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Len Goodman's replacement for Strictly announced....

(38 Posts)
CaveMum Tue 09-May-17 10:44:36

The rumours were true! Former Latin American Champion Shirley Ballas will take over as Head Judge.

Thank goodness they've gone with an actual ballroom/latin professional!

Fiderer Tue 09-May-17 10:47:57

Never heard of her but if you're pleased Cave she must be good.

Don't you have a lovely new small dancer now? <ignores annoying teens>

CaveMum Tue 09-May-17 10:53:40

I do indeed! DS is 3 weeks old today grin

Here's Shirley's profile:

Who is Shirley Ballas?

Originally from Wallasey in the Wirral, she began dancing at the age of seven.

Won her first major Latin championship at 18 and had won all major titles worldwide by 23 with her partner Sammy Stopford.

Moved to Houston, Texas, in 1983 and began to compete with new partner and husband, Corky.

They won their first professional Latin title in 1984 and continued undefeated for a further eight years in a row, making them the most successful Latin American Champions in USA history.

Moved back to the UK in 1990 to compete on the international circuit.

From 1995-96 Shirley and Corky were at their most successful, winning the Open British Professional Latin titles in both years - the most prestigious championship in the world of ballroom - plus all the major international events.

Retired from competitive dancing in 1996.

Became the guardian of Dancing with the Stars professional dancers Derek and Julianne Hough in 1998 when they moved to London to study at Italia Conti theatre school.

MumIsRunningAMarathon Tue 09-May-17 11:05:15

Sammy stopford connection was enough before all the rest!

Over qualified I think for a tv show which actually has very little official 'dancing' content

MoonriseKingdom Tue 09-May-17 11:36:46

Oh that's great. Pleased to have another professional and great to balance out the panel. I know he has his fans here but I am glad it wasn't Anton (though I'd been hoping for Karen).

MoonriseKingdom Tue 09-May-17 11:39:48

Her CV is amazing!

cowgirlsareforever Tue 09-May-17 11:40:20

I think she will be great. She has a fantastic track record and she is a woman!

Is it any coincidence that Kristina is trying to break into Dancing With The Stars? She had an affair with Shirley Ballas' husband which broke up their marriage.

MoonriseKingdom Tue 09-May-17 11:57:43

Blimey! I love Kristina's dancing but her personal life sure is messy.

MoonriseKingdom Tue 09-May-17 11:58:55

Congrats cavemum! Hope you are getting at least a bit of sleep.

Redcrayons Tue 09-May-17 12:00:26

I was hoping for Karen but she sounds like she'll be a good replacement.
Plus 2 women presenters and 2 women on the panel is brilliant for a prime time Saturday night show!

MoonriseKingdom Tue 09-May-17 12:33:16

I don't know if you saw last week but the lovely Natalie is not coming back.

MarmaladeSoup Tue 09-May-17 12:44:50

Shirley is Mark Ballas from DWTS mum, and she fostered and coached Derek and Julianne Hough as well. She is also friendly wth the Clifton family. She knows her stuff. I am very pleased they've gone with someone like this rather that just opting for Anton, which would have been the obvious choice.

Speaking of Kristina, I can't believe Gleb,s wife allows her anywhere near him, let alone dance with him.

WonderMike Tue 09-May-17 13:18:36

She has saved us from Anton's gurning face, I'm already a fan grin

BeMorePanda Tue 09-May-17 14:01:15


BeMorePanda Tue 09-May-17 14:03:08

(sorry I have the urge to say "hello" every time I see WonderMike's UN)

Great news re Shirley, sad news re Natalie who was my fav female dancer.

dontcallmelen Tue 09-May-17 14:15:01

She sounds like she really knows her stuff, hope won't be even more bias towards the Cliftons though, they really get on my nerves sad about Natalie, always comes across as very professional & a nice person.

gillybeanz Thu 11-May-17 11:47:52

I don't watch it but Len is an icon.
I first met him when I was 5 years old at Blackpool tower.
It was our medal presentation and I'd got good marks for my cha cha.
I walked across the floor in my lovely dress and shoes, slipped on the recently polished floor and smiled through the tears.
He gave me a cuddle and rubbed my knee then handed me my medal.
I luffs him.

ppeatfruit Thu 11-May-17 12:20:55

Aaaah that's a lovely story gillybeanz.

I'm going to miss Len but Shirley sounds amazing. ( this is real news to me!) Good to have a balanced panel.

Thanks a lot for all the info and the thread Cavemum grin Oh and congrats on cave baby !!

CaveMum Thu 11-May-17 12:42:04

Lovely story gillybeanz. My dance teacher knew him well back in the pre-Strictly days. She used to run summer schools with guest teachers and Len was a regular. He used to bring water pistols to squirt at the kids grin

Fiderer Thu 11-May-17 15:54:02

Congratulations on TinyCave flowers

3 weeks mind, bet you don't feel like dancing grin

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sun 14-May-17 04:01:53

Great news, she sounds fab.

Getting into DWTS over here and the lovely Gleb is easing the transition grin

TheDrsDocMartens Sun 14-May-17 05:23:10

She sounds promising, just hope she doesn't favour the Cliftons though.

ppeatfruit Sun 14-May-17 11:44:09

If she's a stickler for the 'traditional' correct way of ballroom then she may favour the Cliftons, if they follow the 'right' way of doing things. A good judge doesn't have favourites, just their own opinions and ideas..

Fiderer Sun 14-May-17 12:36:07

Do wish they'd get rid of Darcey though. "Extend your top line" "Blah blah wishy washy" - however supportive & nice she is I still think she's misplaced.

ppeatfruit Sun 14-May-17 13:39:57

I don't , I like her and the way she must encourage viewers who aren't necessarily into ballroom, to look at SCD (and ballet) in a different way. Before she started as a judge she did a whole telly programme learning how to do, and doing, Fred. Astaire\ Gene Kelly type of dancing.

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