Shirley Ballas Biography
Shirley Ballas (Shirley Rich) is an English ballroom dancer, dance teacher, and dance adjudicator. He was appointed head judge on the BBC TV show, Strictly Come Dancing following the departure of Len Goodman in 2017.
Shirley Ballas Age
Shirley Rich was born on 8 September 1960 in Wallasey, Cheshire, England. She is 58 years old as of 2018.
Shirley Ballas Brother
Shirley was born to Audrey, having a brother named David. Their father left the family when Ballas was 2 years old. Shirley began dancing at 7 years old and performing competitively the following years.
Corky and Shirley Ballas | Shirley and Corky Ballas | Corky Shirley Ballas | Corky and Shirley Ballas Marriage
Shirley married retired competitive ballroom dancer Corky Ballas in the mid 1980s. Their best results were winning Professional Latin at Blackpool Dance Festival in 1995 and 1996 together. The couple later moved to Houston, Texas to compete in the US. They divorced in 2007.
Shirley Ballas and Daniel Taylor | Shirley Ballas New Boyfriend
Shirley met panto star Daniel Taylor during rehearsals for Jack And The Beanstalk at the Liverpool Empire. Ballas headlined as Mother Nature while Daniel played the show’s villain Fleshcreep.
Ballas hinted she had started dating again when she tweeted that Taylor was a “very funny handsome man”. The pair had also been seen getting cosy in selfies taken during their stint together in the Christmas show in 2018 according to The Sun. It was confirmed when they were spotted on 9th March 2019 walking arm in arm on a romantic date in London.
Shirley Ballas Son
Shirley and Ballas have a son, professional ballroom dancer Mark Ballas who was born in 1986.
Shirley Ballas Strictly Come Dancing
It was then announced that Ballas would be joining the judging panel of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One, replacing Len Goodman as head judge on 9 May 2017. Ballas made her first appearance on the panel four months later – at the launch show of series 15 on 9 September 2017.
Shirley Ballas Dancing with the Stars
Shirley appeared on Dancing with the Stars where she gave master classes and commentating on the show.
Shirley Ballas Riccardo Cocchi | Riccardo Cocchi Shirley Ballas
Shirley coached and danced with Riccardo Cocchi in 2009. Cocchi called Shirley ‘a great teacher’ and a ‘great and powerful dancer’.
Shirley Ballas Young | Shirley Ballas Images
Shirley Ballas House
Shirley Ballas Strictly Tour
In January 2019, during the Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour, Shirley left a statement at the Arena Birmingham when she performed in the finale of the show. She was known in her hey-day as the Queen of Latin and she thrilled the crowd with her impressive spinning skills.
Shirley Ballas Net Worth
The dancer’s net worth is not yet revealed.
Shirley Ballas Facebook
Shirley Ballas Twitter
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@cheyennemurillo a huge happy birthday to this wonderful young lady ,, a beautiful soul inside and out im so happy to call my friend. Have a beautiful day and congratulations on all you have achieved in a short space of time. I'm very proud of you. Take care and see you soon. Your Dance Mana. Xxx @sashaaltukhov1987 #dance #music #ukchampion #hardwork #journey #friend #beautiful
Corky and Shirley Ballas Dance | Shirley Ballas Dancing | Shirley Ballas Latin Dancing
Shirley Ballas Jive
Shirley Ballas Interview
Wallasey-born Strictly Come Dancing star
Published: Jan 31 2019
Tell us about how you got into dancing as a child and what made you want to pursue it:
Shirley Ballas: I was at the Girl Guides at the church hall and we were in one room while adults were dancing in the other. I just remember hearing the music and I went and looked through the window and they were doing the cha-cha-cha and I just loved it.
I knocked on the door and asked the gentleman if they did children’s classes – I was only seven and he said ‘yes we’re actually starting on Saturday’ so I went along.
I was a kid who wanted to do everything – singing, dancing, you know.
What was growing up in Wallasey like as a platform for your early dancing success?
Shirley Ballas: It was difficult because I was raised by a completely single parent with zero help from my father. My mother had to work hard to raise my brother and I and to get me shoes and a little dress and this and that, which was a lot back then for her, but I think she soon realised how much I loved it.
We didn’t always have the bus fare so I’d walk to and from the church, and it didn’t matter if it was raining, sunny or snowy – I’d still do it.
I remember [my mum] telling me when I was about nine: ‘while you show dedication I will always support you’, even though her friend said ‘you’re wasting your money, she’ll never get off the housing estate, she’ll never amount to anything, it never happens for kids like this’. My mum didn’t listen and she gave me the maximum help she could.
When you were winning top titles, did you feel it was important to show all of that support and dedication was paying off?
Shirley Ballas: I never really thought about anything other than the fact I loved the music and it didn’t really matter where I was. In the school playground I had [the other children] all lined up doing formation dancing but that’s why I got bullied at school.
I just loved [dancing]. My mum said I never stood still, I was always doing the cha-cha-cha around the kitchen!
What was it like joining the panel on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ when it was already so well established with a big legion of fans?
Shirley Ballas: My son pushed me into going for that job because I was also being bullied by men at the top of my industry. He said I should try for Len [Goodman’s] job but I had no TV experience at all so he just gave me a nudge and said ‘why don’t you just try?’ because he’s from Broadway, performing in the theatre and everything.
I did and I was fortunate enough to get it. He was the first person I called and it was just the most amazing experience.
I was nervous about the paddles and sitting, but I wasn’t nervous about the critique because it’s what I’ve done all my life. It was absolutely breathtakingly surreal.
How have you adapted to the media and social media attention that Strictly brings?
Shirley Ballas: I was very surprised [in 2017] when my ex-husband did a write-up two days before the show aired and said some vile things, but I forgive him for that so I didn’t react.
Then other people wanted to step forward and have their minute and say whatever so that was difficult.
It’s more difficult for my mum because my brother committed suicide and then that was splashed all over the papers.
I had a meeting with her after the show and I told her it was her choice if I take the show back on but the media will always come with it, and she said ‘no, do it again’.
On social media, with the people who say horrible things about me I try to respond back two or three times with kindness and give them a chance and if they continue to be bullying then I block them. I always give them a chance because I never really know whether they’re not having a good time in their own life.
How challenging is it for you to be firm but fair with all contestants when their dance ability and experience varies so much?
Shirley Ballas: To be honest I don’t really find it challenging at all. They present to me, every week, a dance and I judge them – I don’t compare one to the other and I judge them specifically on their own journey and improvement.
I try to give a few critiques on their technique and some confidence as to how to move forward so I find that part to be really exceptional. I really enjoy seeing them come back and improve.
Has the show had any impact on the wider dance industry and bringing people into it?
Shirley Ballas: Oh [it’s had] a huge impact on our industry. In most social classes now people will go along to have company, meet people, to get fit or to socialise.
I think it’s been good for the country as a whole, and generally the whole world. With ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Strictly’ programmes around the world I have had something to do with most of them.
I’ve either trained [people in] them as adjudicators or trained them as dancers or what have you, so I find it a huge phenomenon all over the world.
In terms of everyone else understanding the appeal and importance of your dancing, do you think it would have been easier when you were starting out if there was something like that at the time?
Shirley Ballas: Well they had ‘Come Dancing’ with the Peggy Spencer Formation Team. That was always a favourite show of mine and later I went on to be on there as well, teaching the presenter.
At that age I didn’t think about it – all I knew is I loved music, I loved to move to music and I loved dance. I loved all the ballroom and all the Latin and it was a huge part of my life, I just couldn’t think of anything but that.
The only time I ever took a break from dancing was when I gave birth to my son, and then I was back six weeks later doing the US Championships after he was born.
You’ve achieved a lot in terms of winning big championships and you still hold records. Do you have a proudest career moment?
Shirley Ballas: My proudest moment ever was giving birth to my son – he’s my priority – but in my dance career it was winning the British Championships.
I won it when I was 23 years old and I won it again in 1995 when I was 35 with two different partners.
I won it with my first husband and then he went on to be hugely successful and I had to go back to the beginning and start from scratch.
The second year after winning I went back, and he was second and I was 96th. Then in 1995 I came first and he was second so it was a huge learning curve to go back to the beginning and start with my second partner Corky who was roughly a beginner. I trained him from scratch.
How do you juggle your career in the dance industry with the increasing demands of Strictly?
Shirley Ballas: That’s proved a little difficult [in the latest] series but I manage to do it. I go a couple of days a week and do my teaching because we’re the hub of ballroom dancing. We have major championships at the BIC Centre in January, the Winter Gardens in Blackpool in May and the Royal Albert Hall in October so I always do a full 10 days of teaching running up to those events to prepare people.
Then I judge at the Albert Hall, Blackpool and the BIC Centre and I’ll tour the United States at the end of March.
Do you have any big plans lined up for 2019 that you can tell us about?
Shirley Ballas: I have but I can’t say!
I’ll also be touring in the United States and I’ll be moving back into my home in London. I’m hoping to move back [from the United States] in March so that’s a big deal.
Then we’re running up to the British Championships in May, and before you know it we’ll already be back for the next series of Strictly!
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