The older sister of Strictly favourite Oti, the 38-year old has some serious dance pedigree.
A former Latin champion, she has appeared as a judge on Let’s Dance, the German equivalent of Strictly, since 2011, having joined the show as a professional four years earlier.
As she gears up for her Strictly debut, we’ve gathered some surprising facts about the star, from her original career plan to her side hustles…
1. She was supposed to study law, not dance
Mabuse was expected to join her family’s law firm, but ended up pursuing her interest in dance while studying at the University of Pretoria.
She eventually dropped out of her legal studies in order to pursue professional training and became a runner up in the national dance championships.
2. She moved to Germany when she was 18
After meeting dance partner Timo Kulczak at the British Open Championship in Blackpool, Mabuse chose to move to his home nation, Germany, despite not yet being able to speak the language.
Luckily, the decision paid off. She went on to marry Kulczak – and win the Latin American dance championships with her husband – before being offered a gig as a professional on Let’s Dance, the German equivalent of Strictly.
She appeared on the show as a professional for four years before making the jump to the judging panel, appearing alongside Joachim Llambi and Jorge Gonzalez.
3. She reported from the World Cup in 2010
The multi-talented star was part of the presenting team for ARD (the organisation for Germany’s regional public service broadcasters) during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which took place in South Africa.
A lifelong follower of the sport (thanks to her father, a fan of Johannesburg-based club Kaiser Chiefs), she provided background reports from her home country during the competition.
4. She is now married to another dance partner
Mabuse and Kulczak’s marriage ended in 2014. She then partnered up professionally – and romantically – with Ukranian dancer Evgenij Voznyuk, and the couple married in Majorca in 2017.
The pair share a young daughter, and Voznyuk is set to take on childcare duties while Mabuse is based in London for Strictly.
“I decided I have to travel because I have a little baby and I really don’t want to stress her, so it’s better to stress me,” she told Lorraine this week.
She added: “The thing is, people always feel like when the man has the baby, the guy is babysitting, but it’s not – he’s also the dad!”
5. She has tried her hand at acting
Mabuse made her theatrical debut in a production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at the 66th Bad Hersfelder Festspiele (a German theatre festival) in 2016, playing the role of Tituba.
6. There is a third Mabuse sister – and she’s also a dancer
It must be in the genes… Phemelo Mabuse can also boast an impressive dance record, having represented South Africa in the World Dance Sport Championships. She also appeared on the South African version of Strictly.
However, she has since switched careers, earning an MBA and founding a cleaning company – though she recently appeared on Celebrity Gogglebox alongside her siblings.
7. She has struck up a friendship with fellow judge Shirley Ballas
Mabuse and head judge Ballas are already firm friends, after meeting on the professional dance circuit.
“I used to judge her when she was a competitive dancer and happened to be one of her best judges,” Ballas said earlier this month. “She is just beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.
“She knows her trade inside and out and we have the same sense of humour, so we are on the same page. It just gels, it just clicks, it just works.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues tonight at 7pm on BBC One.
- 7 things to know about How To Spend Well at Christmas with Philip Schofield plus what celebrities are appearing
- 7 things you know will inevitably happen when the clocks go back
- 7 things to know about How To Spend Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield plus what celebrities are appearing
- Strictly: Motsi Mabuse is reduced to tears over Will Bayley's emotional dance with Janette Manara after he shares his past cancer battle
- 7 things to know about Jack White at Little Caesars Arena
- When will you get your refund? 7 things to know
- Harper Lee Facts: 7 Things To Know On 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Author's Birthday
- 7 things to know about the murder of 7 year-old Jazmine Barnes
- 7 things to know if you are heading to Progressive Field
- 7 things to know about the Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills' Week 9 opponent