Shirley Ballas has shared an inspiring message on social media alongside a behind-the-scenes photo taken before Strictly's Blackpool show.
In a post on Instagram, Ballas recalled how strength, confidence and self-belief helped her to become a dance champion. She also used the post to encourage other women to "never doubt" themselves, with a fitting quote from American comedian Amy Poehler.
Ballas wrote in the caption: "Reminding myself how important it is to be a strong woman. We took this photo in Blackpool while getting ready for @bbcstrictly and it got me thinking of all the years I danced at the tower. Battling to earn my place as a dancer. To all the ladies out there be confident, believe, love yourself and never doubt your abilities.
'If you can dance and be free and not be embarrassed, you can rule the world'. - Amy Poehler.
"Never let anyone tell you that you can’t. You never know where life can take you. Xxx #strong #women #powerful".
Strictly's head judge revealed that the photo was taken while she was preparing for the recent Blackpool edition of the show. Wearing a pink shirt and hairnet, she can be seen raising her arm, re-enacting the Rosie the Riveter pose from the famous World War Two poster seen in the second image. The poster is widely seen as a symbol of strength, motivation and women's empowerment.
The post comes after Ballas shared a heartfelt post congratulating her son, Mark Ballas, and his celebrity partner Charli D'Amelio, who were recently crowned the 2022 winners of Dancing with the Stars. The proud mum admitted to staying "up all night" to watch the finale and cried "tears of joy" when the couple won.
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