Shirley Ballas taught Tom Cruise to dance

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 14 September 2017
Shirley Ballas

Shirley Ballas

Shirley Ballas helped Tom Cruise learn a dance so that he could serenade his then-wife Nicole Kidman

Shirley Ballas taught Tom Cruise how to dance.

The 'Strictly Come Dancing' head judge - who has taken over from Len Goodman on the ballroom and latin show after he stepped down at the end of last year - was hired by the Hollywood hunk, 55, because he wanted to serenade his then-wife Nicole Kidman, whom he was married to from 1990 until 2001, on one of their anniversaries.

Speaking to the Daily Star newspaper, she said: "I taught Tom Cruise to dance. I gave him sales and mambo lessons when he was with Nicole Kidman. He wanted to surprise her for one of their anniversaries. He was good - mind you, I was his teacher! He certainly knew that routine when he walked out of that door."

And with all her experience under her belt, it's no wonder bosses of 'Strictly Come Dancing' snapped her up to front the judging panel on this year's current series.

But, although she'll be sitting behind a desk for most of the time, the 56-year-old choreographer hasn't ruled out the possibility of finding love on the show.

She teased to The Sun newspaper: "Who could be the next 'Strictly Come Dancing' couple to get married? I'm not sure.

"Could it be me? You'll just have to watch this space."

Shirley has been single since she split from her husband Corky Ballas, whom she was married to for almost 20 years, in 2007 after he ran off with Kristina Rihanoff.

Corky, who has grown-up son Mark with Shirley, met the professional dancer - who is now dating rugby hunk Ben Cohen - in 2003 when he became her dance teacher.

They then embarked on a romance and Shirley filed for divorce from Corky in 2007.

But, despite being love rivals, there is no bad blood between the two ladies and Shirley has even had lunch with Kristina in the past to make sure all is forgiven.

She explained recently: "I've had lunch with Kristina. I'm a people person. I love people. It would be absolutely fine if Kristina rejoined 'Strictly Come Dancing' as a professional. I have no issues with anybody being on the show at all."

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