Janette Manrara talks making ‘tough’ choice to leave marital home ‘Emotionally difficult’

Janette Manrara discusses moving plans with Aljaz Skorjanec

Janette Manrara, 37, has spoken out on the reason behind her temporarily leaving her marital home, rather than her husband Aljaz Skorjanec, 30, making the move instead. The couple had to make a difficult decision about which one of them should move out for the duration of last year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Janette and Aljaz, who are both professional dancers on the BBC show, had to separate in order to compete in the programme due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Strictly had enforced strict social distancing rules to allow the show to go ahead, which involved dancing duos forming their own bubbles, as they were not allowed to mix with others.

Janette had been living alone in an apartment in order to rehearse for the BBC show with her partner HRVY, while Aljaz stayed at their home after being voted out of the programme alongside his partner, Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo.

Reflecting on why she decided to leave the house she shares with Aljaz at the time, Janette said in a new interview that she initially enjoyed lockdown, as it gave her more quality time with her other half.

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She revealed: “It was nice to feel a sense of normality of what a husband and wife at home cooking and sitting down and relaxing would do.

“And in 10 years that we’ve been together, we’ve never done that because we’ve always so busy and he’s from Slovenia and I’m from Miami, so we’re a bit like gypsies moving around all the time. 

“We’ve never really had a place that we could call our home and that felt like home, and that was one of the most wonderful things I took from lockdown 1.0, we’re at lockdown 3.0 now, is this sense of home with my husband.”

However, their homely environment was cut short when Strictly began last year.


She divulged during a chat with Kevin Guthrie on his Invincible You podcast: “And then Strictly happened and I got partnered with HRVY, which was incredible! 

“But it was tough, again, because I had to move out of the house, I had to move out of my home because we had to for the safety of the competitors and myself and Aljaz.

“Funnily enough, I thought that if I left home it would be easier than if Aljaz left home because I’m very emotional.

“I thought, if I’m home without him every single day looking at our photos together, sleeping in the bed we normally sleep in together without him, I thought, ‘I think this is going to be very emotionally difficult for me’.”

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Janette then explained that Aljaz volunteered to stay at their home instead to save her from getting too tearful during the duration of Strictly.

She recalled: “So Aljaz said, ’It’s okay’, he’s a little bit less emotional in that way and he was like, ‘You go baby!’”

After resolving the dilemma about who should move out for the programme, Janette admitted she then faced another issue as she packed way too much for her stay in her flat.

She laughed: “But because I’m a woman, I packed so much! 

“I packed literally everything, I moved for 12 weeks, you can imagine what I packed!”

Although the star found it hard to be apart from Aljaz, she enjoyed having a “beautiful” reunion with him after Strictly ended.

Janette explained: “We had a wonderful series then I finally came back home to Aljaz and that reunion was so beautiful.

“To finally be able to hug him again, and sleep on my bed again with my husband, and sit on the couch and watch Netflix together was nice!”

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