Former Professional Dancers

Lilia Kopylova

Lilia Andreievna Kopylova (born 18 June 1978) is a professional dancer born in Moscow, Russia. She has been competing as an amateur since July 1997 and as a professional dancer with her husband Darren since May 2003.

They both have achieved significant success in the Professional Latin style of dancing, both nationally in the UK and internationally.

Lilia is gentle and softly spoken, but below the surface lies a cheeky Russian minx.

Her speciality is Latin American and together with her partner and husband Darren Bennett (also appearing in Strictly Come Dancing), they are ranked the number one Latin American couple in Britain.

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

In series two Lilia was partnered with Aled Jones, finishing fourth, whilst in series three Lilia and partner Darren Gough not only won the series but also the Christmas Special Trophy!

When Lilia won in 2005 she said “Darren was great to work with as he is a sportsperson so knew how to handle competition and recognise the importance of working together as a team.”

In 2006 she was paired with another sportsman, Matt Dawson and reached the final.

Performance on Strictly Come Dancing:

  • Series 2 – came fourth with singer Aled Jones.
  • Series 3 – first place with cricketer Darren Gough.
  • Series 4 – second place with rugby player Matt Dawson.
  • Series 5 – eliminated in week 5 with Dominic Littlewood.
  • Series 6 -will be dancing with actor Don Warrington.

Lilia and Darren’s official website:


Lilia Kopylova

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