Contemporary, street/commercial and theatre/jazz will now feature on the programme

Strictly Come Dancing has introduced a new category which will allow couples to chose from three styles of dance never previously performed by contestants on the BBC programme.

The couples will be offered the opportunity to select which style out of contemporary, street/commercial and theatre/jazz will best showcase the celebrity dancer’s abilities.

It marks the first time in nine years that a fresh style of dance has been introduced into the show.

The Charleston was added during the seventh series in 2009.

Former Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts
Former Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts is among the line-up for this year’s series (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

A Strictly spokesman confirmed: “This series of Strictly we are introducing a brand-new dance category, Couples Choice.

“This will give our celebrities and professional dancers an even greater opportunity to showcase their skills and for the show to celebrate even more styles of dance.”

The contemporary style takes its inspiration from ballet, lyrical and modern dance.

Street/commercial covers all styles of urban dance as well as allowing couples to go in a more pop-orientated direction.

Theatre/jazz will be in the style of musical theatre and will include elements of tap, soft shoe and burlesque.

This year’s line-up of famous faces that are set to take part in the TV dancing competition includes former Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts, BBC News anchor Kate Silverton and former England cricketer Graeme Swann.

Head judge Shirley Ballas is set to return alongside Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Dame Darcey Bussell.

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will also resume their roles as the show’s hosts.

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing will kick off on Saturday on BBC1.