Aljaz and Janette finding it ‘hard to be a normal couple’: ‘Were not there yet’

Former Strictly pros Janette Manrara and Aljaž Škorjanec have admitted they’re still adjusting to time apart after quitting Strictly where they spent eight years dancing together.

The couple, who have danced “24/7” for the majority of their 11 year relationship, said the transition to focus on their individual careers has been the biggest test in their marriage yet.

Miami-born Janette is back in her second series presenting Strictly spin-off It Takes Two alongside Rylan Clark, while Aljaž, who left Strictly 12 months after his wife, is training to be an actor.

Speaking exclusively to OK!, Janette said: “All we’ve ever known is our life together.

"We’ve toured together, travelled the world together, so to not be dancing together is weird. That was a transition for us.

"I missed him a lot but it was kind of good for us in that way. We fell in love with each other all over again. It was nice to find my own feet but actually feel like I still need him and still want him around all the time.

Aljaž added: “Whenever we spend time away from each other we can’t wait to get back together, which is lovely. It makes us miss each other more. But I’ve always enjoyed having the same job – we’ve literally been together 24/7 for 11 years.

“It’s hard to get used to. We’re getting used to being a normal couple now. I’m just not there yet. Whenever Janette goes up to Manchester to do Morning Live and I have something out of town, I can’t wait to get back home.”

The 32-year-old announced he was leaving the BBC show after nine years in March to pursue new opportunities. His decision came 12 months after his wife Janette made her departure from the BBC show to take over Zoe Ball as host of spin-off show It Takes Two.

On the role Strictly played in their relationship, Janette added: Before Strictly we were just dating, then we got engaged and married, changed careers and bought our first home. The biggest points in our lives have happened during Strictly. It’s not the Strictly curse, it’s the Strictly blessing in our case.”

Aljaz and Janette first met at London studios Dance Attic in 2010, and went on to star alongside each other on the hit show Burn the Floor in the US.

The couple tried to make their long-distance relationship work, with Aljaz in his native Slovenia, and Janette in Los Angeles, but they were reunited in London when they landed a coveted spot as pro dancers on Strictly in 2013.

In 2015, Aljaz surprised the Cuban-American dancer by taking her to the dance studios where they first met, and getting down on bended knee.

Two years later, they tied the knot and as celebrated their union with family, friends, and their Strictly co-stars.

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