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Lilia Kopylova's Biography

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Who is Lilia Kopylova?

Lilia Andreievna Kopylova was born on June 18, 1978 in Moscow.

Her parents were professional dancers.

In 1991, Lilia and her young partner Mikhail Botashev were the first dance pair of their age from the Soviet Union to compete abroad.

Lilia began dancing aged four, and also been trained to a high level in ballet, gymnastics and ice-skating. She excelled at figure skating and won a Moscow championship.

Lilia's next dance partner would also be her first husband - Dennis Thomsen. Later on he would be sentenced to a prison term for having sex with under-age girls.

Not long after her split from Thomsen, Lilia partnered Darren Bennett and they married on January 23, 1999.

They had been introduced by Darren's brother.

In the summer of 2009, Darren and Lilia performed Latin Fever at the Peacock Theatre.

Many of Lilia Kopylova's achievements are outlined on Lilia and Darren's website.

Strictly Come Dancing

In Strictly Come Dancing series seven, Lilia Kopylova danced with Richard Dunwoody, however they left in the second week after losing a dance-off with Craig Kelly and Flavia Cacace.

In Strictly Come Dancing series six, Lilia Kopylova danced with Don Warrington, but they were eliminated in the fifth show.

In Strictly Come Dancing series five, Lilia Kopylova partnered Dominic Littlewood. They were the fifth couple to be voted off the show.

In 2005 for Strictly Come Dancing's Lilia Kopylova it was a case of the two Darrens. She partnered cricketer Darren Gough to victory in Strictly Come Dancing series 3, whilst her husband and dance partner is Darren Bennett.

In series 4 of Strictly Come Dancing, Lilia Kopylova danced with another former England sports star, but this time, from the world of rugby, Matt Dawson.

Again Lilia Kopylova did well, but in Strictly Come Dancing 2006, dancing with Matt Dawson they were runners-up to Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy.

Lilia and Darren (Bennett that is, not Gough!) are the leading Latin American dance couple in Britain.

Lilia's favourite dances are the rumba and the foxtrot.

Lilia Kopylova said before series 2, when she partnered Aled Jones: "It was a big decision to take part as we [Lilia and Darren Bennett] have a high rating and we're very competitive but the show's just so exciting and different - I'm really looking forward to it."

In the event although Darren won with Jill Halfpenny, Lilia also did well and she and Aled won the phone vote for 6 weeks.

In July 2010 it was revealed that Lilia Kopylova was to leave Strictly Come Dancing.

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