Shirley Ballas thinking of leaving Strictly: Im unsettled and may return to US

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The 61-year-old admitted she does not feel “settled” in the UK and has lots of ambitions that could see her move back to the US.

As Strictly returns to TV screens tonight, she said: “I don’t think I will ever be “My heart is torn because my son lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife and I know they are going to start a family at some point.

“So do I want to be a part of those children’s lives? Of course I do. “So it is just figuring out, am I here for the of Strictly? Shall I spend some more time there? How do I balance it with everything that’s going on? It is all balance.

Wirral-born Shirley, who lived in Texas with her second husband before they split, said: “I am not one who feels, ‘Oh, this is my armchair and this is how it is going to be for the next 10 years,’ and that is what makes my life exciting. I don’t really know. Will I keep this job next year? Will I move back to America? Will my grandchildren dance? Is my son coming over? It is difficult.”

The 15 celebrities, who include Olympian Adam Peaty, rugby star Ugo Monye, TV presenter Judi Love, BBC Breakfast Dan Walker, will paired with their professional dance partners during the first episode of the series.

On the dancing partnership of two men for the first time, including John Whaite, Shirley said: “A woman will never move like a man and a man will never move like a woman. “Now we are going to have same sex so it is like movement to music. Each person has to be coordinated and they have to bring that coordination skill. It doesn’t matter who you are dancing with. It is coordination.”

Speaking to My Wardrobe Malfunction podcast, Shirley also said she thinks new judge Anton Du Beke “will add so many finer points to the show”.

She said of her own judging style: “I know what it feels like to come down those stairs. I can speak for myself and Motsi.

“I am not someone who is all mouth. I know how they feel, and when things go wrong I will not mark them down. I want to see how you get it going and re-pick it back up. Everyone who walks out in front of 15 million people each week I take off my hat.”

She added: “The fear from the panel comes from the fact that you only have a short time to get your stuff together. My advice to anyone doing the show is don’t worry about the judges. I am there to find the good in what you do and give you tips and little nuggets to improve. I am not there to say, ‘Oh, that was bad.’

“On one of the weeks, not having a run-in with Craig, but I was commenting on someone’s technique and he said, ‘They don’t need to know technique,’ but if you don’t learn it for the first four weeks you will never get to the end.”

  • Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One tonight, 7.45pm

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