All posts tagged: Ballroom

Strictly’s Katya Jones reveals unexpected home life away from the ballroom – exclusive

Strictly’s Katya Jones reveals unexpected home life away from the ballroom – exclusive

On screen, Katya Jones is one of Strictly Come Dancing’s most-loved ballroom professionals, having joined the BBC show in 2016 and taking the winning Glitterball with Joe McFadden just one year later.  Away from the cameras, however, the Russian dancer lives a much slower life, having sworn off buying fast fashion in 2019 and keeping up her earth-conscious practices ever since.  “I started discovering the effects the fashion industry has on the environment and climate change, and I just couldn’t believe what I was learning,” the self-professed Environmental Activist revealed.  © Guy LevyKatya Jones dazzled audiences with Nigel Harman in the previous season of Strictly It’s not just fashion that has changed in Katya’s life, however. The professional dancer’s pledge to the planet extends to her home, too, with Katya sourcing antiques, pre-loved furniture and upcycled pieces to decorate her stunning London property.  In an exclusive interview with HELLO!, Katya momentarily hangs up her ballroom shoes to reveal exactly how she’s perfected living sustainably, how she sources pre-loved furniture, and what really goes on with …

Ballroom dancing enhances emotional connection, study reveals

Ballroom dancing enhances emotional connection, study reveals

The journal Human Brain Mapping published a study showing that researchers have discovered a fascinating link between ballroom dance training and increased empathy. The study found that expert ballroom dancers showed higher empathic concern compared to those with no dance experience. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another — and is a concept that has long intrigued scientists. Previous research has highlighted how certain activities, like sports or arts, can enhance cognitive and emotional skills. However, dance, especially ballroom dancing, presents a unique blend of physical coordination and emotional connection that serves as relatively uncharted territory for researchers. The goal of the present study was to explore how such a sophisticated form of interaction might influence empathic abilities. Researchers were particularly interested in whether the long-term practice of ballroom dancing, which requires closely understanding and responding to a partner’s movements and emotions, could lead to heightened empathy. The team behind this study aimed to understand the relationship between physical activities involving close partnership and emotional intelligence. They theorized that the …

Challenging traditional gender roles in Latin ballroom dance

Challenging traditional gender roles in Latin ballroom dance

Los Angeles-based dancer Bex Nitti never felt comfortable with the rules of Latin dance. The traditional set-up for partner work in Latin competitions, festivals and classes requires one male “lead” and a female “follow.” The lead sets up the moves in the couple’s choreography while guiding the follow through turns and complicated moves. But Nitti, like many other performers, wanted room for more expansive roles. Across the U.S., dancers are making the Latin dance genre more inclusive, creating spaces and increasing visibility for same-gender dance couples and nonbinary performers. Nitti founded Queerchata, a Latin dance team, in 2020 while living in Seattle. The next year, they moved to Los Angeles, setting up a boom box at a park and inviting folks to join for classes. Now, Queerchata hosts recurring dance socials at Precinct DTLA designed to allow queer dancers to express themselves in a welcoming environment. “If I was dancing in a heteronormative space and I wanted to be seen as a trans-masc person, I had to lead,” said Nitti. “And leading had to look …