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All The Best - Lilia Kopylova and Darren Bennett

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Strictly Come Dancing pros Lilia Kopylova and Darren Bennett share their favourite venues & events


Lilia and Darren - 1004_Darren_and_Lilia_Headshot.jpgBEST BASH
The first Lord of the Rings premiere was absolutely amazing – such attention to detail! They clearly spent a lot of money recreating sets from the movie. Another event that will always stick with us was The Lady Taverners charity dinner with Bill Clinton. It was a very unique experience; we sat just 10ft away when he spoke and we also got our photograph taken with him.

BEST BUZZ
We absolutely loved the Latin Fever show we did in the West End last year. It was a big production and we did all the choreography ourselves. Seeing people get on their feet to give us standing ovations was absolutely amazing – the best buzz EVER! We can’t wait to take it on tour this summer.

BEST BED
We are very fortunate to be treated so fantastically well on the Strictly Come Dancing LIVE! tour. Wherever we go, we always stay in the best hotels, from the Lowry in Manchester to the Landmark in London. Raffles in Singapore is also a favourite – their bar is a nice place to sit and have a cocktail in the afternoon sun.

BEST VENUE
We once performed at an awards ceremony at the Natural History Museum and they set up the stage right under the head of the dinosaur – that was a surreal experience!

BEST BITES
Our favourite restaurant is Nobu Berkeley – we’ve never had a bad meal there and the service is fantastic. Japanese food is ideal for dancers: light, fresh and not too carb-heavy. As for party food, Lilia likes cupcakes and is rather fond of a chocolate fountain with strawberries. We also eat very well on Strictly Come Dancing. They use an amazing caterer called Eat to the Beat.

Lilia, Darren & Bill Clinton - Darren_Bennett_Lilia_Kopylova_stars_of_BBC's_Strictly_Come_Dancing_and_UK_Closed_Professional_Latin_Champions.jpg BEST DRINK
You can’t beat a proper mojito.

BEST BEATS
At parties, we like to dance to 70s and 80s music – the kind of stuff that gets everyone up to have a boogie. Professionally, we like styles with lots of energy: jive, quickstep and tango.

BEST OF THE BEST
Our ultimate party would be a toss-up between an intimate beach barbecue or a huge, upbeat party with a great DJ and lots of friends and family – it’s more about the people that come than what you do, really.

Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova are best known for their show-stopping moves as professional dancers on hit BBC television series Strictly Come Dancing. A real-life couple as well as a business partnership, the pair have enjoyed fantastic success across both the UK and international dance scenes. Their stunning live show Latin Fever, choreographed and performed by the pair, hits theatres throughout the UK this June and July.
Darren and Lilia are available for events and workshops through Jillie Bushell Associates (tel: 020 7582 3048).


This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, April 2010

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