Strictly’s Shirley Ballas recalls "dancers having sex in broom cupboards"

strictly come dancing's shirley ballas
Strictly's Shirley on dance industry memoriesBBC

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has lifted the lid on some of the most scandalous moments from her dancing career.

While the moments in question couldn't be included in her 2020 autobiography Behind the Sequins, Ballas has revealed that they did inspire some of the storylines in her new novel Murder on the Dance Floor.

"When I was writing my autobiography, there were a lot of stories from my dance career that I couldn't use – but when I shared them with people, their jaws hit the ground," she told Good Housekeeping.

shirley ballas, 2022, good housekeeping live event
Mike Marsland - Getty Images

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Ballas continued: "So, I asked the publishers if I could write a fiction book based on these experiences, and they loved the idea.

"I've worked with a brilliant writer called Sheila McClure and we've covered it all – bullying, backstabbing, dancers having sex in broom cupboards – all these things that I've seen, heard or witnessed. Don't be fooled into thinking the dance industry is all baubles, bangles and beads!"

Ballas is set to return for a new season of Strictly later this year to judge a fresh cast of celebrities, some of whom she recently defended over their level of dance experience.

strictly come dancing's shirley ballas

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This year, Layton Williams, Nigel Harman and Angela Scanlon have all been criticised for having prior dance experience, though Ballas has said that this is "unfair".

"I think it's very unfair at this point to single out anybody, because most children had a little bit of training," she told The Mirror.

"If somebody goes to stage school for singing and acting, there's always normally a little bit of dance included. It might not be their forte. It's nothing like learning ballroom dancing. It's a total discipline all of its own."

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One, while spin-off Strictly: It Takes Two airs on BBC Two. Both shows are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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