Even as a young kid, I remember that I always wanted records for birthdays or Christmas instead of toys. I’ve loved music forever and have been sharing this love for over 45 years as a DJ working in a range of styles such as R&B, Rare Groove, Dance Hall, EDM & Country, among others, and Ballroom & Latin for the past 30 years.
It’s such a rush to witness how the right track can lift the room, can compel people onto the floor and bring out the best, most fluid and free movement and in partner dancing, help elevate the connection between people to transcend the steps to something truly magical.
The Ballroom Barn at Down House is a beautiful, generous space and a really wonderful dance venue and I am so delighted and excited to be part of SpinTurns.
The four of us want to bring people and communities together, to offer the best facilities and the best of our individual abilities to create something special which we can be proud of; something which makes ourselves and those who cross our threshold happy.
One Saturday morning when I was six years old, my mum dropped me off at a local community centre where she’d seen a sign that read ‘Leave your child while you go shopping’. Inside, classes were taking place in Ballroom and Latin dance and I took part in a Rumba class and loved it!
My love for dance grew and I studied Lindyhop, Contemporary and Jazz as well as Ballroom and Latin. I have always felt very passionate about making dance accessible, opening up this wonderful form of expression to as many people as possible, particularly to adults who just didn’t have the opportunity that I did, to find dance early in life.
I have been teaching Ballroom and Latin dance and Alternative Rhythms as a member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing ( ISTD) for 40 years now, teaching group and individual lessons ranging from medal exams, competition training, wedding first dances, development of social dance, special events and performances.
Wendy and I have worked together really well on many occasions over the years with Tori and Yvonne and I am very excited about coming together to form SpinTurns.
I started Ballroom and Latin dancing 28 years ago when I stumbled across a social club in The Bell in Kings Cross and I fell in love with the dance form. There is something about the fact that it is done with a partner and within a social context that appealed to my desire to be part of a community of people who love to dance.
I met Yvonne, Wendy and Wonnita on the social Ballroom and Latin scene in 1995 and in 2002 Yvonne and I formed a competitive dance partnership and travelled throughout Europe to compete in Equality tournaments. We had a great deal of fun and success in the senior 10 dance competitions, winning a few championships on the same sex dance circuit.
Our dance partnership then became a life partnership and we got married in 2010 when it became possible for us to do so legally. Now that we have retired from dancing competitively together, I am keen to teach on a more regular basis, having been a teacher and trainer in other fields for over 20 years. We have both enjoyed many years of collaborating with Wendy and Wonnita on various dance events and I am excited to be starting our new chapter together with the birth of SpinTurns.
A love of dancing started for me at four years old when I was taken to learn tap and ballet in our village hall. At ten years old I went on to do ballet exams and then found contemporary dance which was my passion.
It wasn’t until my 40’s that I started learning social dancing and I loved the community that came with it. Ten years or so later Tori asked me to dance competitively with her. We competed for seventeen years together travelling all over the world and won British, European and World titles for senior ten dance on the Equality circuit.
Since retiring from competitive dancing we have continued to enjoy social dancing. Though I didn’t complete my formal teacher training, I have taught social dancing classes for over 20 years. Much of that was working with Wendy and Wonnita at their club in London. I love teaching and helping people find their joy in dancing.
To be able to team up with Wendy and Wonnita with all their experience at running events and teaching is a fantastic opportunity to bring something that I hope will be really special to the Ballroom Barn and the dance community.