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Good Interview with Shirley Ballas

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  Quote Bren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Good Interview with Shirley Ballas
    Posted: 05 Sep 2017 at 13:45

Interview with Shirley Ballas

It’s all about the four F’s; fun, firm, feisty and fair.Shirley Ballas
Date: 05.09.2017     Last updated: 05.09.2017 at 00.01

Why did you want to be a judge on Strictly?

I’m a huge fan of Strictly and I find the show so inspiring. When you are part of a massive TV show like Strictly, it’s not just about the professional dancers and celebrities taking part, there could be young or old people out there who are watching and they might also be inspired to take up dancing and I find that so special. Being able to inspire people is a really big part of what I want to share on Strictly and I can’t wait to get started and join Darcey, Bruno and Craig on that judging panel.

How did you react to the news when you were told you were going to be the new judge on Strictly?

I was in the middle of teaching a dance class when the telephone rang so I excused myself and went into another room. When I was told the news, I did actually fall to my knees, I couldn’t believe it! 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."

What kind of judge will you be on Strictly?

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.

You’re known as the ‘Queen of Latin’, why did you want to become a dancer?

I was born to dance! That’s all I can say.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

I’m mostly proud of two moments. I’m proud of winning the British Open in 1983 when I was very young. Then the journey from 1983 to 1995 was probably the hardest journey I ever did in my entire life and to end up winning again in 1995 with my second dance partner - they’re my two proudest dance moments. Aside from dancing, the biggest and proudest moment of my whole entire life was when my son Mark was born. Of course I also have lots and lots of fun memories along the way with amazing people throughout the dancing industry. I’m very grateful that my mum turns 80 this year and I’ve been able to share my whole journey with her, that’s been amazing for me.

What are you most looking forward to on Strictly?

I’m very excited about being in everybody’s living room on a Saturday evening and sharing this beautiful journey with the people watching at home. I’m also extremely excited to be on the panel with Darcey, Bruno and Craig and to share my first Strictly experience with them and meeting all the amazing professional dancers and celebrities too.

Did you know Len Goodman and has he given you any advice?

I’ve known Len since I started in the dance industry many years ago and when I used to compete from about the age of 9 or 10 and he was one of the judges. However our paths properly crossed when I was about 15 or 16 when I actually trained with him as a dancer. We have remained friends and at any dinner party we were at together, he was the life and soul of the party. Len always had great things to say about my dancing and I’m a big fan of his sense of humour and his insight into ballroom dancing. He played such an iconic role on Strictly and I know the viewers adored him!

What’s your favourite style of dance?

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. However I am also a trained ballroom dancer so if a celebrity can deliver a beautiful performance and can take me into their beautiful world, that’s the power of ballroom dancing.

What useful advice do you have for the celebrities?

Trust in your professional! Go in there open-minded and put your mobile phone in your bag. Don’t use your phone during your rehearsal session. Focus and give that full-time to your professional and trust in your professional so that you can be prepared. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you are. You’ll be ready for that show on Saturday night. Also be open-minded, the mind is like a parachute, it works best when it’s open. If you say I can’t, I can’t, then guess what? You can’t! You won’t be able to, but you just might surprise yourself if your mind is working and open.

Do you have any tips for the professional dancers?

The first quality that a teacher has to have is to be patient and understand that the celebrity is coming in and they’re a blank canvas for you; you will be creating a piece of art, a painting that we will get that fleeting glance of on a Saturday night. My advice to the professional is to get the routine first, find some nice choreography, and make sure it’s well timed to the music and then whatever time you have left, start adding the artistry.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?

Be yourself, you can only be the real person that you are and if people like you then they like you and if they don’t, then that’s fine too.

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  Quote Thess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 2017 at 11:59
Good interview. I saw the piece she did on the One Show last night, she came across very well. And they showed her going back to see Margaret - my word she is looking well :)

I am so looking forward to tonight!
Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
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