Shirley Ballas joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 as Head Judge for the 15th series – replacing Len Goodman when he stood down.
British born Shirley came to Strictly with great credentials and is recognised as one of the most successful professional Latin American dancers in the world.
Shirley was nicknamed the ‘Queen of Latin’ having won a host of titles including; ‘British Open to the World’ Latin American Championships three times; ‘United States Latin American Championship’ 10 times, and also holding the ‘British National Champion’ title multiple times.
Shirley started her dancing career early, competing from the age of nine when she met Len Goodman for the first time – Len was one of her judges in an early competition.
Shirley grew up in Wallasey, England and attended Donahey’s Dance School for one of her early years competitions, and then went on to perform at Donahey’s with her then partner ‘Sammy Stopford.
Learn all about Shirley’s glittering dancing achievements below
4* Weekend Breaks with the stars of Strictly Come Dancing
Who better to teach you to dance than the professional dancers from Strictly Come Dancing? You can meet the stars, learn their steps and be captivated as they perform spectacular shows just for you.
Friday 23rd – Sunday 25th July 2021 5* Celtic Manor Resort Hotel Newport, South Wales
Spend the weekend with your favourite stars of Strictly Come Dancing at the stunning 5* Celtic Manor Resort.
Join Anton Du Beke, Erin Boag, Giovanni Pernice, Ian Waite, Amy Dowden, Ben Jones, British National & World Ballroom Champions Warren & Kristi Boyce plus Strictly’s Argentine Tango choreographers Leandro Palou & Maria Tsiatsiani.
The Donahey's Dancing With The Stars Weekends are Fab-U-Lous.The organisation is second to none, every little detail has been thought of and the Donahey's staff do everything to make your weekend enjoyable.Seven hours of dance workshops with Top Class teachers (including the Strictly Stars). Plenty of time to practise and then Dancing through the night in the Stateroom Ballroom.The Show Dances from The Strictly Stars and the other Professionals are worth it on their own.We've already booked next year and looking forward to itTrevor & Brenda
12:58 12 Mar 20
The whole weekend was amazing from start to finish. The organisation is superb and the people are all so friendly. When you break down what you get it really is value for money. This is an event to look forward to year after year.
Kerry Garner (Oldfleet)
18:06 11 Mar 20
Just back from a stunning weekend at Alton Towers Dancing with the Stars! The whole experience was fabulous from start to finish. The communication from Donaheys before, during and after the event was good. The organisation of the workshops was superb...we were in the improvers group ...each one pitched perfectly for the ability level and the teaching was great. Obviously the Strictly stars were lovely as expected, but also the world champions and the Donaheys staff were terrific. We have fallen in love again with Argentine Tango particularly. The showcase dances were spectacular every time, breathtaking performances in a cabaret setting. The Donaheys team were always on hand to offer support and guidance both on and off the dance floor and the hotel staff were friendly and accommodating. We loved dancing to the band on Saturday night!By the end of the weekend we were exhausted....in a good way! Thank heavens for the on line workshop reminders, as we did so much our recollection of all the steps is a bit hazy! We needed no nudging to book again for next year before we left. Many thanks and best wishes to all the team.
14:48 11 Mar 20
Just back from a FAB-U-LOUS weekend at Alton Towers Resort Hotel.Is the first time we have ever been to an event like this, infact, its the first time my other half and I have ever danced!Everything was organised to a tee, the workshops, the showcases and the evening events.The Donaheys staff were on hand throughout the weekend to assist in anyway and they were so helpful and not at all judgemental as we had never danced a steep before!The only fault in the whole weekend, and it is NOT related to Donaheys. We the lighting in the bedrooms and bathrooms. It was so incredibly dim that it was a struggle to put make up on! Not sure how anyone would manage if they had to take medication. But, this was NOT a fault on Donaheys and it didn't stop us from having an amazing weekend.
13:01 11 Mar 20
First time here, what an absolutely fantastic amazing weekend, Melanie & I loved it... and our first time having dance lessons!!! If you love dancing you will love these weekends!!!Everyone is so friendly & helpful. We have already booked for next year, fingers crossed as better dancers. Xx
14:23 10 Mar 20
We have just come back from Celtic Manor, another Donahey’s fabulous ‘Dancing With The Stars’ weekend. The personal enthusiasm and love of dance by these Stars is infectious and their willingness to share all they know to help each one of us improve our dance and love of dance so unselfishly is truly humbling and hugely appreciated.Paul, Shirley and Amy Donahey and their team have been organising these weekends for over 50 years and are going from strength to strength with immaculate organisation at every stage. A Dance on Friday night and a Ball on Saturday night with a Live band to practise your skills. Also, exceptional show dances by the Stars as part of the evenings. How often do we have these opportunities?Be truly inspired by Strictly and World professionals and have Work Shops with them. Wonderful weekends, this is our third and we have already booked another. Unsurpassed in terms of getting along side the professionals whether you are a beginner or already have dance experience.If you are looking to learn or improve your Dancing a Donahey’s weekend is definitely for you.Highly recommended.Bob & Sue.
08:20 17 Jul 19
My wife and I were a little apprehensive about our dance weekend (we were seriously in the beginner category!) but the whole experience was amazing from start to finish. The venue was magnificent, the DONAHEYS team were brilliant, with the whole thing organised to run like a Swiss watch. The teachers were great and all the lessons were delivered with enthusiasm and patience to a group of people who occasionally struggle to remember left and right, and as for the showcases, there is nothing to say except WOW! They had to be seen to be believed. Thank you so much Paul, Shirley and Amy, and the whole team. We are booked in for a local dance lesson tomorrow, so we've well and truly caught the bug to move from armchair dance fans to enthusiastic amateurs! We will definitely be returning to a DONAHEYS weekend again in the future.
10:16 13 Jul 19
First time we have attended this event run by the Donahey’s team, have to say it was not what we expected. The show dances alone was worth the cost, spectacular performances from every dancer.The accommodation and meals provided at Celtic Manor was also first class. Our room was good, plenty big enough and clean.Special mention goes to Paul, Shirley and all of the Donahey’s team, who assisted our “beginners”group throughout the workshops and in the evening when you ventured out onto the dance floor, providing advice and demonstrating the steps you had been taught earlier but had forgotten!Wonderful weekend, full on, we have booked again for next year.We have also been inspired to seek out a local dance club to continue dancing.
07:41 11 Jul 19
This is our third year with Paul and the team and the weekends just get better every time! Celtic Manor was the most wonderful venue to stage such a great experience.The team are always well organised and welcoming. We moved up to ‘blue bands’ this time so we’re a little bit nervous but we had absolutely no need to be. Each workshop was tailored perfectly. The Strictly stars were of course fantastic in their workshops and showcases but all the workshops are.We have already booked for next year and look forward to it immensely- we’ll done team and thank you all so much - again!
05:05 10 Jul 19
We have just returned from a lovely weekend at the Celtic Manor. We met up with several couples from our local dance school with differing levels of experience. The Friday evening started with a lovely meal followed by a waltz workshop with Anton and Erin, a very nice routine.Saturdays highlight was a workshop with Neil and Katya, a bonkers cha cha routine we loved. The evenings show dance finished with everyone on the dance floor with them both doing Gangnam Style, wow.Oti was tasked with a rumba workshop. This is one dance where technique is so important. This was very well demonstrated and one of my favourites to dance.Janette and Aljaz took a slightly different angle with their slow foxtrot workshop. Plenty of technique in a useful routine. This was great to see, slow foxtrot requires a smooth style and the couples all looking fabulous at the end of it. The following show dance was brilliant with a great mix of styles.A special mention to the pro dancers Argo Oblikas & Alessia D’Orazi helping in the workshops. They were brilliant, I even had a little cha cha with Alessia which was really helpful.I would highly recommend this weekend for beginners in particular as it gives a good introduction to ballroom dancing with workshops and shows, and the chance to see the Strictly stars too. It's a hard working team too that make it a very fun weekend.
16:44 09 Jul 19
I went to three weekends this summer. That shows just how enjoyable Dancing With The Stars is. Would go more often if there were more weekends available. Have already booked next year.
16:41 09 Jul 19
What another fantastic weekend at Celtic the Donaheys are really fabulous nothing is too much trouble it was our second visit there and we have already booked for next year at Windsor I would like to say a big thank you to Paul and the family and in particular Tracy from the team she was fantastic to me can't wait for March keep dancing x
19:04 08 Jul 19
We first did a Donaheys weekend five years ago, with just 4 of us. This year we were a group of 10 and we’ve already booked next year with 12!!!! It is without doubt, the best dance weekend ever and we can’t wait for 2020, to do it all again. The team are amazing and Paul, Amy & Shirley give 100% to ensure the event is unforgettable. Thank you all.
18:24 08 Jul 19
Everything about this weekend was first class, well planned and executed. So much fun and the opportunity to be taught by the Strictly professionals and other amazing dancers was wonderful. I’d thoroughly recommend it and can’t wait to go again
16:23 08 Jul 19
Wow! what a weekend. Fabulous stay at the Celtic Manor Hotel, absolutely huge. The workshops with the stars were so easy to learn a routine and take away with you. We looked forward to seeing the professionals in action, but were totally blown away. The choreography that went into Neil & Katya’s showcase was exceptional. The dance with Warren, Kristi, Glenn & Coraly brought tears to our eyes, so moving. But for me the dance workshop with Alijaz left me drooling 😘. Don’t remember much about the dance but his personality and gorgeous smile has definitely made him my favourite. Their show dances were fantastic as the finale to the weekend.The whole event is suitable for all levels of dancers, from the very beginner up to the more advanced. Everyone fitted in together and there was plenty of room over the two dance floors to practice their new moves.
10:02 08 Jul 19
The first one we attended was in April and it was a whole new magical experience. The July one this weekend was also wonderful. Value for money is an understatement. Paul and the Donaheys team are such lovely hosts. The Workshops are extremely good and the Showcases are simply out of this world. A very well organised event in a marvelous setting. Tears of joy and happiness awaits everyone. Tom and Tracey
07:56 08 Jul 19
What a fantastic weekend! Fun packed, entertaining with lovely like minded people, and a chance to meet and dance with the Strictly Stars! The weekend is well thought out and planned, and the Donaheys Team work tirelessly to ensure everyone has a great time - so good we have booked for next year!
08:54 24 Jun 19
We are still on cloud 9 a week after this amazing experience. From the very start Donaheys were so professional and organised with such precision to detail for every aspect of the weekend. The communication throughout was exceptional this weekend was amazing with the dancing lessons and the show cases in the evenings the strictly professionals close up in their showcases was breathtaking and to be able to dance to a live band was sensational . We can honestly say it is just brilliant and we have booked to return again next year and we cannot wait Gail and Karl Ballance
19:54 23 Jun 19
We have just returned from an amazing weekend Dancing with the Stars at De Vere Beaumont Estate in Windsor. The classes were brilliant and the showcases from all the professionals were out of this world, to see them dance up close in that way was fantastic. Paul and the team were great and looked after everyone really well, it was so well organised from beginning to end. We can't wait to do it all again next year at Celtic Manor. Thank you so much Donaheys!
20:23 18 Jun 19
An amazing dancing with the stars weekend. Superb organisation, brilliant workshops and breathtaking showcases. Everything was so enjoyable. For anyone who loves dance they need to experience a Donaheys weekend. Thank you to the whole team
19:28 17 Jun 19
1st time at Donaheys Dancing with the Stars.WOW what a fantastic weekend. With workshops for all levels of dance whether you are a non dancerjust a beginner or advanced theirs something for everyone. Meet your strictly stars and watch the amazing shows they will blow your away. The whole weekend is very organised by the whole team and always around to help nothing is to much trouble.ABSOLUTELY FAB EXPERIENCE GO ON BOOK IT, YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED DO IT.R&A
18:15 17 Jun 19
We absolutely loved our weekend with Donaheys, the staff, the hotel, the celebrities and our table friends were all fabulous, and although I concede I am clearly not a natural ballroom dancer, we have had a real blast, Thank You to all x
17:57 17 Jun 19
Spent last weekend at Windsor Dancing With The Stars with Donaheys ,if you love dancing and making new friends there is no better place,friendly ,exciting,and lots or fun , lots of love John and Tracy Daly.
13:19 17 Jun 19
What a totally fabulous weekend. All the strictly stars, showcases, classes were wonderful. Ballroom looked lovely and to dance in there was wonderful. The event is run with precision by the Donahey's Team. They are all friendly, helpful and happy to answer any questions you have.A well deserved 5* and I have already booked to return next year. Thank you Team Donahey!
12:02 17 Jun 19
12:08 12 May 19
Amazing weekend! So good we have already booked for the same one next year! The Donahey’s team work amazingly hard to ensure everything goes smoothly, and it is so very well organised. The stars are brilliant, both in their showcase dances and especially their teaching, explaining everything so well you can’t fail to pick up the routines! Bring on next year when we hope to learn even more!!
07:29 12 May 19
Another fabulous weekend with Donaheys. Smooth organisation, beautiful venue and wonderful dancing, let alone the terrific teachers. Booked again for next year and we can't wait to go back. John & Miriam
Dr John Dennehy
09:24 10 May 19
10:47 03 May 19
A huge Thank You to Paul and the whole Donaheys team. Just back from an amazing experience at Celtic Manor. The organisation, the workshops and the showcase evenings where truly spectacular. We enjoyed every minute. The hotel and staff are first class.All the strictly stars, professionals and experienced teachers made the workshops interesting, challenging and fun. we came away with new steps from each of them. Already booked for next year. The weekend is good value for money, and worth every penny. We enjoyed it so much we extended our stay. You have a fantastic team working with you. Well done to all of them and again THANK YOU.
19:39 02 May 19
We have just arrived home after a weekend with the stars at Celtic Manor Resort. Was our first time and as absolute beginners. Such an amazing few days. Everybody was so friendly and helpful.. The lessons with the professionals were good fun, and the interaction was fab. The showcases were stunning, one particular dance had me in tears. was fantastic to see the dancing so close up. We enjoyed putting our new found routines to practise on the dance floor both Friday and Saturday evening, especially Saturday at The Ball. Dancing to a live band was amazing. We did not want to come home on the Sunday. We have rebooked for next year at Windsor as closer to home.Great job Donaheys. No doubt our friends will be sick of us raving about this weekend but I cannot recommend it enough.FAB-U-LOUS DARLING. X
17:45 01 May 19
We loved every moment of our first Dancing with the Stars Weekend at the superb Celtic Manor Hotel, Newport.Being taught by the Strictly Stars and World Champion dancers was a fabulous experience, and watching them showcase their own dances was breathtaking, as they glided around the amazing ballroom.The whole weekend was beautifully organised by Paul, Amy, Shirley and the team and Vicky was such a help to us too.A truly memorable weekend !
13:33 01 May 19
Just returned from our second Donaheys weekend dancing with the professional from strictly . Can not fault anything.....from the hotel (Celic Manor), the food, the service, the Donaheys team and of course the pros from strictly. AMAZING .......The workshops were great fun, we managed well even though we're more ballroom ( sequence ) than Latin but the pros had the routines well planned.Re-booked immediately for next year at Beuamont Grange 💃🎶💃🎶💃🎶Keeeeeeep Dancing
10:25 01 May 19
Brilliant weekend yet again. So good I had already booked to go back twice this year. Atmosphere, lessons and the show dances by Strictly stars are outstanding. Already booked again for next year.
07:34 01 May 19
Another fabulous Donahey's Dancing with the Stars weekend. The Workshops led by the Strictly Stars and Championship dancers were entertaining and informative and the showcases were amazing. We attended Alton Towers last year, which we enjoyed tremendously, but this was our first time at the Celtic Manor and have to say that this venue, food and staff were all first rate. The hotel was easy to navigate and nothing was too much trouble. The Donahey's team are so friendly and helpful. Our weekend was superb and was well worth the outlay and journey. We would like to say a very big "thank you" to Paul and his team for all the hard work before and during the weekend to create a smooth running and enjoyable event. Just need to keep practicing all the new steps we have been taught. Congratulations on another excellent weekend. See you all next year!! Colin & Maureen Barker
15:34 30 Apr 19
Another fabulous Donahey's Dancing with the Stars weekend. The Workshops led by the Strictly Stars and Championship dancers were entertaining and informative and the showcases were amazing. We attended Alton Towers last year, which we enjoyed tremendously, but this was our first time at the Celtic Manor and have to say that this venue, food and staff were all first rate. The hotel was easy to navigate and nothing was too much trouble. The Donahey's team are so friendly and helpful. Our weekend was superb and was well worth the outlay and journey. We would like to say a very big "thank you" to Paul and his team for all the hard work before and during the weekend to create a smooth running and enjoyable event. Just need to keep practicing all the new steps we have been taught. Congratulations on another excellent weekend. See you all next year!!
15:01 30 Apr 19
Our first Dancing with the Stars weekend, it was fab-u-lous. As absolute beginners we are leaving with the basic steps for Foxtrot, Waltz, Cha Cha, Argentine tango, Rumba, Quickstep and Jive. Now we just have to Keep Dancing!
10:18 28 Apr 19
It was a really good weekend that we thoroughly enjoyed. It was well organised and kept you going with just about enough breaks. The show cases were excellent and some of the stars were well prepared to talk to the audience during the change over times. A highly recommended weekend for dance lovers.
14:41 09 Apr 19
This was a truly spectacular weekend.Donaheys and Alton Towers were extremely organised and everything ran smoothly.The dance classes were excellent (though we struggled with the Argentine Tango).Dancing with the Strictly Stars was amazing. All of the stars were so friendly and excellent teachers.However, a special shout out is required for Tony Bennett who took the Samba and Tango classes. What a fabulous teacher. I would pay for a weekend of lessons just with him.The three shows were breathtaking. The price paid for the weekend would be worth it for the shows alone.The weekend was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend to dancers of any level.Thanks to Donaheys!
18:27 18 Mar 19
This was our 4th Donaheys weekend and the 3rd atthe Alton Towers resort.Over the years we have been fortunate to have been to some excellent workshops, but this has to be the best year yet.Equally, we’ve previously been able to provide some constructive feedback for the resort, but NOT THIS YEAR. Truly excellent all round.Alton Towers staff very professional on check in and in the restaurant. Check out was seamless, just dropping off the room keys.Car park better marked out.Food in the restaurant even better than previous years. ALWAYS had gluten free options available.7 dance classes over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in 2 ballrooms with the large ballroom having a truly excellent floor.3 shows (2 evening and 1 on Sunday lunch). Friday night’ show was superb, as was Sunday’s, but Saturday night’s was worth the money alone. Truly outstanding.So hats off to all involved.Already booked for next year.
18:12 16 Mar 19
Another brilliant weekend. Well done all. Can't wait for next year, already looking at new dresses. What can I say - brilliant lessons, meeting the stars from Strictly, dancing the night away on the best dance floor ever - add to that a big band, friendly helpful staff and a nice venue - what else could you want from a weekend. Oh, to remember what you have learnt - that's covered too with videos. We appreciate all your hard work that goes into making these weekends so special. Thank you.
21:17 15 Mar 19
Our 11th time being part of Donaheys amazing dance weekends. We introduced 4 new people who all had a fab time & have already booked again for next year! We can’t recommend these weekends enough for anyone who loves dance, be it doing the workshops or simply watching the incredible shows. We shall be back in April at Celtic manor & are already counting the days. Thank you Paul, Amy, Shirley & all the team.Kay & Sean Escott
13:29 15 Mar 19
Fantastic weekend and so much value for your money. Very high standard of workshops and feel so privileged to be taught by three wonderful Strictly couples and see their fabulous demonstration dances.
13:09 15 Mar 19
As relative newcomers to ballroom dancing we weren't sure what to expect, but we shouldn't have worried. Donaheys gave us a fabulous weekend. The professionalism of the event was outstanding, from pre-information, joining instructions and weekend programme, super all round. All the lessons, and there's lots of them, were fun and within our ability and the showcase dances by the professionals made the evenings a "real night out". The hotel was everything that you would expect and were well looked after in terms of food and service. In fact it was all so good that we rebooked, before we left, to go to Celtic Manor next year.John and Caroline
12:55 15 Mar 19
Fab-u-lous!We have just returned from the Dancing with the Stars weekend at Alton Towers Hotel. What an amazing weekend it was, and the organisation was just incredible! Everything runs like a well oiled machine, but at no time do you feel pressured to go to a dance workshop, you can take things at your own pace and attend as many or as few as you like! As avid Strictly fans, my husand and myself had never danced before, so we were in the beginners class. Excellent way to start a dance journey, and to also be taught by the Strictly Stars, Karen and Gorka on Friday, the Cha Cha Cha, Aljaz and Janette on Saturday, the Waltz, and Giovanni and Luba on Sunday, the Jive was truly great fun and they are excellent teachers. We were also taught the Quick Step on Saturday by Warren and Kristi Boyce, the most amazing dancers and teachers! The showcase dances performed by all of the Professionals left us in tears of joy, made us laugh, and we were in awe of their energy - if only! We also had the privelige of seeing some up and coming dancers of the future, Amy and Sasha, Mark and Ilenka, who were an absolute credit to the profession. What an amazing weekend it was, Donaheys you deserve 10 stars for one of the best events we've ever attended in the many years we have been going to entertainment events! Thank you and Keep Dancing!
09:25 11 Mar 19
The weekend at Celtic Manor went way beyond my expectations. My wife and I are both beginners and never felt isolated or embraced one bit. The organisation of the weekend was first class, the participation of the stars was full on, not just a half hour hear and there, no a real interaction, very entertaining and extremely professional. The evening shows were absolutely stunning, again not just a quick 5 minutes, no a real performance with full audience interaction with question and answer sessions. We have been so impressed we have already booked for 2019 and have persuaded some friends to join us, this will be their first time. A truly fantastic weekend, very much value for money and one I cannot recommend enough. The Donahey family fully deliver what they promise, are interested in all skill levels and people, give time and energy to the weekend which enables you to really learn dances. Good fun and very memorable Thank you to all. Lloyd and Sue Snowden
18:27 24 Jul 18
16:48 17 Jul 18
This our first weekend with Donaheys Dancing with the Stars. I love Strictly and I love dancing. I have danced for over 20 years but never been taught proper ballroom dancing. My husband also loves Strictly but has never, ever danced. We thought it would be a great idea to try this and it was our Christmas present to ourselves.We loved learning the different dance styles, although my husband found some harder than others, and it was absolutely brilliant to meet and learn from some of the Strictly professionals. They were amazing! We also got to learn moves with the fabulous ballroom dancers who were also amazing.The showcases were incredible and it was wonderful to see all these amazing dancers in action.I loved the social dancing too.We made some new friends who we are going to keep in touch with. We are all coming next year to Celtic Manor!My husband and I have decided to take ballroom lessons at home and are eager to make progress. We feel inspired!Thank you to the whole Donaheys team for a great weekend.
14:31 27 Jun 18
We had a fantastic, memorable Dancing With the Stars weekend at the Celtic Manor Resort hotel. Everything was so well organised from start to finish. The Donahey team could not do enough to make our experience enjoyable. This was our first experience with Donahey's and it won't be our last. We had such a wonderful time that we booked again for next year.
22:04 20 May 18
Such a wonderful experience!! Well organised, educational and most of all, fun!! We can’t wait to return for our 4th year!! See you in the blue group!!
14:52 15 May 18
An outstanding weekend in every respect. Brilliantly organised, great Stars from Strictly, lavish Showdances and lessons from the Stars. Learnt a lot, enjoyed myself immensely and though it great value for money. have booked for next year
09:44 15 May 18
A truly incredible weekend, fantastic workshops led by Strictly Pros and world champions! Prepare to dance your socks off and be awed by showcase routines :))
16:48 14 May 18
The De Vere Beaumont in Windsor has recently been refurbished, and is now fine - good modern clean rooms, good food, and friendly, helpful staff. It's big, so there can be a bit of a walk from your bedroom to the centre of activities, such as the restaurants and ballroom. We were there in April 2018 for a Donahey's Dancing with the Stars weekend, which was well organised, and superb. Direct tuition from professional stars and world champions was excellent, and the show dancing blew us away. Altogether a great and memorable weekend. Jim and Hilary
09:10 19 Apr 18
If you love Strictly and would like to learn to dance with the professionals, you need to book a weekend with Donaheys. From the time you arrive until you sadly have to say goodbye it is just the best weekend ever. ALL the Donaheys staff are so kind and so helpful. The dance workshops are such good fun. All i can say is, highly recommended! 😊
17:41 18 Apr 18
If you’re wondering if you should attend Donaheys dancing with the stars weekend, the answer is yes, yes, yes!We have just returned from our first year there and it was so amazing we’ve booked again for next year.It is so professional, so organised and so well thought through. The Donaheys team are amazing and make it all work like a well oiled machine. You don’t need to worry about a thing, they take care of it all for you.Your days are jam packed full if you want them to be. Loads of workshops to attend where you learn from absolute professionals. The evening showcases are just magical and you also get a chance to practice the steps you learned that day.We were beginners and were treated with such dignity and respect. It was so much fun.Absolutely everyone we spoke to couldn’t speak more highly of the weekend if they tried.We loved it and can’t wait for next year.
19:52 17 Apr 18
My wife Lorraine and I just attended the Donaheys Dancing With The Stars weekend at Beaumont House Windsor. As beginners we were a bit nervous of making fools of ourselves. But the whole weekend was a fabulous experience. The 7 beginners workshops were well run and great fun, including 4 taken by Strictly and Professional dancers. The evening shows were tremendous and included chances to practice the dances we had learnt during the day. The Beaumont House Hotel is a lovely place to stay, we had a very comfortable room and the staff were all very friendly. A great experience all round, which we may well do again one day.
19:23 17 Apr 18
We had the most enjoyable weekend. It was well organised and we were able to attend all seven of our scheduled workshops.The workshops were excellent. The professionals commented that it was good to work with people that had a real interest in dance and this certainly came across well. They were fun and seemed to be pitched at an appropriate level for all the participants.The demonstration dances were again excellent and again were much appreciated by all the people there.We would highly recommend these weekends and were pleased to book a repeat for ourselves next year.Thank you to everyone who worked to make the weekend the great success that we all enjoyed.Dave and Jan
12:45 17 Apr 18
Wow! wow!! WOW!!! First time attending Donahey’s Dance weekend and I was totally blown away! Far exceeded my expectations. Well organised, friendly staff, STUNNING dance displays, EXCELLENT teaching and GREAT location.
11:53 16 Apr 18
Just had our first weekend at Alton Towers, we had a brilliant time, really well organised. The social dancing was great fun, and being up close with the dancers was amazing. There are two things I would change/review , 1) the food at dinner wasn’t great, and there is no excuse for a hotel to serve food on cold plates. This is not Donaheys fault, but worth mentioning. 2) The red carpet photo call is just a photo opportunity, due to time constraints etc, there isn’t the ability to have any individual photos. But make sure you get to the red carpet on the Saturday black tie ball as they look amazing.We’ve booked again for next year and can’t wait ! This weekend has encouraged us to join a Dance School, hopefully next year we may be wearing blue wristbands!
13:03 16 Mar 18
Whether you are into Latin or Ballroom dancing, attending a Donaheys Dancing With The Stars Weekend is an absolute must!During the course of each weekend, which runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, you will get to see showcases performed by Stars from Strictly Come Dancing, attend classes delivered by the Stars themselves, and have great fun social dancing on an amazing dancefloor (which, on the Saturday night, will be to the live sounds of a big band).For the weekend's classes, each dancer is placed into one of three groups, depending on their dance experience. This allows instruction to be delivered at levels suited from beginner through to advanced. So, no-one will feel out-of-depth, but at the same time, all will be challenged.Throughout the weekend, the large contingent of friendly Donaheys staff are constantly on-hand to help, and always with a smile.Once the weekend comes to an end, and you start to depart the luxurious hotel that hosts the event, you will feel like you are leaving your (new) family.The Donaheys Dancing With The Start Weekends are a definite highlight to my year! I truly can not recommend them, nor the Donaheys staff and the regional regular dance lessons they run, highly enough.(In June of 2017 I attended the Chesford Grange weekend. In March of this year, 2018, I attended the Alton Towers weekend. I very much look forward to attending at least one of their weekends in each coming year)
17:41 12 Mar 18
The Dancing with the Stars Weekend at Windsor organised by Shirley, Paul and Amy truly exceeded my expectations! It was a fantastic experience dancing with the Strictly Professionals and of course the talented Donahays team too! Wall to wall quality, very well organised, great fun and highly recommended. So much so that I have already booked for Celtic Manor in May 2018.
05:53 25 Jul 17
5* would recommend to anyone simply FABULOUS
16:21 18 Jul 17
We had the best weekend! We were complete beginners who were made to feel so welcome by all the team - fantastic sessions from all the pros and team of experts. The shows were amazing - everyone so personable. Thank you so much - cannot recommend highly enough!
19:29 13 Jul 17
Its difficult to find enough superlatives to describe these amazing weekends. We have just attended our 8th, and it was as fabulous as ever. The Donaheys team are so welcoming & helpful, the workshops great fun & informative and the evening shows are breathtaking. We are once again already booked on 2 for next year & already looking forward to them both. We Cant recommend them highly enough. Thanks to all involved
13:21 22 Jun 17
Another fantastic weekend with Donaheys at Chesford Grange.To see the showcase dances from the edge of the dance floor is amazing.The dance lessons from the Strictly Stars and Donaheys staff are really enjoyable.Well worth a visit for those who want to dance, and those who just want to watch...
13:12 20 Jun 17
Best. Weekend. Ever. The organisation and staff are just superb. The work shops are so enjoyable and then the show cases in the evening round of a fantastic day. Highly recommended if you love dancing/Strictly!
12:59 15 Jun 17
Many thanks for the last 6 years of fun filled Donaheys dancing with the stars weekends. Great work shops. Fabulous show cases. Well organised professional events. Already booked and looking forward to year 7 next year.thank you shirley paul amy and team. Enid and Brenda.
08:54 11 Jun 17
Absolutely fantastic weekend on the Strictly weekend dance break in Manchester. So well organised.
18:07 16 May 17
Probably the Rolls Royce of weekend dance breaks. Intensive learning combined with a great ballroom experience alongside fellow minded intermediates and improvers. Whoever your particular Strictly Stars are, be in no doubt that Warren and Kristi are the real gems here. Scintillating !Can't thank Paul and the team enough. Top Marks
15:10 13 May 17
Thank you Donahey's for another fabulous, well-organised and fun weekend. First class, friendly tuition from the Strictly stars and Donahey's team encourages everyone, including beginners, to get up on the dance floor and give it a go. The professionals' show dances were truly amazing and seeing their skills at such close quarters was a real treat.Richard & Rosemary
20:28 10 May 17
We have been on at least 5 Dance Weekends and enjoyed them all. The workshops from the Strictly Pros and the Donahey's teachers are excellent and great fun. The showcases from the Pros in the evenings are spectacular. To be able to see them dance close up is a real treat. If you love your dancing then this is a weekend well worth the money.
09:32 10 May 17
Dancing with the stars. Wow! What a Wonderful Weekend!This was our second time and seems even better. The organisation is brilliant. The professional dancers are amazing and make the workshops a joy.This is an experience not to be missed.
09:45 07 May 17
Was bought this experience for Christmas and I can honestly say this has got too of been the best present EVER!!I was absolutely blown away by the whole weekend, the lessons, the staff and the professional dancers.The strictly dancers are just wonderful and put on an absolutely fantastic show.As a non dancer I was given time and help with the lessons and each teacher was lovely, I can't fault anything.The location was lovely and the Hotel was an extremely nice place to stay, the room was lovely and modern.I had a wonderful time and will be returning in 2018.Well done and thank you for an experience I will never forget and may quite possibly become a repeat returner!!!
19:52 04 May 17
How old is Shirley?
60 years old (born 6th September 1960)
Where is Shirley from?
Is Shirley single?
Shirley was married to professional dancer Sammy Stopford from 1980 – 1984. Then Shirley married Professional Dancer Corky Ballas 1985 – 2007 with whom they had son Mark Ballas.
Currently Shirley is in a relationship with actor Danny Taylor who she met while they were both appearing in pantomime in Liverpool
When did Shirley start dancing?
At the age of 7
What are Shirley’s greatest dance achievements?
Winning nearly every major title she competed in worldwide by the age of 21. Winning the British National Champion title multiple times; winning the United States Latin American Championship 10 times; winning the ‘British Open to the World’ Latin American Championships three times
Does Shirley still dance professionally?
Apart from the occasional performance on Strictly, Shirley retired from professional dancing in 1996
What was Shirley doing before joining Strictly?
Coaching other professional dancers and judging Ballroom and Latin American Championships around the world. As well as working with dancers on the US version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars.
Who were Shirley’s professional partners during her dancing career?
Nigel Tiffany, Sammy Stopford & Corky Ballas
What is Shirley’s son’s profession?
Mark Ballas is a professional dancer on the US version of Strictly Come Dancing. Mark has partnered celebrities for the past 20 years.
When did Shirley join Strictly?
Shirley arrived for the 2017 series taking on the role of Head Judge after Len Goodman stood down
Did Shirley know Len Goodman?
Yes, Len judged Shirley in an early competition when she was nine and as a teenager Len trained her.
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