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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’!

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

Watch the Anthony Hurley live stream interview in mid 2020

Anthony Hurley

Ballroom dancing legend, 4 x British Open (Blackpool) Professional Champion and 2 x World Professional Champion.

Watch the Valerio Colantoni & Monica Nigro live stream interview in mid 2020

Valerio Colantoni & Monica Nigro

Italian Professional Ballroom Champions and finalists in every major Professional Ballroom Championship.

Watch the Mirko Gozzoli and Colin James live stream interview in mid 2020

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.

Watch the Hanson Yang & Carolina Tan live stream interview in mid 2020

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.

Watch the Richard Gleave (OBE) & Anne Gleave live stream interview in mid 2020

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.

Watch the Maksym Bulanyi live stream interview in mid 2020

Maksym Bulanyi

Former Ukrainian Professional Ballroom Champion and founder of one the world’s leading clubs, Team Maxim.

Watch the Sascha Karabey live stream interview in mid 2020

Sascha Karabey

Former multiple German Professional and Amateur Ballroom Champion, finalist in all major Professional and Amateur Ballroom Championships.

Watch the Anthony Hurley live stream interview in mid 2020

Stas Portanenko & Nataliya Kolyada

Ukrainian Professional Ballroom Champions and finalists in all major Professional Ballroom Championships.

Watch the Maksym Bulanyi live stream interview in mid 2020

Katusha Spasitel

Former Ukrainian Professional Ballroom Champion and founders of one the world’s leading club, Team Maxim.

Watch the Domen Krapez & Natascha Karabey live stream interview in mid 2020

Domen Krapez & Natascha Karabey

WDC World Professional Showdance Champions, German Professional Ballroom Champions, finalists of all major Professional Ballroom Championships.

Watch the Eric Li Cheng & Liis End live stream interview in mid 2020

Eric Li Cheng & Liis End

Chinese Amateur Ballroom Champions and finalists of all major Amateur Ballroom Championships.

Watch the Emanuel Valeri & Tania Kehlet live stream interview in mid 2020

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.

Ashley Frohlick

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.