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Islington salsa dancers in the running for £250,000 on TV talent show

Leon and Dotty
. Picture: Sky1 / Andrea Southam Leon and Dotty . Picture: Sky1 / Andrea Southam

Friday, March 8, 2013
5:07 PM

They live a short stroll from one the world’s top dance theatres and dream of taking to its hallowed stage.

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Leon and Dotty
. Picture: Sky1 / Andrea SouthamLeon and Dotty . Picture: Sky1 / Andrea Southam

But this weekend salsa duo Leon Rose, 37, and Dotty Ujszaski, 27, will star on an even bigger platform when they perform for a primetime TV audience on talent show Got to Dance.

The pair, who share a flat in Essex Road, Islington, have made it through to the final stages of the Sky 1 extravaganza and will grace our screens on Sunday at 6pm.

Their aim is to showcase their dazzling fusion of salsa and contemporary dance – and for added motivation there is £250,000 up for grabs.

Ms Ujszaski, from Hungary, said: “It’s a great chance to show our different style of contemporary salsa. I’m a contemporary dancer, I came to the salsa world not too long ago and I wanted to mix the two styles. Leon is the perfect partner in that.”

She added: “It’s great living in Islington, with Sadler’s Wells just down the road. It’s a beautiful theatre and I would love to perform there one day.”

The duo have already impressed the celebrity judging panel, which includes Aston Merrygold of JLS.

They were sent through to the finals by the judges in a televised audition taped in December, but Sunday night will see their first live TV performance. They are among 30 acts vying for the grand prize.

Mr Rose, who grew up in Holloway and went to Grafton Primary School in Eburne Road, said: “There’s a mixture of excitement and nerves, and not being able to sleep properly.

“We’re just doing a lot of rehearsals and trying to get the costumes organised. We have both performed all over the world but this is the first time on live TV in the UK.”

Mr Rose has been salsa dancing for 15 years, since he was introduced to the style by his mother.

He is a professional dancer who splits his time between Paris and London, performing and teaching in both cities.

“It’s not about the money, we really just want to put our kind of salsa out there.

“There are a lot of different salsa acts on TV, but they don’t really represent the international, high-level salsa dancers.

“A lot of people just see it as a social dance for middle aged people in church halls, but it’s much more than that,” he said.

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