Shirley Ballas reveals her proudest achievement of the year
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Shirley Ballas, 62, has shared a rare image of her family reunion with son Mark Ballas, 36, and ex-husband Corky Ballas, 61. The Strictly Come Dancing star was bursting with pride after her son, who dances in the US equivalent show Dancing with the Stars, took home the trophy this year.
Mark joined Dancing with the Stars for its fifth season back in 2007 and, after a five year hiatus, returned this year to win the competition in its 31st season.
The professional dancer shared his victory with partner and social media personality Charli D’Amelio, as he celebrated his third win on the show.
Mark’s parents, Shirley and Corky, are both former professional dancers, who won several Latin dance championship titles during their time together.
BBC judge Shirley uploaded a picture of son Mark and husband Corky on different screens as part of a video call, in view of her 260,000 Instagram followers.
Mark was triumphantly holding up his Dancing with the Stars trophy, while Corky was signalling a big thumbs up to his son.
Shirley captioned the sweet snap: “When Mark Ballas and Corky Bllas call and we had family time to enjoy the moment of Mark and Charli D’Amelio winning the mirror ball trophy. PRICELESS.”
Shirley was married to Corky between 1985 and 2007, with the pair becoming a famous couple in the dance world.
The award-winning dancer’s several championship title wins even earned her the nickname “The Queen of Latin”.
However, she revealed that the pair experienced some tough times in their marriage.
Shirley opened up about her failed marriage to Corky and how he controlled her diet in her autobiography, Behind the Sequins.
In one disturbing story, she described how her ex supposedly hid a cockroach under the chocolate icing of the doughnuts she craved while pregnant with her son to “save me from myself”.
Express.co.uk contacted a representative for Corky for comment at the time.
Before Shirley wed Corky, she also described how she had endured a turbulent marriage with first husband Sammy Stopford, whom she married when she was just 17 years old.
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The many trials Shirley endured throughout her life as a dancer left her on the verge of quitting by 2016, but it was her son Mark who convinced her to join Strictly Come Dancing.
This new gig on BBC One proved to be life changing for the dancer, who reflected: “For me, there are two doors: one to my industry and one to Strictly. And when I open the Strictly one it goes to a safe place for me.”
Tearing up, she continued: “Oh, I am getting all emotional, but for me Strictly is like going to Disneyland.
“I don’t have to worry about bullying, don’t have to worry about how I look, everyone at the BBC is totally encouraging and supportive – more than they realise.
“It’s given me back my hope and self-acceptance,” she added in an interview with You Magazine.
Since Strictly, Shirley has also met her “incredible boyfriend” Danny Taylor, 48, who she met while doing a pantomime gig in Liverpool back in 2018.
The pair appear to be very happy together and Shirley will no doubt be thrilled that her autobiography is now being turned into a Broadway show.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday evening at 7.15pm on BBC One.
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