Shirley Ballas adopted her dog, Charlie, in 2018. The adoption occurred when her son Mark introduced her to Charlie at Bark N’ Bitches, an animal rescue center in California. Charlie, who was recovering from a broken hip at the time, captured her heart and was rescued from being euthanized. In 2023, Charlie’s hip injury resurfaced, causing distress for Shirley. She shared with her fans that Charlie was in pain and not behaving like himself, which made filming for Strictly Come Dancing challenging for her.
September 6, 1960 (63)
Shirley Ballas is an English ballroom dancer, dance teacher, and dance adjudicator, specializing in the International Latin division. She has won several championship titles, earning her the nickname “Queen of Latin.” In 2017, Ballas became the head judge on the BBC TV show “Strictly Come Dancing,” following Len Goodman’s departure.
Ballas’s career in dance began at a young age, and she quickly rose to prominence in the competitive ballroom dancing world. Her notable achievements include winning the Professional Latin at Blackpool Dance Festival in 1983 with her then-partner and husband Sammy Stopford. Later, with her second husband, American ballroom dancer Corky Ballas, she won the same title in 1995 and 1996. After retiring from competitive dancing in 1996, Ballas transitioned to coaching and judging in the dance community.
Throughout her career, Ballas has collaborated with several prominent figures in the dance world. Her partnerships with Sammy Stopford and Corky Ballas were both professionally and personally significant. She has also been closely involved in the development of her son, Mark Ballas, a professional ballroom dancer. Her role as a judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” has seen her work alongside fellow judges such as Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood, and Motsi Mabuse.
Ballas’s contributions to dance have been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions. Her championship titles at the Blackpool Dance Festival highlight her skill and dedication to the art of ballroom dancing. Her role as head judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” further cements her status as a respected figure in the dance community.