Shirley Ballas

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Shirley Ballas
Born Shirley Annette Rich
(1960-09-17) September 17, 1960 (age 54)
England, United Kingdom
Other names The Queen of Latin
Occupation Dancer, teacher, adjudicator
Spouse(s) Sammy Stopford (m. 1980–84)
Corky Ballas (m. 1985–96)
Children Mark Ballas (1986)

Shirley Annette Ballas is a British ballroom dancer, teacher and adjudicator. She specialises in the International Latin division, where she won several championship titles earning her the nickname, "The Queen of Latin." Shirley was first married to, and competed with, fellow Briton Sammy Stopford. They came 2nd in the 1982, 1983 & 1985 Professional World Latin Dance Championships.[1] The pair won the 1983 International Latin American Dance Championship,[2] and were the 1984 UK Open Champions in Professional Latin.

Later, she married Corky Ballas. Together they won the International Latin American Dance Championship for 1995, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They met at a Latin competition in Montreal, Quebec. The pair moved to Houston, Texas to compete in the USA. Their first and only child, Mark Ballas, of Dancing with the Stars fame, was born in 1986. Before his birth, his parents thought he would be a girl, and picked the name Amy for him. This would later lead to Mark naming his rock band Almost Amy.


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  2. ^ Programme of 2009 57th International Championships gives complete lists of previous placings.