Watch interviews with DanceSport champions on ‘Chat with Matt’
Get ‘close and personal’
Ever wondered what goes through the mind of a champion? What motivates them? What you could learn from them? Want to find out more about the real person behind the elaborate costume?
Sit down with Matt for an informal chat with Ballroom and Latin champions from all over the world.
These interviews were done during the height of the COVID19 pandemic when most of the world was in “lock down” and most people had to “stay home.”
Find out more
Wherever you live around the world, you can find out by being a part of our ‘Chat with Matt’ live stream series.
Read on to find out more on the following:
‘Chat with Matt’ is packed with industry superstars. What are you waiting for? Come ‘Chat with Matt’!
List of special guests
- Andrea Ghigiarelli
- Anne Gleave
- Anthony Hurley
- Ashley Frohlick
- Carolina Tan
- Colin James
- Domen Krapez
- Eric Li Cheng
- Emanuel Valeri
- Hanson Yang
- Katusha Spasitel
- Liis End
- Maksym Bulanyi
- Marcus Hilton MBE
- Michael Williams
- Mirko Gozzoli
- Monica Nigro
- Natalie Hayes
- Nataliya Kolyada
- Natascha Karabey
- Nikita Brovko
- Olga Uramova
- Richard Gleave (OBE)
- Sara Ghigiarelli
- Stas Portanenko
- Sascha Karabey
- Tania Kehlet
- Valerio Colantoni
Get ‘close and personal’ with the world’s Ballroom and Latin champions from ‘Chat with Matt’
Find out what went on in the background
Matt Rooke was excited to present this series where he was sitting down for a casual chat with some of the world’s leading figures in our industry. He talked with Ballroom and Latin champions about the following their dancing, lives and experiences.
Anyone can see the end result of these dancers’ hard work, high quality, heart-stirring, energetic dancing. This is your rare chance to find out what went on in the background to make this happen.
Learn a little about Matt Rooke
Matthew “Matt” Rooke is the 12 x Australian Ballroom Champion representing Australia on multiple occasions at world championships. Since retiring from competing Matt is based in Melbourne, Australia with his lovely wife Karla Gerbes. He is teaching within Australia and Asia as well as adjudicating and running competitions within Australia. He is passionate about education and inspiring his students worldwide and building the next generation of champions.
Matt’s many accolades
Matt’s International accomplishments include:
- Asian Pacific Champion
- WDC World Cup Finalist
- WDC World Championship, British Open (Blackpool), UK Open and International
- Championship Professional Open Ballroom Semi Finalist
- British Open and UK Open Professional Rising Star Ballroom Finalist
Matt was twice the representative for Team Australasia at the Professional Invitation Teams Match at the British Open (Blackpool) Dance Festival.
In 2018, Matt was Team Captain of Team Australasia at the Professional Invitation Teams Match at the British Open (Blackpool) Dance Festival
Why was Matt so passionate?
In mid 2020, we faced a situation never seen before. Ballroom and Latin dancers worldwide were dancing from home supporting social distancing measures.
Made the most of situation
This was everyone’s chance to make the most of the time we didn’t normally have. It was a chance to invest time in other activities that were not dancing but but help us grow as dancers. Matt knew some of his students usually practised several times a week. The champions being interviewed know what it is like to practice for hours and hours every day. So their advice and insight during this time was invaluable.
Learn what others were doing
We found out what the champions being interviewed were missing the most and what they were looking forward when the restrictions would finally be eased. We learnt how to best use this time away from competitions to be the best dancer we could be.
For the love of dancing
With the Chat with Matt special playlistavailable on the Matt and Karla YouTube Channel, you can see how we all were able to come together to learn, enjoy and chat about what we had in common – a love of dancing.
Learn about these Ballroom and Latin champions and see their photo galleries
Valerio Colantoni & Monica Nigro
Italian Professional Ballroom Champions and finalists in every major Professional Ballroom Championship.
Mirko Gozzoli and Colin James
Max is twenty-five time Italian National champion. Colin is former British Open Amateur Latin Champion and finalist in all major Professional Latin Championships. The ‘voice’ of the UK Open and International Championships.
Hanson Yang & Carolina Tan
Former Chinese Professional Ballroom Champion, British Open (Blackpool) Professional Rising Star Ballroom Champion, WDCAL World, UK Open, British Open (Blackpool) Amateur Rising Star, British Open (Blackpool) Under 21 Ballroom Champion and finalist of all major Professional and Amateur Ballroom Championships.
Richard Gleave (OBE) & Anne Gleave
Richard, a Ballroom Dancing Legend, was 8 x World and British Open (Blackpool) Professional Ballroom Champion. Anne was also a World Professional Ballroom Champion and 3 x British Open (Blackpool) Professional Ballroom Champion.
Stas Portanenko & Nataliya Kolyada
Ukrainian Professional Ballroom Champions and finalists in all major Professional Ballroom Championships.
Domen Krapez & Natascha Karabey
WDC World Professional Showdance Champions, German Professional Ballroom Champions, finalists of all major Professional Ballroom Championships.
Emanuel Valeri & Tania Kehlet
Former British Open (Blackpool), International, WDSF World, WDSF European Amateur Ballroom Champions, WDSF PD World Ballroom Champions.
Blackpool Dance Festival Michael Williams & Natalie Hayes
Michael Williams is Managing Director of Blackpool Entertainment Company Limited and Natalie Hayes is Dance Festival Organiser
Blackpool Dance Festival Chairman of Adjudicators Marcus Hilton (MBE)
Marcus Hilton MBE is also President and Chairman of the Board of the British Dance Council.
Musical Director of the Empress Orchestra
Andrea & Sara Ghigiarelli
WDC Worlds, Blackpool, UK Open & International Professional Ballroom Champions and 8 times WDC European Professional Ballroom Champions. WDCAL Worlds, Blackpool UK Open & International Amateur Ballroom Champions
Nikita Brovko & Olga Uramova
Amateur: Blackpool Amateur Open Latin Champions, UK Open Amateur Open Latin Champions, International Amateur Open Latin Champions, European Amateur Open Latin Champions, Russian Amateur Latin Champions. Professional: WDC European Professional Latin Runners-Up, Blackpool, UK Open, International Professional Open Latin Finalists.