16 Facts About Aliona Vilani


Aliona Valeriya Kavanagh, known by her stage name Aliona Vilani, is a Russian-Kazakh TV personality and was a professional dancer in the BBC series of Strictly Come Dancing.


Aliona Vilani moved to Russia with her parents at age 9 and started ballroom dancing at age 11, continuing ballet.


Aliona Vilani's speciality is 10 Dance, she is skilled in Salsa, Hip Hop and Jazz.


In 2014 Aliona Vilani was featured in theatre show Licence to Thrill as the lead female dancer.


In June 2017 Aliona Vilani gave birth to a daughter named Bella.


Aliona Vilani first participated in series 7 in 2009, where she partnered Rav Wilding: they were eliminated in week 3 following a dance-off with actress Lynda Bellingham and her dance partner Darren Bennett.


Aliona Vilani was runner up in the 2010 series of Strictly Come Dancing, partnered with Matt Baker.


Aliona Vilani returned in 2011 for the 9th series of the show, where she and partner Harry Judd of pop-rock band McFly went on to win the competition, beating Chelsee Healey in the public vote and coming top in the final judges leader-board.


Aliona Vilani returned for the 2012 series of Strictly Come Dancing, where she was paired with television presenter Johnny Ball.


Aliona Vilani was replaced by Iveta Lukosiute who, with Ball, went on to be eliminated in the first week.


Aliona Vilani did however return in the final group dance alongside Ball, and later took part in the 2012 Christmas Special, partnering Fabrice Muamba.


Aliona Vilani appeared in a short special edition of Strictly Come Dancing featuring Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, filmed in support of the BBC Children in Need charity in November 2013.


Aliona Vilani appeared on the 2013 Christmas Special, partnering Matt Goss; they scored 35 for their American Smooth.


Aliona Vilani returned for the 12th series of Strictly in 2014; she and her partner Gregg Wallace were voted off in round two, making Aliona Vilani the first dancer to be voted off first in two consecutive years.


In December 2014, Aliona Vilani won the Christmas Special partnering Louis Smith.


In September 2015, Aliona Vilani returned for the thirteenth series of the show and partnered singer from The Wanted, Jay McGuiness.