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.