They became a couple after they were paired together in the 2013 run of the contest. Weeks after the competition ended, she split from her husband, Jamie Gilbert.
Rachel and Pasha are not the first celeb/dancer pairing that went on to continue their relationship off the dance floor but Rachel, 29, is confident that Pasha is now be saving the last dance for her…
“We are very much in love and really happy. He is such a romantic,” Rachel told the Mirror.
And they’re still dancing some steamy salsas.
“We spend a lot of time dancing in the house,” says Rachel. I loved ballroom but you can’t do that for fun in a club with a tequila. You can do that with salsa. It’s a lot of fun.”
Other couples who danced together and carried the passion off the dance floor include 2010’s Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvinstsev, who have since split; 2009’s Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna, also now apart; Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace, partnered in 2007 and stayed together for three years, then Flavia was partnered with Jimi Mistry and they married in 2013; and, perhaps most famously, Kristina Rihanoff, who first got together with boxer Joe Calzaghe in 2009 and then hooked up with rugby player Ben Cohen when they were partnered in 2013.
Russian Pasha, 35, won the 2014 series with TV presenter Caroline Flack. The 2015 line-up has yet to be completed but, so far, includes Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine, celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott, EastEnders star Kellie Bright, former Coronation Street actress Georgia May Foote, reality TV star and singer Peter Andre, singer Daniel O’Donnell, boxer Anthony Ogogo, Proms presenter Katie Derham and weather presenter Carol Kirkwood.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1, Saturday, September 5.