Strictly's Shirley Ballas takes midweek break from the show for special reason

The head judge clearly still loves the non-TV dance world!

Having come on board in 2017, Strictly judge Shirley Ballas is committed to the BBC show, which started its run of live shows at the weekend. But she's also still involved in the dancing community outside of the television studios, as she proved on Instagram on Wednesday. The dance teacher and adjudicator shared a short video snippet from an event where dancers compete to be selected for the International Championships at the Royal Albert Hall in October.

Shirley replaced Len Goodman on the Strictly judging panel 

She panned her phone's camera around a room where some people were talking in small groups and several pairs of dancers could be seen showing off elegant ballroom routines. While Shirley didn't appear on camera, she did explain the scene in front of her, saying: "Welcome to the run up to the International Championships. Now everybody in full flight, dancing their beautiful superb foxtrots, teachers in gear. Everyone starting to come in from the different countries, amazing." She captioned the photo: "Countdown to the Royal Albert Hall International Championships. Working hard to achieve their dreams."

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Shirley is an experienced competitor herself 

The prestigious competition is now in its 65th year and pits the best professional and amateur ballroom dancers from around the world against each other. It will take place this year on 10 October. Shirley is no stranger to competition. As well as heading up the Strictly judging panel, she won Professional Latin at Blackpool Dance Festival in 1995 and 1996, alongside her ex-husband Corky Ballas. She then worked as a judge and coach before appearing as a consultant on the American version of Strictly, Dancing With The Stars.

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A long-time resident of Los Angeles, the 59-year-old relocated to London to work on the BBC show, and recently told HELLO! that she's glad to be back in her home country so she can spend more time with her mum as well as with her new boyfriend, actor and producer Danny Taylor. "I just love that man. I just want to sit there all day and stare at him. He is The One. We have a lot in common and we laugh all the time," she gushed.

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