DANCE: Professional Latin | PARTNERS SINCE: October 2011 | REPRESENT: England | PLACES OF BIRTH: Ben: Sandwell, England | Amy: Caerphilly, Wales | BASED: Wolverhampton, UK.
ACHIEVEMENTS: Amy becoming a Professional on the 2017 season of BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing', Amateur Latin Champions at the 2016 British Nationals, Vice Champions at the British Nationals Amateur Latin 2015, 2015 World Semi-Finalists in Amateur Latin (Paris), British National Finalists 2013 & 2014, 4th Place at the UK Closed Championships 2015, British Open Amateur Rising Star Semi-Finalists, Welsh Open Champions, IDTA Midland Champions 2013, British Dance Star Champions 2014, English Closed Champions 2014, Ben appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in Mexico where he got to week 6. Ben cried at all of the above achievements.
FAVOURITE DANCE: Ben: Jive, or Paso.. or Rumba, depends on the day! | Amy: Rumba.
FAVOURITE COMPETITION/VENUE: Ben: Blackpool | Amy: Blackpool.
BEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER: We have two very special moments in our career so far. The first one being making our first British National Final in 2013. This was an incredible feeling making our first break through (Ben cried all night). The second was making the Semi-Final at the Britsh Open Rising Star Semi-Final in May 2014. To get to the top 12 out of nearly 400 couples from all around the world felt amazing! We has such an adrenaline rush when we ran onto the amazing Winter Gardens dance floor!
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A COMPETITION: We plan our weeks building up to big competitions, ensuring that we have a suitable plan which works well around our work. We need a right balance of the right type of practice, gym, and we try to get some rest too - though this doesn't normally happen. We like doing finals practice and going to public practices with other competitors. We always ensure our outfits are ready weeks in advance, so there is less pressure in the final weeks leading up to majors.
HOW TO RELAX AFTER A COMPETITION: Amy likes to go home to Wales for a few nights and spend time with her family. As we lead such busy lives, Amy doesn't get much time with her family, so always after big competitions Amy's itching to get back, update them on the competition and enjoy some family home comforts. Ben takes advantage of Amy being at home and spends the day on the PlayStation, relaxing and watching movies (things Amy doesn't normally allow).
MOST RESPECTED OPPONENT COUPLE: Petar Daskalov & Zia James, we really like their style and their work ethic.
ADVICE FOR ANY YOUNG DANCER READING THIS: Dancing isn't a smooth journey, with many ups and downs. It's the moments where you achieve your dreams or give a great memorable performance that creates the adrenaline that rushes through your whole body, tears of excitement and memories to keep for a lifetime that make it all worth while.
DANCE WORLD ICON/INSPIRATION: Ben: Richard Porter, Donnie Burns, Slavik, Gunnar Gunnarsson & Neil Jones. | Amy: Gaynor Fairweather, Andra Vaidilaite, Anna Melnikova, Marika Doshoris & Katya Jones.
WHY CHOOSE INTERNATIONAL DANCE SHOES?: International Dance Shoes are the best shoes in the business. Not only do they create the best shoes but they are also a wonderful company to work with. All the staff are so friendly and helpful. We have got to know International Dance Shoes really well over the last few years and everyone has been greatly supportive both during and outside of competitions. I like how they are always asking the dancers for feedback and always developing new styles and ideas but with the dancers opinions in mind. This is a company that really cares about each and every dancer! Most recently they have developed the new XG Sole which we were both testing with them from the early stages of development. They're amazing! So innovative and creative and their team are so close to us dancers it feels great to know they're always looking for the next improvement to help us dance even better! (Click here to read about our new XG Sole).
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURES OF A DANCE SHOE?: Ben: My shoes are super comfortable and always last through months of training and competitions. The new XG Sole has helped with my dancing as it offers better grip for better performance. Amy: How they look. International Dance Shoes are always up to date on the latest fashion within the dance world and outside. Every shoe looks stylish and beautiful and the new XG Sole is amazing enhancement. I don't think there are any other shoes out there that come close to the quality.
YOU'VE VISITED OUR FACTORY BEFORE, WHAT DID YOU THINK?: Loved visiting and having a tour of the factory. It's amazing how much work and detail is put into the shoes, making each of them look and feel personally made. Everyone was so kind and we got to see the whole process of how both male and female shoes are made. They make all shoes there, from competition shoes for us to social dance shoes for the social dancer - it's an incredible place!
FAVOURITE SPORT AWAY FROM DANCE: Ben: Football | Amy: Swimming
FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Ben: I like cruises as you get to see lots of places | Amy: Los Angeles
FAVOURITE FILM: Ben: That's hard to answer but I loved the most recent Batman film | Amy: Dirty Dancing
FAVOURITE MUSIC ACT/ARTIST: Ben: Michael Jackson | Amy: Ed Sheeran
INTERESTING FACT: Ben: I started dancing at the age of 15 because I fancied a girl in my class that my sister went to. The girl at the time was about 30 so she didn't want to go on a date with me, lol. I was also my high school arm-wrestling champion. | Amy: I am scared of all animals. Anything furry I am petrified of. Except from gold fish and spiders.
Ben & Amy are based in the West Midlands and are available for shows, lectures and teaching. They are also involved with Juvenile and Junior Latin formation teams as well as teaching Zumba. In Summer 2017 they opened their own dance school, 'Art in Motion Dance Academy'. Click here to head to the Art in Motion website, click here for their Facebook page, and click here for their Instagram page. The email address to use to contact Art in Motion is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Main Sponsors Page - Jane Phillips Bullock (Click here)
Header Image - Rob Porter Photography (Click here)