Strictly’s Shirley Ballas shares incredible photos from Blackpool 50 years ago

Shirley Ballas has given fans a glimpse at her days as a competitive dancer ahead of the show airing from Blackpool’s iconic Tower Ballroom this weekend. 

The dancer, 62, who is head judge on Strictly Come Dancing, took a trip down memory lane as she shared some snaps from her personal archives. 

She told her followers: ‘In the excitement of @bbcstrictly returning to Blackpool tonight, I found these photos of me dancing at the Tower Ballroom almost 50 years. Wow. What memories. 

‘I was 4th in the North of England Ballroom championship. Semi final of the Latin championship. David Fleet was my first ever boy partner. Fabulous experience. I remember it like it was yesterday.’

Shirley shared photos of her and her partner competing and pulling off some serious shapes on the dancefloor, also showcasing how much fashion has changed over the years for ballroom and latin dance dresses. 

She wore a black silky number with white flowers embellishing the front, as well as a pink dress with a large frilly skirt and blue butterflies on the front in a diagonal line, with matching blue eyeshadow.

The last photo in the set was of two pairs of tiny ballet slippers, as she added: ‘Have you ever danced at Blackpool? And I was two when I started ballet and Mark I started him as soon as he could walk. Swipe to the end to see mine & @markballas’ ballet shoes from many years ago. Cute Xx dance is for everybody.’

Her followers were quick to shower her with praise, with current competitor Fleur East writing: ‘Wow!’

Fans commented: ‘I always look back at my dance photos. These photos are just wonderful Shirley and what fantastic memories’ and ‘You look amazing, the dresses remind me of watching the dancing on TV with my gran when I was a little girl.’

Others added: ‘Fabulous photos!!!!! This will be another Exciting Weekend!!!!’ and ‘The dresses with the big floofy petticoats is how I remember the old come dancing. Before strictly.’

This weekend will see the remaining contestants take over the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool for the show, which is always a highlight the dancers aim for in each series. 

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