey's team are so friendly and helpful. Our weekend was superb and was well worth the outlay and journey. We would like to say a very big "thank you" to Paul and his team for all the hard work before and during the weekend to create a smooth running and enjoyable event. Just need to keep practicing all the new steps we have been taught. Congratulations on another excellent weekend. See you all next year!! Colin & Maureen Barker
15:34 30 Apr 19
This was a truly spectacular weekend.Donaheys and Alton Towers were extremely organised and everything ran smoothly.The dance classes were excellent (though we struggled with the Argentine Tango).Dancing with the Strictly Stars was amazing. All of the stars were so friendly and excellent teachers.However, a special shout out is required for Tony Bennett who took the Samba and Tango classes. What a fabulous teacher. I would pay for a weekend of lessons just with him.The three shows were breathtaking. The price paid for the weekend would be worth it for the shows alone.The weekend was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend to dancers of any level.Thanks to Donaheys!
18:27 18 Mar 19
This was our 4th Donaheys weekend and the 3rd atthe Alton Towers resort.Over the years we have been fortunate to have been to some excellent workshops, but this has to be the best year yet.Equally, we’ve previously been able to provide some constructive feedback for the resort, but NOT THIS YEAR. Truly excellent all round.Alton Towers staff very professional on check in and in the restaurant. Check out was seamless, just dropping off the room keys.Car park better marked out.Food in the restaurant even better than previous years. ALWAYS had gluten free options available.7 dance classes over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in 2 ballrooms with the large ballroom having a truly excellent floor.3 shows (2 evening and 1 on Sunday lunch). Friday night’ show was superb, as was Sunday’s, but Saturday night’s was worth the money alone. Truly outstanding.So hats off to all involved.Already booked for next year.
18:12 16 Mar 19
Another brilliant weekend. Well done all. Can't wait for next year, already looking at new dresses. What can I say - brilliant lessons, meeting the stars from Strictly, dancing the night away on the best dance floor ever - add to that a big band, friendly helpful staff and a nice venue - what else could you want from a weekend. Oh, to remember what you have learnt - that's covered too with videos. We appreciate all your hard work that goes into making these weekends so special. Thank you.
21:17 15 Mar 19
Our 11th time being part of Donaheys amazing dance weekends. We introduced 4 new people who all had a fab time & have already booked again for next year! We can’t recommend these weekends enough for anyone who loves dance, be it doing the workshops or simply watching the incredible shows. We shall be back in April at Celtic manor & are already counting the days. Thank you Paul, Amy, Shirley & all the team.Kay & Sean Escott
13:29 15 Mar 19
Fantastic weekend and so much value for your money. Very high standard of workshops and feel so privileged to be taught by three wonderful Strictly couples and see their fabulous demonstration dances.
13:09 15 Mar 19
As relative newcomers to ballroom dancing we weren't sure what to expect, but we shouldn't have worried. Donaheys gave us a fabulous weekend. The professionalism of the event was outstanding, from pre-information, joining instructions and weekend programme, super all round. All the lessons, and there's lots of them, were fun and within our ability and the showcase dances by the professionals made the evenings a "real night out". The hotel was everything that you would expect and were well looked after in terms of food and service. In fact it was all so good that we rebooked, before we left, to go to Celtic Manor next year.John and Caroline
12:55 15 Mar 19
Fab-u-lous!We have just returned from the Dancing with the Stars weekend at Alton Towers Hotel. What an amazing weekend it was, and the organisation was just incredible! Everything runs like a well oiled machine, but at no time do you feel pressured to go to a dance workshop, you can take things at your own pace and attend as many or as few as you like! As avid Strictly fans, my husand and myself had never danced before, so we were in the beginners class. Excellent way to start a dance journey, and to also be taught by the Strictly Stars, Karen and Gorka on Friday, the Cha Cha Cha, Aljaz and Janette on Saturday, the Waltz, and Giovanni and Luba on Sunday, the Jive was truly great fun and they are excellent teachers. We were also taught the Quick Step on Saturday by Warren and Kristi Boyce, the most amazing dancers and teachers! The showcase dances performed by all of the Professionals left us in tears of joy, made us laugh, and we were in awe of their energy - if only! We also had the privelige of seeing some up and coming dancers of the future, Amy and Sasha, Mark and Ilenka, who were an absolute credit to the profession. What an amazing weekend it was, Donaheys you deserve 10 stars for one of the best events we've ever attended in the many years we have been going to entertainment events! Thank you and Keep Dancing! Just had our first weekend at Alton Towers, we had a brilliant time, really well organised. The social dancing was great fun, and being up close with the dancers was amazing. There are two things I would change/review , 1) the food at dinner wasn’t great, and there is no excuse for a hotel to serve food on cold plates. This is not Donaheys fault, but worth mentioning. 2) The red carpet photo call is just a photo opportunity, due to time constraints etc, there isn’t the ability to have any individual photos. But make sure you get to the red carpet on the Saturday black tie ball as they look amazing.We’ve booked again for next year and can’t wait ! This weekend has encouraged us to join a Dance School, hopefully next year we may be wearing blue wristbands! Whether you are into Latin or Ballroom dancing, attending a Donaheys Dancing With The Stars Weekend is an absolute must!During the course of each weekend, which runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, you will get to see showcases performed by Stars from Strictly Come Dancing, attend classes delivered by the Stars themselves, and have great fun social dancing on an amazing dancefloor (which, on the Saturday night, will be to the live sounds of a big band).For the weekend's classes, each dancer is placed into one of three groups, depending on their dance experience. This allows instruction to be delivered at levels suited from beginner through to advanced. So, no-one will feel out-of-depth, but at the same time, all will be challenged.Throughout the weekend, the large contingent of friendly Donaheys staff are constantly on-hand to help, and always with a smile.Once the weekend comes to an end, and you start to depart the luxurious hotel that hosts the event, you will feel like you are leaving your (new) family.The Donaheys Dancing With The Start Weekends are a definite highlight to my year! I truly can not recommend them, nor the Donaheys staff and the regional regular dance lessons they run, highly enough.(In June of 2017 I attended the Chesford Grange weekend. In March of this year, 2018, I attended the Alton Towers weekend. I very much look forward to attending at least one of their weekends in each coming year)
17:41 12 Mar 18
The Dancing with the Stars Weekend at Windsor organised by Shirley, Paul and Amy truly exceeded my expectations! It was a fantastic experience dancing with the Strictly Professionals and of course the talented Donahays team too! Wall to wall quality, very well organised, great fun and highly recommended. So much so that I have already booked for Celtic Manor in May 2018. We had the best weekend! We were complete beginners who were made to feel so welcome by all the team - fantastic sessions from all the pros and team of experts. The shows were amazing - everyone so personable. Thank you so much - cannot recommend highly enough!
19:29 13 Jul 17
Its difficult to find enough superlatives to describe these amazing weekends. We have just attended our 8th, and it was as fabulous as ever. The Donaheys team are so welcoming & helpful, the workshops great fun & informative and the evening shows are breathtaking. We are once again already booked on 2 for next year & already looking forward to them both. We Cant recommend them highly enough. Thanks to all involved
13:21 22 Jun 17
Another fantastic weekend with Donaheys at Chesford Grange.To see the showcase dances from the edge of the dance floor is amazing.The dance lessons from the Strictly Stars and Donaheys staff are really enjoyable.Well worth a visit for those who want to dance, and those who just want to watch...
13:12 20 Jun 17
Best. Weekend. Ever. The organisation and staff are just superb. The work shops are so enjoyable and then the show cases in the evening round of a fantastic day. Highly recommended if you love dancing/Strictly! Many thanks for the last 6 years of fun filled Donaheys dancing with the stars weekends. Great work shops. Fabulous show cases. Well organised professional events. Already booked and looking forward to year 7 next year.thank you shirley paul amy and team. Enid and Brenda.
08:54 11 Jun 17
Absolutely fantastic weekend on the Strictly weekend dance break in Manchester. So well organised.
18:07 16 May 17
Probably the Rolls Royce of weekend dance breaks. Intensive learning combined with a great ballroom experience alongside fellow minded intermediates and improvers. Whoever your particular Strictly Stars are, be in no doubt that Warren and Kristi are the real gems here. Scintillating !Can't thank Paul and the team enough. Top Marks
15:10 13 May 17
Thank you Donahey's for another fabulous, well-organised and fun weekend. First class, friendly tuition from the Strictly stars and Donahey's team encourages everyone, including beginners, to get up on the dance floor and give it a go. The professionals' show dances were truly amazing and seeing their skills at such close quarters was a real treat.Richard & Rosemary
20:28 10 May 17
We have been on at least 5 Dance Weekends and enjoyed them all. The workshops from the Strictly Pros and the Donahey's teachers are excellent and great fun. The showcases from the Pros in the evenings are spectacular. To be able to see them dance close up is a real treat. If you love your dancing then this is a weekend well worth the money.
09:32 10 May 17
Dancing with the stars. Wow! What a Wonderful Weekend!This was our second time and seems even better. The organisation is brilliant. The professional dancers are amazing and make the workshops a joy.This is an experience not to be missed.
09:45 07 May 17
Was bought this experience for Christmas and I can honestly say this has got too of been the best present EVER!!I was absolutely blown away by the whole weekend, the lessons, the staff and the professional dancers.The strictly dancers are just wonderful and put on an absolutely fantastic show.As a non dancer I was given time and help with the lessons and each teacher was lovely, I can't fault anything.The location was lovely and the Hotel was an extremely nice place to stay, the room was lovely and modern.I had a wonderful time and will be returning in 2018.Well done and thank you for an experience I will never forget and may quite possibly become a repeat returner!!!
19:52 04 May 17
How old is Kai?
25 years old (born 23rd August 1995)
Where is Kai from?
Southampton, England – yay!
Who is Kai’s celebrity partner?
The Voice TV presenter AJ Odudu
On joining Strictly, AJ said, “I’m really excited to learn the Jive just because it’s very high energy, like me, and it’s a proper feel good dance,” she said. “I also just love the Charleston, it’s such a cute dance and something that you’d expect to see in a speakeasy.”
On the new pairing Kai said that he’s very ‘relaxed’ as a teacher, perhaps more so than the other pros on the show.
However, he added that he’s willing to ‘crack the whip’ if needs be, which AJ is well-aware of.
Is Kai single?
Since 2016, Kai has been dating professional dancer and fellow Dancing with the Stars dancer, Giulia Dotta.
What are Kai’s greatest dance achievements?
World Junior Latin American Champion 2010. In 2012 Kai reached the final of the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent.
What’s Kai’s favourite dance?
When did Kai join Strictly?
Kai joined the Strictly family in 2021, although Kai had been involved in most of the group numbers in 2020.
Has Kai ever won Strictly?
This is Kai’s first series of Strictly, so no.
Find out more about Kai’s dancing profile on his official BBC Strictly Come Dancing profile page.
BBC Strictly Come Dancing
Find out more information about the BBC TV programme Strictly Come Dancing
by checking out the BBC Strictly Come Dancing website
Donahey’s Dance Lessons & UK Weekend Breaks are not associated with the BBC.
Kai Widdrington Tour Dates & Venues
Find out all about The 2022 Burn The Floor 25th Anniversary Reunion Tour – starring Kai Widdrington
Meet all the Strictly Come Dancing Professional Dancers
Learn more about all your favourite Strictly Pro’s here;
– Aljaz Skorjanec
– Amy Dowden
– Anton du Beke
– Dianne Buswell
– Giovanni Pernice
– Gorka Marquez
– Graziano di Prima
– Janette Manrara
– Johannes Radebe
– Jowita Przystal
– Kai Widdrington
– Karen Clifton
– Katya Jones
– Kevin Clifton
– Luba Mushtuk
– Nadiya Bychkova
– Nancy Xu
– Neil Jones
– Nikita Kuzmin
– Oti Mabuse