Lilia Kopylova
Lilia KopylovaLilia Andrelevana Kopylova first came to prominence when aged nine she became Junior Moscow Ice Skating champion, having started Ice Skating aged just four. 1987 saw Lilia start dancing, and paired up with Mikhail Botashev. Three years after taking up dancing in 1990 Lilia and Mikhail won a Lombada competition. Lilia and Mikhail subsequently became the first soviet pair to be allowed to dance outside the Soviet Union.

Having been allowed outside the Soviet Union they won the Danish open in Copenhagen, with further success in France and Italy. Four years later in 1994, Lilia represented Russia in the international dance championships in Denmark. Lilia's next dance partner would also be her first husband - Dennis Thomsen.

Not long, after her split from Thomsen in 1997, Darren Bennett came into her life and five months during july, after their introduction and having moved to England, they both won the International and British Amateur Youth championships. Lilia and Darren turned professional in 2003 and are now one of worlds top Latin American dance couples.

Lilia first appeared on BBC strictly come Dancing series partnering Welsh singer Aled Jones finishing fourth overall.2006 Lilia and Darren win the British Professional championship for Latin

2005 saw Lilia paired partnering England cricketer Darren Gough winning the final over Hurdler and World record holder Colin Jackson. In 2006 she was paired with England World Cup Rugby Hero Matt Dawson in Strictly Come Dancing making the final for the second consecutive year before losing out to Karen Hardy and Mark Ramprakash.

Web Links to Lilia Kopylova
Darren & Lilia Karen Hardy's own website
Dance Sport Interview
Dance Rhythms small bio
Strictly Come Dancing Watch Lilia On TV show
Born: 18 June 1978, Moscow, Russia
Married 1999 to Darren Bennett
Turned professional: 2003

2006 British Championships 1st
2005 British Closed - 1st
2005 Italian Open - 2nd
2005 All England Latin - 1st
2004 World Show Dance - 1st
2004 Taizhou Professional Latin - 2nd
2004 National - Celtic Classic 2nd
2003 World Professional Rising Star -
2003 Champions - World Masters Finalist
2003 British Closed Championships - 2nd
2003 European Professional Latin finalist
2003 Dutch Open Finalist
2003 Italian Open Finalist -
2002 British National - 1st
2001 UK Closed Amateur - 1st