Shirley Ballas

Behind the Sequins
  • Behind the Sequins

  • Leave it all on the floor...

    Queen of Latin Ballroom, Shirley Ballas has a spectacular dance career spanning over 40 years – she has Cha-Cha'd her way across the world's dance floors to become a multi-award-winning ballroom champion and one of the most renowned dancers in the world. In 1996, Shirley retired from competitive dancing to become a highly-acclaimed coach and now holds the enviable position of Head Judge on BBC One's prime time show Strictly Come Dancing.

    In Behind the Sequins, she leads us through her dramatic and determined life, from growing up in a rough estate on the Wirral and leaving home at 14 years old, to conquering the high-octane world of ballroom and coping with betrayal, bullying, two broken marriages and a personal tragedy that left Shirley and her family devastated.

    Speaking from the heart, Shirley leaves her dancing shoes at the door to tell you the story of a fiery, strong-willed grafter who could make the brat pack blush.

Shirley Ballas is one of the most renowned dancers in the world. A former British Open to the World Champion, and European, German, UK, USA and International Latin American Champion, her list of accolades is vast and extraordinary. Born and raised in Wallasey, by the age of 21 Shirley had won nearly every major title she competed in. She is still the youngest ever female to reach the British Open to the World Dance Championship finals and the only woman to win it with two male partners. Shirley continued to compete at the highest level after giving birth to her only son - musician, Broadway star and entertainer, Mark Ballas - in 1985. In 1996, Shirley retired from competitive dancing, becoming the highly acclaimed teacher and coach she is today, as well as being the head judge on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing.

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