Ben Taylor & Stefanie Bossen

Ben Taylor & Stefanie Bossen - International Dance Shoes

COUPLE: BEN TAYLOR & STEFANIE BOSSEN

PROFILE

DANCE: Amateur Ballroom | PARTNERS SINCE: April 2008 | REPRESENT: England | PLACES OF BIRTH: Ben: Colchester, England | Stefanie: Woodlands, California, USA | BASED: North Essex, UK.

ACHIEVEMENTS: We are runners up in the UK Closed and British National Amateur Ballroom Championships, Semi-Finalists in the International, British Open, UK Open, World & European Championships. 2x Winners of the DPA/BDF National League, 2x World Cup Champions (Zurich, Switzerland & Taipei, Taiwan). European Cup Champions, Winners of Asian Tout Korean Open, Universal and Imperial Champions.

CHOSEN SHOES: Ben: 'Contra Pro' | Stefanie: 'ICS RoundToe' (Click the shoe names to view)

DANCE TALK

FAVOURITE DANCE: Ben: Foxtrot | Stefanie: Foxtrot.

FAVOURITE COMPETITION/VENUE: Ben: Royal Albert Hall, London | Stefanie: Royal Albert Hall, London.

BEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER: We have shared some really special moments but we have selected two in particular. The first is when we were recalled to the Rising Star final at the UK Open. We had not been together long and walking down the steps on the stage was a very proud moment. Also, our first semi-final was at the International Championships and we both agree it is probably the most stand-out moment. We both had our families there and we were announced as the only couple from England in that round - the cheer from the home crowd in the Royal Albert Hall is something we will never forget!.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A COMPETITION: Through experience and trial and error we have found the following system to work best for us: Firstly, we plan any major technical developments to be done well before the competition so we have had time to practice in these changes. We also make sure that we do several competitions before the actual major event. It is something that definitely works for us as there is no better way of preparing than being in a competition situation. Closer to the event we add more final simulations, make sure we are drinking a ton of water as well as being healthy with the eating. Regular practice and gym work is something we do all year round but before the major it is intensified, with stamina as the main priority. We then remind ourselves to relax and enjoy the competition :)

HOW TO RELAX AFTER A COMPETITION: We both like to spend time with our families - this involves a trip to Denmark to visit Stefanie's. We also like cinema dates or just feel like its ok to do absolutely nothing for a day or two.

MOST RESPECTED OPPONENT COUPLE: The Amateur Ballroom field both nationally and internationally is quite strong, so we feel there are quite a few couples that are "opponents" and strong rivals. To pick one opponent couple out, we would have to select the current National Champions Kyle Taylor and Izabela Skierska who are the one domestic couple above us at the moment. We respect them both very much and Kyle over the years has been hard to beat! The challenge has definitely made us improve though and we are sure that being similar ages this is not going to change anytime soon!.

ADVICE FOR ANY YOUNG DANCER READING THIS: Listen to your teachers, give 100% and focus on yourself. It is important to remember your partner is your best friend and team mate - communicate well and improve together. Enjoy your dancing and stay positive.

DANCE WORLD ICON/INSPIRATION: Both: We are definitely inspired by our teachers. Learning from them through their knowledge and experience is something we really enjoy and value. | Ben: My first ever dance video as a Juvenile medalist was that of the 1993 World Professional Latin Championships. During this event held in Blackpool, there was a Duel of the giants between John Wood & Anne Lewis (Gleave) and Marcus and Karen Hilton. I watched this video so many times and both couples are definitely icons and an inspiration for me throughout the years, as well as for both of us today..

SHOE TALK

WHY CHOOSE INTERNATIONAL DANCE SHOES?: We are both extremely grateful to be sponsored by International Dance Shoes for many years. The International Dance Shoes team values are so great; they are always asking dancers how they can improve the shoes. Ben currently wears the Contra Pro which is a development on the Contra - the shoes just get better and better. Finally, for our recent UK Closed Championships, they even made a custom pair of Aqua shoes to match Stefanie's dress material with Aqua coloured soles. How amazing is that! (Click here to view them).

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURES OF A DANCE SHOE?: Flexibility, comfort and support as well as looking great. We have all these features with International Dance Shoes.

YOU'VE VISITED OUR FACTORY BEFORE, WHAT DID YOU THINK?: We have visited the factory several times now and we have always left with quite a few impressions. Firstly, it is amazing to see the process in the making of the shoes. International Dance Shoes are unique as they are the only company to make all parts of the shoe on the premises. Also, there is a real happy spirit among everyone working in the factory. The attention to detail in the shoe making process is terrific and we always enjoy a chat in the office!

AWAY FROM DANCE

FAVOURITE SPORT AWAY FROM DANCE: Ben: Football | Stefanie: Not really a sport, but 'Step Class' in the gym

FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Ben: All my favourites are in Europe - Denmark 1st! | Stefanie: Denmark

FAVOURITE FILM: Ben: Too many to mention, just give me guns, action and fighting! | Stefanie: Any Disney movie :)

FAVOURITE MUSIC ACT/ARTIST: Ben: Frank SinatraStefanie: Burhan G (Danish artist)

INTERESTING FACT: Ben: That I was allowed by Royal Holloway University of London to sit my final exam with an independant invigilator up in Blackpool the morning of my Under 21 Ballroom Championship that I danced later that day! | Stefanie: As you probably noticed with the town of my birth - I am born in America, raised in Denmark and now living in England.

TEACHING, LESSONS & BOOKINGS

We offer workshops, group classes, private lessons and demonstrations. For further information, contact us at benandstefanie@hotmail.com

GET FOLLOWING

fb-100px.png Ben Taylor Facebook Page

fb-100px.png Stefanie Bossen Facebook Page

twi-100px.png Ben Taylor on Twitter (@benandstefanie)

twi-100px.png Stefanie Bossen on Twitter (@stefaniebossen) 

Photography Credits:

Main Sponsors Page - Unknown Source (Click here)

Header Image - Rob Ronda Photography (Click here)