Typically most people will grow up, live their lives, and pass away without ever having stepped a foot on a ballroom dance floor, but for others, their lives revolve around, and are mainly spent on the dance floor. Thanks to shows like Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, ballroom dancing has come back into the public limelight and mainstream media. So for all of the dancers who have paved the way and made it popular for celebrities to strut their stuff on the dance floor, where are those ballroom pioneers now?
Donnie Burns – South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Donnie Burns was born in 1959. He is a world renowned ballroom dancer who holds a Guinness World Record for his skills. Burns went entirely undefeated in any kind of dance competition for almost twenty years! Currently, Donnie Burns is married to Heidi Groskreutz, a swing and International Latin dancer. He is the World Dance Council President and Chairman. Burns is also a professional dance coach and his fans lovingly call him ballroom dancing’s “Michael Jordan.”
Edyta Sliwinska – Warsaw, Poland
Many people now know Edyta Sliwinska from her ten seasons on the television show Dancing With The Stars, and looking stunning in her stunning Latin dance dresses, but she has achieved much more than just her reality television dancing title. Starting dance at the age of eleven by taking her first dance class, Sliwinska has won awards for her professional ballroom dancing including the International Grand Ball in 2001,the Holiday Ball also in 2001,and she is the Emerald Ball Latin Amateur Champion. Most recently, Edyta Sliwinska is using a different set of skills that include changing dirty diapers, and playing peek-a-boo with her son, Michael Alexander Mazo.
Brendan Cole – Christchurch, New Zealand
Brendan Cole was born in 1976 and grew up to become a ballroom dancer who specializes in Latin American dance. With dreams of becoming the world champion, Cole has dedicated his life to ballroom dance. In 2010 he debuted his theater tour called Live and Unjudged in which he wrote, staged, and directed by himself. He has been on all eleven seasons of the BBC hit Strictly Come Dancing. In his personal life, Brendan Cole has married his sweetheart, Zoe, and welcomed his daughter, Aurelia, on Christmas Day in 2012. In his recent career profile, Cole has established The Brendan Cole Dance Academy with the goal being to encourage children to be active through dance.
Whether they are on the public radar, or just hanging out at home with their families, one thing is certain; these ballroom dancers have wowed the world with their skills and expertise, and they don’t seem to be losing any steam.