Gifted with an unparalleled talent for dancing and a knack for winning competitions, Len Goodman could not have been more perfect as the head judge of the popular reality competition series, "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ). He was born at the height of WWII in April 1944 in London, England. Growing up, Goodman was more interested in football than dancing. At the encouragement of a friend, the 14-year-old lad attended the Court School of Dancing in Welling, England. Goodman only mildly enjoyed the experience; at 15, he dropped out of school to become a welder. He worked on the docks as an engineering apprentice until he was about 20 years old. It was at that time that he was injured playing sports and was advised by his doctor to take up ballroom dancing as a form of rehabilitation. Shortly after returning to dance school, Goodman began competing and winning numerous competitions. Specializing in Latin and a form of Ballroom called "Exhibition" dancing, Goodman won the British Exhibition four times. In his late twenties, he retired from professional dancing after winning the British Championships at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival in England. Goodman then turned his attention to teaching aspiring dancers at his own dance school in Kent, England. In the 1970s and '80s, his dance school attracted a lot of local youth, particularly during its weekly Saturday night discos. In the 1990s, Goodman traveled all over the world, judging dance competitions and giving lectures.