Amy Dowden
Dowden in 2023
Born (1990-08-10) 10 August 1990 (age 33)
Caerphilly, Wales
OccupationProfessional dancer
Benjamin Jones
(m. 2022)
Partner(s)Gino Gabriela[1] (2002–2008)
Tom Parkes[2]

Amy Dowden (born 10 August 1990) is a Welsh professional ballroom and Latin American dancer from Caerphilly, Wales, best known for her appearances on the BBC One television show Strictly Come Dancing. Dowden joined the series in 2017, and in 2019, she was a finalist in the seventeenth series with TV presenter Karim Zeroual. Dowden and her partner Ben Jones are former British National Latin Dance Champions. She has the Guinness World Record for the most back-Charleston kick-steps in 30 seconds (2022). She has a twin sister and an older brother.

Early life

Dowden was born in Caerphilly, Wales and began dancing at the age of eight.[3] Alongside her partner Ben Jones, she became British Open Latin Dance Champion in 2017, and the couple were the first all-British pair to win the championships in over 30 years. Other successes include becoming British Dance Federation Champions, English Closed Champions and Welsh Closed and Open Champions.[4] Dowden is also a four-time British National Finalist, and a World Championship semi-finalist, and she remains one of the highest-ranking Ballroom and Latin American professional dancers in the UK.[5]

Strictly Come Dancing

Dowden is the first Welsh professional to take part in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing series.[6]

Series Partner Place Average
15 Brian Conley 12th 19.8
16 Danny John-Jules 9th 28.3
17 Karim Zeroual 2nd 35.7
18 JJ Chalmers 6th 28.0
19 Tom Fletcher 7th 30.5
20 James Bye 11th 25.5

Highest and Lowest Scoring Per Dance

Performances with Brian Conley

In 2017, Dowden appeared as a professional dancer in the fifteenth series, partnered with comedian Brian Conley. They made it to week 5 of the competition.[7]

  • Red number indicates Brian & Amy were at the bottom of the leaderboard

Performances with Danny John-Jules

Dowden returned for her second series in 2018 where she was partnered with Danny John-Jules. The couple were awarded the first 10 score of the series by Darcey Bussell for their Jive to "Flip, Flop and Fly" in week 5. They were eliminated in week 8 after losing a dance-off to Graeme Swann and Oti Mabuse; their elimination came days after controversial bullying allegations, with tabloids reporting that John-Jules had reduced Dowden to tears.[8]

  • Blue score awarded by guest judge Alfonso Riberio
  • Green number indicates Danny & Amy were at the top of the leaderboard
  • Red number indicates Danny & Amy were at the bottom of the leaderboard

Performances with Karim Zeroual

In 2019, Dowden appeared as a professional dancer in the seventeenth series of the show, partnered with CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual. The pair received the first perfect 40 of the series for their Jive in week 11.

  • Blue score awarded by guest judge Alfonso Riberio
  • Green number indicates Karim & Amy were at the top of the leaderboard

Performances with JJ Chalmers

In the eighteenth series, Dowden partnered with television presenter JJ Chalmers. They finished in 6th place, reaching musical week. The scores for this series were out of 30.

Performances with Tom Fletcher

In the nineteenth series, Dowden partnered with musician Tom Fletcher. On 26 September 2021, it was announced that both had contracted COVID-19 and would miss the following week's show.[9] On 21 November 2021, in week 9 of the competition, they were the eighth couple to be eliminated, after a dance-off against Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu.[10]

  • Blue score was awarded by Cynthia Erivo who filled in for Craig Revel Horwood as judge for week 9.
  • Red number indicates Tom & Amy were at the bottom of the leaderboard

Performances with James Bye

In the twentieth series, Dowden partnered EastEnders actor James Bye. They were eliminated in week 6 of the competition, finishing in 11th place.

  • Red number indicates James & Amy were at the bottom of the leaderboard

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

She danced with CBeebies presenter George Webster for the 2022 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.

Dance tours and other professional engagements

In 2019, Dowden headlined her own tour, 'Here Come The Girls', with fellow professional dancers Dianne Buswell and Chloe Hewitt.[11]

Dowden has also taken part in the Strictly Come Dancing Live! tour since 2018. In 2020, she performed with a celebrity partner for the first time on tour, her 2019 partner Karim Zeroual.

Dowden announced her appearance with Jones at the 2022 'Dancing With The Stars Weekend' at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.[12]

Personal life

Dowden is married to Ben Jones, her professional dance partner, and together they run the Art in Motion dance school in Cradley Heath, West Midlands.[13]

Dowden has suffered from Crohn's disease since she was a child. In May 2019, she spoke out about the effect the condition has had on her career as a professional dancer.[14] In October 2020, the BBC aired a documentary about Dowden's experiences of living with the condition.[15] The documentary won a BAFTA Cymru award.[16]

In May 2023, Dowden announced she had been diagnosed with grade III breast cancer.[17] She underwent a mastectomy.[18] In July of that year, Dowden revealed that she had received a second diagnosis of "another type of cancer", leaving her requiring chemotherapy and unable to take part in Series 21 of Strictly Come Dancing later that year.[19] In August 2023, Dowden announced that she had contracted sepsis after finishing her first round of chemotherapy.[20] In November 2023, she revealed she had sustained a broken foot and therefore would play no further part in that year's series of Strictly, having made a cameo earlier on in the series, without her wig.[21][22] A month later, Dowden was hospitalised with a blood clot on her lung, which was described as a side-effect of her cancer.[23][24] In February 2024, she revealed her latest check up shows "no sign of the disease" although she won't get an "all clear" for five years. She also says she is looking forward to dancing on the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.


  1. ^ "Gino Gabriela (England) & Amy Dowden (England)". DancesportInfo. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Tom Parkes (England) & Amy Dowden (England)". DancesportInfo. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Caerphilly dancer becomes first Welsh professional on Strictly Come Dancing – Caerphilly.Observer". 27 June 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Amy Dowden". cloud9. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  5. ^ "BBC One – Strictly Come Dancing – Amy Dowden". BBC. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  6. ^ Mainwaring, Rachel (9 September 2017). "Who is Strictly pro dancer Amy Dowden?". Wales Online. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing – Amy Dowden". BBC. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  8. ^ Hogan, Michael (11 November 2018). "Strictly Come Dancing 2018, week 8 results: Danny John-Jules eliminated in wake of bullying allegations". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  9. ^ Williams, Kathryn (26 September 2021). "Strictly's Amy Dowden and Tom Fletcher test positive for Covid". WalesOnline. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  10. ^ "The latest star to leave Strictly has been named". The Independent. 21 November 2021. Archived from the original on 21 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Here Come the Girls – Strictly stars shine on the Hawth stage – review". Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  12. ^ "5* Weekend Break with the Stars of BBC Strictly Come Dancing". 6 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden announces she's engaged to boyfriend Ben Jones". Good to Know. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  14. ^ Mapstone, Lucy; Owen, Cathy (6 May 2019). "Strictly dancer Amy Dowden reveals her health battle for the first time". Wales Online. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  15. ^ "BBC One – Strictly Amy: Crohn's and Me". BBC. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Winners announced: 2021 British Academy Cymru Awards". 24 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Strictly star Amy Dowden announces breast cancer diagnosis". The Guardian. 24 May 2023. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  18. ^ "Amy Dowden shares update on Strictly Come Dancing future after breast cancer diagnosis". The Independent. 19 June 2023.
  19. ^ "Strictly's Amy reveals her second cancer diagnosis". BBC News. 22 July 2023. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  20. ^ Lynch, Niamh (28 August 2023). "Strictly Come Dancing's Amy Dowden reveals sepsis battle during chemotherapy". Sky News. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  21. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing: Amy Dowden on hair loss trauma". BBC News. 11 October 2023. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  22. ^ "Amy Dowden's Strictly hopes dashed after breaking foot". BBC News. 16 November 2023. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  23. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing: Amy Dowden's blood clot after chemo". BBC News. 1 December 2023. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  24. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing: the quarter-final results show – as it happened". The Guardian. 3 December 2023. Retrieved 14 December 2023.

External links