Chepstow dance champion to judge Siberian dance comp

5:40pm Friday 29th November 2013

WHILE most of us are toasting ourselves in front of the Christmas fire, a 1980s Chepstow dance champion will be visiting two places with a temperature difference of about 35 degrees.

That’s because Rob Barley has been given a coveted slot of judging the European professional ballroom championships in chilly Siberia.

Undefeated for 13 years in ballroom and Latin American dancing, Mr Barley has given up the dancefloor to teach at the Silhouette dance club.

Unluckily for him, the judging call came after he had already booked a festive break to Lanzarote, which has a December average temperature of 20 degrees.

With amended flights, he is looking forward to the competition despite having to adjust to a high of -35 degrees.

“I will be layering up big time,” he said.

“I am sure I will be taking a couple of pairs of gloves.

“But to be honest, I can’t wait.

“It’s very flattering to be chosen as Britain’s only judge, giving marks to the best professional dancers from all over the world.”

Mr Barley teaches several hundred people aged four to 70 plus at his Upper Nelson Street studio.

After giving up dancing after 20 years, he took exams to be an adjudicator at international competitions and has a licence too from the British Dance Council.

He has judged five world championships and Europeans, but he said this trip to Tobolsk will be the most exciting yet.

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