Strictlys Shirley Ballas details sinister world of ballroom dancing

This Morning: Shirley Ballas on ‘sinister world of ballroom’

Shirley Ballas has opened up about the “steamy” world of dance in her debut novel, Murder On The Dance Floor.

On Wednesday, the Strictly Come Dancing Head Judge sat opposite Holly Willoughby and Josie Gibson on the This Morning sofa to promote her new book.

While discussing the first whodunnit in her Sequin Mysteries series, the 63-year-old got candid about how she found inspiration for the story.

“The point of this book is that everyone looks at the world of ballroom dancing as if it’s baubles, bangles and beads, but actually the true world of ballroom dancing is very much more sinister,” she explained.

“Lies, backstabbing, bed-hopping, sex, you know manipulation, anything – people will do anything to get where they need to go.”

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Following the shocked faces of Josie, 33, and Holly, 42, Shirley continued: “So when I wrote my autobiography, I thought, wouldn’t this be fun if I could write some other stories and you as the reader are going to have to guess – did I witness it? Did I take part in it? Or is it fiction?”

To clarify that segments of Murder on The Dancefloor were inspired by the dancer’s real-life experiences, she said: “I just wanted to put together stories of things that I have been part of, or witnessed, or whatever in the industry.

“It’s not all baubles, bangles and beads and I don’t think anybody would expect actually what really goes on behind the scenes.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, talk turned to Strictly and the sheer shock of Les Dennis becoming the first elimination of the season.

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On the matter, the author said: “I really thought the public would get behind Les. But see, once they go in the bottom two, then it becomes a little bit difficult.

“This week is Movie Week so don’t miss out on watching Movie Week because there are some real treats in store. The music, the costumes, the tan!”

Shirley also said that Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington’s Cha Cha Cha to ‘Get the Party Started’ by Shirley Bassey “inspired her” on a recent photography shoot.

Discussing the moment the Rip-Off Britain presenter raised her leg – a move which has allowed her to be branded a sex symbol – Shirley said: “I did a shoot for a magazine some days later and I thought ‘You know what, I’m going to get my legs out at 63’.

“She inspired me to be all you can be,” the Strictly judge added.

Shirley Ballas’ new book, Murder On The Dance Floor is out on 12 October 2023. You can tune into Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday at 6.20pm.

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