Emma Louise Slater is a British professional dancer, choreographer and TV personality, known for her appearances on the American version of the dance reality show, ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Born and raised in Staffordshire, England, she was keen on dancing from a young age and started learning ballet at the age of 4, and participated in Latin American and Ballroom dance competitions from 10. During her teen years she appeared in George Michael’s music video, ‘Round Here.’ Soon after that, she began performing in such stage shows as ‘Simply Ballroom,’ ‘Burn the Floor,’ among others and travelled around many places with these shows. Slater has also won dance competition titles, such as ‘British Under-21 Latin American Championship’ and was ranked in the world’s ‘Top 20’ for under-21 Latin American dancing. Slater performed in the ‘Universal Pictures’ movie ‘Mamma Mia!’ where she worked with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. She received invitation to participate in the season 14 of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and joined as a troupe member. Slater, along with her partner Rashad Jennings (NFL star), won the season 24 of the show. She is married to dancer Sasha Farber.
Childhood & Early Life
Emma Slater was born on December 25, 1988, at Tamworth, Staffordshire, England. Her father’s name is Robin Slater. She has a twin sister, Kelly Slater, who works as a stylist and costume designer for the show, ‘Dancing with the Stars.’
Emma enrolled at ‘Novelli Stage School’ at the age of 4 to learn ballet, and began competing in Latin American and Ballroom dancing at the age of 10. At 15, she appeared in a George Michael music video, ‘Round Here.’ The video, produced by ‘Bikini Films,’ was shot at the ‘Rivoli Ballroom,’ London. During the same year she was part of the fitness video, ‘Latinasize,’ which was shot at the ‘Pinewood Studios.’
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Dancing Competitions & Career
At the age of 16, Slater participated in the stage show, ‘Simply Ballroom,’ where she was the ‘Principal Latin Dancer.’ The show toured around UK, UAE and South Africa. During the South African part of the tour, Emma appeared on the ‘Dancing with the South African Stars’ and her celebrity partner was TV host Dalen Lance.
While she was still performing on the show, ‘Simply Ballroom,’ she won the 2005 ‘British Under-21 Latin American Championship’ at Blackpool, and the next year, she won the ‘United Kingdom Under-21 Latin American Championship’ at Bournemouth. She represented England at all the levels of dancing competitions and was ranked in the world’s top 20 for under 21 Latin dancing.
Slater featured in the ‘Universal Pictures’ 2007 movie, ‘Mamma Mia!’ in which she appeared with Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth. She also sang on the movie’s Grammy-winning soundtrack, which was produced by ‘ABBA.’
Later that same year, she appeared in ‘Dirty Dancing’ at the ‘Aldwych Theater’ in West End, London. Along with being the ‘Principal Latin Dancer/Ballroom Supervisor,’ Slater also understudied and played the important character of ‘Lisa Houseman.’ Her other theater shows were, ‘Cheek to Cheek’ at ‘The Coliseum’ and ‘Latin Fever’ at the ‘Peacock Theater.’
In 2009, Slater appeared in another stage show, ‘Burn the Floor.’ The show was granted extended run at the ‘Longacre Theater’ on the ‘Broadway,’ New York City, and with this show she toured various places, including, Belgium, Holland, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, New Zealand and a nine month multi-city tour of the USA.
Slater was invited to be a part of season 14 of the American version of the dance reality show, ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ in 2012. Joining the show as a troupe member, she danced and choreographed all the opening dance numbers, and also the finale. In the summer of 2012, she choreographed Usher at the ‘2012 Billboard American Music Awards’ at the ‘MGM Grand’ in Las Vegas.
In September 2013, Slater progressed from being a troupe member to a professional dancer for the 17th season of the ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Her celebrity partner for that season was comedian, singer and actor Bill Engvall, with whom she reached the final round and achieved the 4th place.
Her other celebrity partners from season 18 to 21 were film actor Billy Dee Williams, racing pro and NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip, singer Redfoo and ‘Vine’ star Hayes Grier. She did not take part in the season 22 of the show. In season 23 she was partnered with US Presidential candidate Rick Perry. Slater and her partner Rashad Jennings won the 24th season on May 23, 2017. For the next three seasons, she partnered with realtor-actor Drew Scott, baseball player Johnny Damon, and country musician John Schneider.
Slater was a part of a highly successful ‘Dancing with the Stars Live Tour Show’ during 2014-2015. The show was hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro and was staged at 39 venues across the USA.
She is the first professional to conduct a live fitness class on ‘All Access DWTS,’ and has hosted ‘Dancing with the Stars All Access Live’ along with Gethin Jones.
Slater dated Australian professional dancer Sasha Farber from 2011 to 2014. They were said to have separated in 2014, but in 2015 Farber disclosed on social media that they were back together. He proposed Slater on October 4, 2016, during an episode of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ The two got engaged in 2017 and were married on March 25th, 2018.