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Darren & Lilia

As Strictly Come Dancing’s most successful couple, Darren & Lilia need little introduction.

Sheffield born Darren Bennett was always destined to dance, born into a dancing family with his parents Tony and Judith Bennett both being former dance champions.

Together with his twin brother Dale, Darren started dancing at the young age of 6. As a young competitive dancer Darren’s dance success began early. He represented Great Britain at World and European Championships, quickly rising through the ranks of the International Championships.

Lilia Kopylova was born in Moscow, Russia and started dancing at the age of 4 as an ice skater before quickly moving on to Ballroom and Latin American dancing, which was her true passion. At the age of 9, Lilia became Russian junior and youth champion, as well as winning many International championships.

Darren and Lilia are the most successful competitor couple of their generation, winning 4 British amateur championships, 3 UK championships and representing Great Britain at the World and European Championships. Turning professional in 2003, they won the British National Professional Championship two years running and made the final of the World and European Championships.

They joined the cast of Strictly Come Dancing in 2004 and won the show in consecutive years. At his first attempt Darren, dancing with Jill Halfpenny from Eastenders, won the show and then went on to win the Champion of Champions dance off. In 2005, Lilia waltzed off with the title while partnering cricketing star Darren Gough, after which they also went on to win the International Christmas special.

Today, they are still regarded as one of Britain’s finest Latin American dance couples    

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Saturday 16th March
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