- Stefanie Taylor
Our retirement letter
Dear dancing friends,
It was April 2008 that we embarked on our dancing journey together. Little did we know, that our first practice together was a day that changed the trajectory of our lives both on and off the dance floor.
We started dancing together as youth, soon moved into the amateur category and eventually the professionals – as one of the few couples in the world of dancing staying together through those major transitions. 14 years on, we feel it is time to announce our next step in our dance career by retiring from competing.
We both started dancing at a young age, and were inspired by the music, previous champions and performances of the past, and simply the joy of dancing. We have been truly blessed to be inspired and guided by our fantastic teachers, and we are forever grateful to you. We look forward to keeping a close relationship even after we end our journey on the competitive dance floor.
We have both loved being competitors, and the competitions lead us to events all over the world. From several countries in Asia including the world famous Budokan in Tokyo, to USA, all over Europe and of course every corner of the UK. We have travelled countless times to the mecca of Blackpool and of course, to our personal favourite, the fabulous Royal Albert Hall in the heart of London. We still remember the feeling of hearing our number recalled for the first time from the qualification rounds to the Royal Albert Hall. Looking back, we have now performed at the Royal Albert Hall no less than 11 times at the International Championship – something we only dreamt about when we started dancing. We have been very lucky to freely travel so much and perform at as such iconic venues for both competitions and demonstrations.
In the 14 years we have competed together, we have collected so many wonderful memories with some of our best results being world amateur finalists, semi finalists in all major championships as amateurs, twice ranked number 1 in the UK, and several times vice-champions at the British National Amateur Championships. As professionals, we are rising stars finalists, world quarter finalists, and British National finalists.
We would like to thank everyone who has supported us on our competitive journey from audience to fellow competitors, our lovely students and in particular our team of sponsors, both past and present. We have been very lucky to work with the best in the industry, and we have proudly been representing you on the dance floor.
The biggest thanks, however, must go to our families and especially our parents. You have unconditionally supported our dancing, allowed us to dream big and encouraged our career in what was an unknown world of ballroom dancing. For this we will always be truly grateful.
It is with excitement and enthusiasm; we enter the next chapter of our dance career.
Ben & Stefanie Taylor