AFL footballer ANTHONY KOUTOUFIDES and his professional dance partner NATALIE LOWE quickstepped their way to victory tonight to become the DANCING WITH THE STARS series five title holders.

KOUTA out-marked fellow title contender ARIANNE CAOILI ,

impressing the judges and those at home with an electrifying

Quickstep, Lindy Hop and freestyle arrangement. Out of a

possible 40 they received 33 for the Quickstep, 35 for the Lindy

Hop and a perfect 40 for their emotionally charged freestyle dance to Delta Goodrem's Together We Are One.

KOUTA credits his transformation from AFL football hero to dance champion to his instructor NATALIE LOWE , 'Before I started this show I was odds-on favourite to be the first eliminated, but Nat was so patient with me and my improvement each week is a testament to her phenomenal teaching ability and character.'

'Kouta took each week on one at a time and was so open to the feedback in our training and from the judges during performance nights across our 10 week run', said NATALIE .

Encouraging her husband in the audience every week was KOUTA'S wife Susie. Series five of DANCING WITH THE STARS fell during the AFL off-season; a time normally spent at home with his family after being away a lot during the year, 'I'm so proud of Anthony and the how hard he has worked to take out the titlebut I'm very much looking forward to touching base with him again and enjoying some bonding time together.'

The Royal Children's Hospital is the beneficiary of KOUTA'S dance-fest and The Day of Difference Foundation has also been assisted by ARIANNE'S success on the show.

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