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Keep dancing: Top Norfolk amateur dancer Luke Miller wins gold at international contest

PUBLISHED: 16:22 21 August 2017

Amateur Latin dancer Luke Miller with his competition partner Ellie Beacock after winning the 2017 Blackpool China Amateur Latin Rising Star Championship. Picture: SENT IN BY LYNN MILLER

Amateur Latin dancer Luke Miller with his competition partner Ellie Beacock after winning the 2017 Blackpool China Amateur Latin Rising Star Championship. Picture: SENT IN BY LYNN MILLER

SENT IN BY LYNN MILLER

He has been dancing since he learnt to walk as a toddler.

Luke Miller with his dance partner Ellie Beacock. Picture: SENT IN BY LYNN MILLERLuke Miller with his dance partner Ellie Beacock. Picture: SENT IN BY LYNN MILLER

And now a budding Strictly Come Dancing professional has come out on top in a prestigious Chinese international competition.

Luke Miller, 21, who grew up in New Costessey but now lives in The Maltings in Dereham, beat off 149 other couples to become the Blackpool China Amateur Latin Rising Star Champion.

He won the title in Shanghai on Sunday, August 20 with his 17-year-old dance partner, Ellie Beacock, from Redditch in Worcestershire.

His mother and former amateur dancer, Lynn Miller, 49, who runs Norwich’s Miller Dance Studios with her husband Richard, said: “It is fabulous he has won. It has been a dream of his to win at Blackpool.”

Luke Miller teaching at the Miller Dance Studios. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLuke Miller teaching at the Miller Dance Studios. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Despite not being in the Lancashire seaside resort, the Shanghai sports centre where the prestigious competition was held was transformed to look like Blackpool’s famous Empress Ballroom.

Mr Miller and Miss Beacock had to perform four separate dances - cha-cha-cha, samba, pasodoble and rumba, in four different heats against top amateur dancers from around the world.

“This is the biggest competition Luke and Ellie have won together so far,” said Mrs Miller.

She added: “Luke loves competing. He loves moving to music and interpreting the music in his own way. He would love to take part in Strictly Come Dancing as a professional.”

Luke Miller, pictured in 2004, at the East Anglian Dance Titles at the Atlantis Ballroom in Great Yarmouth. His partner is Deanna Cox. Picture: ANGELA SHARPELuke Miller, pictured in 2004, at the East Anglian Dance Titles at the Atlantis Ballroom in Great Yarmouth. His partner is Deanna Cox. Picture: ANGELA SHARPE

The 49-year-old, who met her husband at The Towers dance school in Gorleston when she was 15, said their son was always “tagging along” when they taught ballroom and Latin classes but they never pushed him into it.

She added: “He would jump up and down an pretend to dance. He was around six-years-old when he said he wanted to do his first competition.”

Since then he has taken part in dozens of amateur competitions around Britain, Europe and America and won various titles.

He used to compete in ballroom and Latin and but three years ago focused on Latin, with his favourite dance being the jive.

The 21-year-old teamed up with Miss Beacock in September 2016 after many years with Russian dancer Vera Alkevich.

As well as many hours of training, Mr Miller teaches at his parents’ dance school.

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 celebrity line-up

A comedian, popstar, clergyman, actor and presenter will be putting on their sequins and best moves for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Now in its 15th season, the popular BBC One show sees 15 celebrities tackle Latin and ballroom with professionals.

The 2017 series starts on Friday, September 23 and the judging panel includes choreographer Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel-Horwood, ballerina Darcey Bussel and champion ballroom dancer Shirley Ballas.

Celebrities confirmed to take part so far are Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins; 1980s popstar Rev Richard Coles; The Saturdays singer Mollie King; Emmerdale actor Gemma Atkinson; ITV presenter Ruth Langsford; EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami; panto-man Brian Conley; Holby City actor Joe McFadden; former JLS band member Aston Merrygold; Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer; and comedian Susan Calman.

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