Shirley Ballas is one lady who sets the stage on fire whenever she has to perform. World over, she is known as the feisty ballroom dancer, and dance adjudicator, who focuses on the International Latin division as a niche dance style. Over the years, she has performed incredibly well in various dance competitions with several championships titles to her name.
Due to her exceptional skills and charm, she has been nicknamed, The Queen of Latin. Asides active dancing, she is also a professional dance instructor. She was later appointed as the head judge on the popular BBC TV show, Strictly Come Dancing in 2017. Here are more facts about her.
Shirley Ballas Biography
Shirley Ballas was born in Wallasey, England on the 17th of September 1960. She was also raised in Wallasey by her mother Audrey due to the fact that her father left the family when she was two year old. Nevertheless, Shirley Ballas began taking dance lessons when she was 7 years old and not too long after, she started competing in various dance events. Shirley continued to compete a few more years but when she clocked fifteen, she made the decision to move in with her Ballroom dance partner and champion named Nigel Tiffany in North Yorkshire.
Though it was quite difficult for her at first, she managed to adapt. After dancing with Nigel Tiffany for two years in Yorkshire, the pair moved to London. However, a dance teacher in London advised Shirley Ballas to try auditioning to become Sammy Stopford’s dance partner. She agreed and subsequently succeeded at the auditioning. This would mark the end of her partnering with Nigel. With her new partner Sammy Stopford, they became victorious at the Professional Latin Blackpool Dance Festival in 1983.
After moving to the United States to reside in Texas, the pair kept on competing together until they recorded a consecutive win of yet another Professional Latin at Blackpool Dance Festival both in 1995 and 1996. In the year 1996, Shirley Ballas became a Judge and dance instructor for Latin American and ballroom competitions. To this effect, she had the opportunity to give authoritative commenting as well as host master class sessions on the show, Dancing with the Stars.
Having been a professional dancer for over a decade she earned the needed authority to become a dance judge. Interestingly, this was reinforced after she was contacted in 2017 to replace Len Goodman as head judge for the BBC One show, Strictly Come Dancing. By the 9th of May 2017, the deal was done. However, her role as Judge officially began on the 9th of September of the same year.
Shirley Ballas has sure worked had to be where she is even as she is a source of inspiration to many young women and men who decided to tow the path of dancing as a career. In addition, her years spent as a professional dancer as well as a dance instructor and choreographer has also boosted her earning over the years. More so, given the fact that she earns a good sum as the head judge for the dance show, Strictly Come Dancing, her net worth has been boosted significantly to reach a whopping $5million.
Family Life – Husband, Son
Shirley Ballas has been married a few times in her life and according to her, it has been a bittersweet experience. Her very first marriage was to her dance partner Sammy Stopford when she just 18 years old. What made their union an interesting one was the fact they were dance partners. Unfortunately, after five years of marriage, the pair called it quits as they went their separate ways. While they were together they never had any kids.
Though her second marriage took place in the mid-1980s, the exact date is not known. She tied the knot with another famous and talented dancer named Corky Ballas. As a couple, they lived in Houston, Texas where they had most of their competitions as professional dancers. In 1986, they welcomed the only son of their union and he was named Mark Dallas. Now, Mark Dallas is also a professional ballroom dancer just like his parents. Despite being together in marriage for a very long time, the two decided to get a divorce in 2007.