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Salsa siesta for 'Paddy' Jones as partner bows out

Dudley | News | Published:

A world-famous salsa-dancing gran from the Black Country has been forced to hang up her dancing shoes after being dumped by her dance partner, it emerged today.

A world-famous salsa-dancing gran from the Black Country has been forced to hang up her dancing shoes after being dumped by her dance partner, it emerged today.

Sarah "Paddy" Jones, aged 76, won fans across the globe for her age-defying fancy footwork — but she today revealed her dancing days may be over after partner Nico Espinoza — 40 years her junior — decided it was time to move on.

She said their relationship had been fraught with tension since they were booted off Showmatch, the Argentinian version of Strictly Come Dancing, in September.

"I feel devastated right now — dancing has been my life for the past seven years," said Paddy. She had moved to Spain from Stourbridge in 2001 to retire with husband David, but he died of leukaemia just two years later.

"It was a way for me to pick myself back up again after David died, but I have to start all over again now."

The beginning of the end for the pair's international career began with the end of their stint on Showmatch, which happened while she was visiting family at home in the UK, she said.

Nico's stand-in dance partner offended the judges on the show and was voted off — and he was so miffed he didn't call to tell Paddy.

"When I went back, an interviewer asked me how I had felt when he told me we were out — and I had to tell the truth, that he hadn't," she said.

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"There was outrage from everyone — groups started on Facebook calling him names that are all unprintable. He was furious with me, but what else could I have said?"

The situation was not helped, she added, by a video of Nico tripping over his own feet and sending them both tumbling to the floor at Peru's first World Salsa Congress last month.

Nico shut down the bar he ran in Gandia, Spain, where Paddy lives yesterday and moved away from the area.

"I will be trying to find a new partner, but I don't know if anyone will want to dance with someone my age," she said.

She will return to the UK in time for Mother's Day.

Since entering the Spanish version of Britain's Got Talent, called Tu Si Que Vales, in 2009, Paddy has been showing off her dancing skills around the globe.

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