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Waite was born in Reading, Berkshire. He started dancing at the age of 10. Mary Richardson, a former Latin American champion (and now his stepmother) put him through a rigorous medallist regime. By the age of 14, he had completed all his grades and won almost every competition that he had entered. He went on to the open circuit where he achieved international success by becoming the European Youth Latin American Champion. This started a ten year partnership with Melanie Walker (now Melanie Lane), with whom he competed all over the world, representing England in many world and European championships.
He turned professional in 1997 and formed a partnership with the former Latin American world champion, Inga Haas. After nine months, they came third in the British Professional Rising Stars.
He decided to further his dance career by moving to the Netherlands to train with the choreographer and dance coach, Ruud Vermeij. There, he formed a four-year partnership with Natalia Panina, with whom he won the Dutch Championship. They also made the final of both the World Showdance Championship and the European Professional Latin American Championship. He went on to dance with Daisy Croes, from Belgium, who now appears on the Belgian version of Strictly Come Dancing.
After five years in the Netherlands he returned to home. By the summer of 2004, he had started to dance with Camilla Dallerup. Their first competition was the International Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, where they made the semi final and in November of that year, they made the final of the British National Dance Championships.
Waite lives in ,Finchampstead Berkshire in Berkshire, and has expanded his career involving lecturing, demonstration dancing and big spectaculars. He has also made a dance video with Angela Rippon and presented a documentary called 'Inside Out' for BBC South following the progress of a young couple from Bournemouth. With Camilla Dallerup he performs a series of ballroom and Latin dances on the DVD The Magic of Dance.
Waite has taken part in 7 series of Strictly Come Dancing, a popular televised celebrity ballroom competition, appearing as a professional dancer. His partners on the programme have been:
Waite has also appeared in three Strictly Come Dancing tours, reprising his partnerships with Zoë Ball in 2008, and with Jodie Kidd in 2009. In the 2010 tour Ian Waite appeared with Natalie Lowe in a showdance. In the 2011 tour he took on the role of the choreographer for all the Pro and Pro/Celeb group dances. He has also appeared in Strictly Come Dancing Christmas specials, with his best performances being runner-up with Denise Lewis in 2004 and Zoë Ball in 2006. In 2011, he returned to Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two using a telestrator to illustrate his critiques of contestants' rehearsals.
Christopher Parker and Hanna Karttunen
|Strictly Come Dancing runner up|
(with partner Denise Lewis)
Series 2 (2004)
Colin Jackson and Erin Boag