Janette Manrara was born in Miami, Florida to a fun filled and loving Cuban family. Always up for a performance as a child, it was evident that Janette was born to perform!
When she was 12, she began attending a musical theatre school (MDA) taking acting, singing, and dance classes. Through the school’s involvement with Univision TV, Janette made appearances on the hispanic, record breaking TV Game show Sabado Gigante allowing her to develop the natural charm and charisma she brings in front of a camera today.
Janette attended the school until she was 19 when she moved studios and began classes at DanceTown. Focusing strictly on dancing, Janette began taking jazz, ballet, pointe, flamenco, hip hop, and partnering classes. It was here, under the direction of the USA based and very popular dance couple, Manuel & Lory Castro, that Janette became a strong and versatile dancer.
Janette auditioned for the fifth season of the hit FOX TV show: So You Think You Can Dance? Where she was selected to be in the Top 20 dancers, and was a stand-out from the first episode making it all the way to top 4 girls, and toured with the show throughout the USA for 3 months following the show. After that, Janette made the move from Miami to LA and performed with Jennifer Lopez, danced in the 2010 Academy Awards, and was also cast as a principal dancer on the TV sensation Glee. She then returned to So You Think You Can Dance?, Season 8 as an “All Star”, and shortly after featured in the theatre show of Dancing with the Stars Live in Las Vegas!
Janette was then asked to join Broadway & international touring show, Burn the Floor. There she perfected her Latin and Ballroom with world champions Jason Gilkison & Peta Roby. She performed with the show for the following 4 years traveling all over the world including London’s West End. It was here where the producers of the BBC1 hit TV series, Strictly Come Dancing came to watch and instantly fell in love with her passionate and quality performance.
Not long after, she was cast as a Professional Dancer on Season 11 of Strictly Come Dancing, first partnering with fashion designed Julien Macdonald. Since then Janette has been partnered with Jake Wood, Peter Andre, Melvin Odoom, Aston Merrygold, Dr Ranj most recently Will Bailey MBE. Janette has won the Strictly Come Dancing, Christmas Special twice; once in 2016 with Melvin and again in 2018 with Aston. The start of 2020 has seen Janette win the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour with 2019 winner Kelvin Fletcher.
Other recent television credits include: Big Week at the Zoo (Channel 5), Inside The Ritz (ITV) and CelebAbility (ITV2).