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Shirley Ballas: Men see me as a threat because I’m a strong woman

The Queen of Latin also said she would love to land a role in Coronation Street.

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Shirley Ballas (David Parry/PA)

Shirley Ballas (David Parry/PA)

Shirley Ballas (David Parry/PA)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has said men see her as a threat because she is a strong woman.

The 60-year-old said the dance world is full of “dog eat dog, backstabbing and adverse bullying”.

She added that she suffered from feelings of “inferiority” and “anxiety” at the start of her career.

But she told That Gaby Roslin Podcast that men do not like the confidence she now exudes.

“I always had anxiety. My industry … was full of bullying,” she said.

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Shirley Ballas and His Dark Materials’ actor Ariyon Bakare on That Gaby Roslin podcast (PA)

Shirley Ballas and His Dark Materials’ actor Ariyon Bakare on That Gaby Roslin podcast (PA)

Shirley Ballas and His Dark Materials’ actor Ariyon Bakare on That Gaby Roslin podcast (PA)

“I learned through my life to have different personas and put on different hats.”

Ballas said she had “grown up with the inferiority of a woman … hang-ups about the shape of my body, my crooked teeth, my moles.

“To get over that when I’m doing my job or striving forward – I have this different persona and I can switch it on in front of a camera…

“What I’ve got to do is learn when to switch it off.”

Strictly’s head judge said that “as a strong woman” in the dance industry “men seem to see that as a threat and there’s a lot of ego involved”.

And she told the podcast: “As I got older I got disliked by some people.

“They didn’t like that you became a strong female who had earned the right to have an opinion.

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“I had earned my stripes in order to give my opinion and I generally find that men don’t like to hear that.”

But the star, who has been married and divorced twice, had praise for her boyfriend, Danny Taylor, saying: “He’s everything in a man that I never had before.

“He likes me the way I am. He doesn’t think of one thing he would change about me.

“He always sees the glass half-full, he’s that kind of person.”

Ballas also told the podcast that she would love to land a role in Coronation Street.

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Strictly Come Dancing judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Strictly Come Dancing judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Strictly Come Dancing judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

“I’d like to be the dance teacher that’s very strict on the Street,” she said of her soap ambitions.

“All these things that go on in my industry, I’d like to bring to Coronation Street … the Strictly curse – it could be the curse of the (cobbles).”

And despite being nicknamed the Queen of Latin, she said she is “forever tripping over”.

Ballas’s instalment of the podcast also features a chat with His Dark Materials star Ariyon Bakare.

– That Gaby Roslin Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all podcast streaming platforms

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