Shirley Ballas returns to Strictly Come Dancing 2018

Who is Shirley Ballas?

Shirley Ballas is a British ballroom dancer who specializes in Latin dance and has won numerous championships earning her the nickname, The Queen of Latin.

She started dancing at the age of 7. While attending her weekly Girl Guide class she noticed a ballroom dance class next door. She was fascinated with the class and started lessons the following Saturday. This was the beginning of her lifelong love affair with Ballroom and Latin Dance.

By the age 23 she had won all major titles worldwide.  Some of the most memorable titles for her include: 3 times British Open Champion, European Champion and 10 times Open United States Latin American Champion.

Shirley Ballas & her history with Dance Vision

Shirley was a Latin coach for Wayne & Donna Eng c. 1984- c.1992.  She was instrumental in helping them become 3-time United States Latin Finalists, United States Rising Star Vice-Champions, 3 time Blackpool Rising Star Finalists, and Eastern United States Champions.   Wayne credits her with giving him the confidence to believe in himself.

When Wayne and Donna established Dance Vision, they didn’t hesitate to ask Shirley to film.   Some of her instructional video titles include:  Turns & Spin In Style,  Latin Technique & Muscular Technique, and her latest International Latin Technique collection.

Strictly Come Dancing

In 1996, she retired from competitive dancing at Blackpool. In 2017 Shirley Ballas returned to Blackpool. to join the judging panel of Strictly Come Dancing, replacing Len Goodman as head judge.

Her judging style is a no nonsense approach.  She’s a real stickler when it comes to technique but she is fair.   She is returning as a judge for series 16 of the ballroom competition on BBC One this Fall.  Fellow judges Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood, and Darcey Bussell, will also be back this year.

 

Blackpool 2018 Winners – Congratulations Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova!

Katusha Demidova and Arunas Bizokas are an aspiring Standard Ballroom professional dancer’s dream come true. The couple took the title at Blackpool Dance Festival for the 8th year in a row!

Katusha and Arunas are the current World Professional Ballroom Champions, British Open Champions, United Kingdom Champions, International Champions, and 3 times United States Champions. From the beginning of their dance partnership, Katusha and Arunas took the Dancesport community by storm. One month into their dance partnership they won the Ohio Star Ball. Two months in, they were competing in the United Kingdom Open Championships. There they placed second among the top dancers of the world. By September of 2009, after dancing together for only two years, they won their first World Championship title.

The couple draws your eyes with their irresistible charm and a chemistry that can’t be faked. Katusha and Arunas now run Rogers Dance Center in Hackensack, New Jersey. The gorgeous dance studio where they teach everything from social dancing to dancesport competition training. Katusha and Arunas continue to improve and learn their dancing and pass on their wisdom and knowledge to students of all age.

Congratulations on winning first place in Blackpool for 8 years in a row, to one of the most loved and well respected dance couples around!