Former British Champion Paula Graves grew up in her mum's dance school spending all her time surrounded by people who love to dance so it was no surprise that she too wanted to teach people to dance.
It was the film Saturday Night Fever that (although too young to watch it!) bought out her desire to dance to the music. She used to teach all the latest moves during the popular discos at the Stardust Ballroom.
At the age of 14 she was in the first formation team and competed on the BBC’s Come Dancing, a program that she continued to dance in every year with her dance partner, first in the Standard and then in the Latin American sections.
On leaving school at 16 she moved to London where she began her successful career with partner Richard Porter. Together they worked their way up the competitive ranks and at the age of 20 became Open British Ballroom Youth Champions and went on the win the British Latin American Championship. They represented England as part of the British team and travelled all over the World competing and winning many titles.
Paula turned professional with the IDTA in 1990 and her love of teaching and travelling sent her to work with P&O Cruises. It was here that she developed her skill of making dancing fun and many passengers would only travel when they knew that Paula and her partner would be on board. Paula spent four years working with the Stadium Theatre Company in many West End shows that were performed on board.
Today Paula still loves to dance and with her American dance partner Bob Bahrs she travels between the UK and America taking dance lessons and competiting and is still winning World and European titles. After many years of dancing with him Paula married Bob in November 2014 so he clearly passed his audition!
Paula took on the reins of the Stardust Dance Centre from her mum in 2006 and it is because of her highly successful competitive career, her knowledge of dance and love of making dance enjoyable and fun to all ages that she has brought the Stardust Dance Centre into the 21st century.