Everything you need to know about Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge Shirley Ballas


shirley ballas

The ‘Queen of Latin’ changed head judge Len Goodman

Ainhoa Barcelona

Shirley Ballas is again on our screens because the head judge of Strictly Come Dancing, having stepped into Len Goodman’s footwear since 2017. Shirley, 59, has the facility to give the casting vote within the dance-offs. She’s definitely impressed BBC bosses with her huge expertise as a dance coach and her work on hit US present Dancing with the Stars. Plus, followers have praised her for her sincere however truthful suggestions to contestants. So, what precisely will we know about the ‘Queen of Latin’?

When did Shirley be part of Strictly Come Dancing?

The skilled dancer changed Len Goodman in 2017. She reprised her function for a 3rd sequence this yr alongside fellow returning judges Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel-Horwood, and newcomer Motsi Mabuse.

Shirley is nicknamed the ‘Queen of Latin’

What form of judge is Shirley?

As head judge, Shirley has the facility to give the casting vote within the dance-offs. Speaking to HELLO!, she mentioned: “My critiques will at all times stay agency. I’ll say it as I see it, although you can not help however get emotionally connected to the {couples}.” Before she joined the present in 2017, Shirley mentioned: “It’s all about the four F’s; fun, firm, feisty and fair. I may look and come across as quite strict, but I want the celebrities to know that when they are stood in front of me my heart will be pumping a thousand miles an hour for them in that moment and I’ll want to give them comments to inspire them. But saying that I can also be strict. If I ask them to do something and they don’t deliver it the following week I’m not going to tell them that it’s ok, I’m not that kind of judge. I will be expecting things from them and I hope that they will be expecting things from me, to be as honest and as forthright as I can to help them become the best dancer they can be.”

Shirley with new judge Motsi Mabuse

What is Shirley’s dance expertise?

Originally from Merseyside, Shirley started dancing on the age of seven when she took her first lesson in an area corridor. She started competitively dancing aged eight, and when she was 15, Shirley moved to North Yorkshire to compete with British ballroom champion, Nigel Tiffany. The pair obtained engaged when Shirley was 16, however by no means ended up marrying.

Shirley specialises in Latin dance, incomes her the nickname the ‘Queen of Latin’. “I love ballroom dance, my favourite style being the Argentine Tango. I also love the Viennese Waltz and the way it can be done the American style where it breaks apart. But of course my heart lies with Latin, I love the Latin,” she mentioned.

Shirley retired from aggressive dancing in 1996. She is a three-time British Open to the World Latin American champion, ten-time United States Latin American champion, and multiple-times British National champion. Shirley, who says she was “born to dance”, is now an acclaimed and revered worldwide coach in addition to an adjudicator for ballroom and Latin American competitions, judging all all over the world.

Shirley is head judge on Strictly Come Dancing

What is Shirley’s TV expertise?

Shirley has beforehand appeared on Dancing with the Stars within the US, giving masterclass classes and commentating on the present. But her large TV debut within the UK was Strictly, which she is a big fan of. “When I used to be advised the information, I did really fall to my knees, I could not imagine it!” mentioned Shirley. “The first person I called was my son, Mark, and as soon as he answered he said, ‘You got it didn’t you?’ I didn’t even have to say it out loud! Mark was the one who had encouraged me, he always said ‘You can do this’ and ‘It’s going to be an amazing journey’.” Shirley added: “I find the show so inspiring. There could be young or old people out there who are watching and they will also be inspired to take up dancing and I find that so special.”

Speaking to HELLO! about these first months as a judge, she mentioned: “Strictly was my first job in TV ever. Mark (her son) known as me each day for these 4 months, and he and Derek Hough have been sensible at serving to me cope with a few of the more difficult facets of being within the press. I’ve had my belief knocked quite a lot of occasions. For each stride you take ahead, there’s at all times somebody who needs to push you a stride again, and that half was troublesome to cope with. But if you have a core of nice individuals who you can really lean on, that makes it simpler.”

The professional dancer with judges Bruno, Craig and Motsi

Is Shirley married?

The dancer married Sammy Stopford, her dance companion on the time, in 1980 however later divorced him in 1984. A yr later in 1985, she married ballroom dancer Corky Ballas. Together they received the International Latin American Dance Championship in 1995, which Shirley describes as considered one of her “proudest dance moments”. Shirley and Corky have a son Mark, 31, who’s knowledgeable on Dancing with the Stars. “Aside from dancing, the biggest and proudest moment of my whole entire life was when my son Mark was born,” she mentioned. The couple divorced in 2007. 

The dancer has beforehand opened up about her hopes of discovering love. “I haven’t had a boyfriend for a long time,” she advised HELLO!. “I do believe it will happen. I don’t know when or where, but I would love to be in love again.” Speaking about the relationship scene in Hollywood, she added: “The men here seem perfectly charming, but everybody is super busy. If it’s good-looking men you’re after, the place to go is Italy. Every Italian I’ve ever come across is handsome.” Ultimately, although, she’s looking out for somebody “nice and kind and caring”. She mentioned: “I know my mum would like to see me with someone who looks out for me and treats me with kindness and respect.”

Shirley with her solely son Mark

Who is Shirley’s boyfriend?

In January 2019, Shirley revealed that she had met “someone special”. That “someone special” was actor Danny Taylor, who she starred reverse in in pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk over the Christmas interval. Shirley, who describes Danny as a “very funny, handsome man,” has been photographed on nights out with her boyfriend of their hometown of Liverpool.

Speaking to HELLO! in 2019, she mentioned: “I had the primary few scenes reverse Danny and was terrified, however he helped me. I understood his business however he did not perceive mine in any respect, and I beloved it. He knew nothing about Strictly. We had an awesome friendship after which in March we determined we have been extra than simply mates.”

When requested whether or not their relationship is severe, Shirley laughed: “A hundred and fifty per cent serious! We have a lot in common and we laugh all the time. He is part of the reason why I readjusted my life. My son is grown up and has his own life, and Danny is just so magnificently special. I have met his parents and everybody likes each other. That’s a plus.” She added: “I feel my happiness is basically down to Danny, though Strictly has additionally given me the boldness that I did not at all times have earlier than. I feel the vitality Danny offers off is infectious. He makes me see issues in a special gentle and he makes me snort on a regular basis. I’m going to mattress with a smile and I get up with a smile.”

The TV judge with her boyfriend Danny Taylor

What has Shirley mentioned about her well being?

Speaking to HELLO! in 2019, the Strictly judge revealed her plans to have her breast implants eliminated. Her mom Audrey is battling colon most cancers, which led Shirley to ponder her personal well being. While filming an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? for the BBC, she learnt that her great-grandfather George died of most cancers in his 30s. In addition, considered one of her aunts died of the illness and one other has simply been recognized with it. As a consequence, she has determined to take away her breast implants, which she’s had for round 17 years.

“I definitely want to take my implants out. When I had a mammogram recently, the lady said it’s impossible to get a complete image with implants. Plus, some things that I sometimes suffer from, like chronic fatigue, can be caused by them,” she mentioned. “But I want to make clear that it’s something I want to do for myself. Everyone has their own choices, and this is one I have made for myself.” The Sun revealed that Shirley’s operation will happen on the finish of October, and that she will solely have three days off work to get well. “My physician says I’ve recuperation of per week, however I need to do Strictly on the Saturday evening,” she mentioned.

Shirley revealed she is having her breast implants eliminated

Where does Shirley dwell?

The dancer relocated again to the UK for Strictly, and moved right into a five-bedroom, five-bathroom home in south-east London in 2019. Shirley was beforehand primarily based in California the place her son Mark lived ten minutes away from her in Hollywood. The TV star invited HELLO! into her house in 2019, saying: “It’s beautiful to have my own residence right here. For the previous two years whereas filming Strictly I’ve stayed with my buddy Terrie Martin, which I used to be really grateful for, however I did not need to maintain imposing.” She added: “When I obtained the Strictly job it made sense to come again to England. It was fairly troublesome to commute backwards and forwards, and I actually wished to construct my charity work. I merely cannot try this if I’m on the opposite aspect of the world.”

Shirley had rented out her London property, which has a up to date design with classic touches, whereas dwelling in LA and determined to redo each inch earlier than transferring again in. One of her favorite options is a walk-in wardrobe filled with her glitzy Strictly outfits in what was the attic. She says: “I love that everyone has their own bathroom and nobody’s on top of each other. I like the openness of the layout.”

A peek inside Shirley’s London house

Another cause she left LA was the realisation that her son Mark now has his personal life to lead. “When I moved to LA I was single and didn’t want to be on my own. But everyone goes on to have their own life, and Mark got married. In the end I thought I might as well base myself here. Plus, I have many friends here. “I did not overly have mates in LA. I’d work and are available house and watch tv. I do not suppose I’ve watched tv since I’ve come again. I’ve obtained a brand new man and Strictly and my mom, who’s a handful,” she laughs. “I feel I’m going to be a lot happier right here.”

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