British Dance Council

Our Story

THE BDC STORY                                                                                         

The first move to rationalize the world of social dance was on May 12th 1920 when the British Dancing Times magazine held an “Informal Conference” of teachers of ballroom dancing in the Grafton Galleries.  Any who were interested could attend and an attendance of some 200 was achieved. Philip J S Richardson O.B.E. editor of the Dancing Times was elected to the Chair. This original conference led to three further conferences resulting in a report in 1921 establishing the basic forms for One-Step, Foxtrot, Waltz and Tango.  A fourth conference was held in 1922   

Over the period of the next seven years three more conferences were held setting forth rules for guidance in such matters as amateur status. This informal committee continued its work and in 1929 adopted the title of “Official Board of Ballroom Dancing” that in 1985 changed its name to “British Dance Council”.  In this brief history it is appropriate that it should identify the original 1929 Committee. It comprised: Josephine Bradley, Grace Cone, Ruby Peeler, Adela Roscoe, Muriel Simmons, Eve Tynegate –Smith, F. C. Barlow, H. Bloodworth, Santos Casani, Andy Cowan, H Vivian Davies, Mr. Greenwell, F.W. C. Leslie, Alec Miller, Alex Moore, M. Pierre, St. John Rumsay, Victor Sylvester, Maxwell Stewart, Major Cecil Taylor and P.J.S. Richardson Chairman. The British Dance Council, then known as the Official Board of Ballroom Dancing, was instrumental in the formation of the International Council of Ballroom Dancing, now the World Dance Council.    

Currently the body’s main committee comprises delegates from the following professional bodies:

 Allied Dancing Association,

Associated Board of Dance,

British Association of Teachers of Dancing,

International Dance Teachers Association,

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing,

National Association of Teachers of Dancing,

Northern Counties Dance Teachers Association,

Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance,

United Kingdom Alliance Ltd,

Welsh Alliance of Teachers of Dancing,

The Association of Dance and Freestyle Professionals,

Ballroom Dancers’ Federation,

British Competitors  Dancesport Corporation,

Dance Promoters Association, and

Blackpool Entertainment Company Limited 


YEAR(S)                                   PRESIDENT                                     CHAIRMAN

1929 to ’58 inclusive                  Vacant                                    P. J. S. Richardson       

1959 to ’63                                P. J. S. Richardson                 Arthur Franks

1963                                        Arthur Franks                          Alex Warren

1964                                        Vacant                                    Alex Warren 

1965 to ’68 inclusive                  Alex Warren                            Leonard Morgan     

1969 to ’72 inclusive                  Alex Warren                            Wilfred Orange

1973                                        Alex Warren                            Stan Atack    

1974 to ’89 inclusive                  Leonard Morgan                      Leonard Morgan

1990 to 2003 inclusive               Freddie Boultwood                   Freddie Boultwood

2004 to 2009                            Len Armstrong                         Len Amstrong          

2010 to date                             Bryan Allen                             Bryan Allen

The work of the current BDC covers all aspects of social dance. It grants the right for individuals or organizations to run dance championships either open to the world or restricted to Britain and Northern Ireland  in Professional Ballroom, Latin, Sequence (Old Time and Modern). as well as corresponding amateur events, covering various age groups.

The major championships are the British Open Professional and the British National Professional in both Ballroom and Latin. In the last quarter of a century the following British couples have been winners on more than one occasion in the Open Championships:

For Ballroom Dancing: John Wood and Ann Lewis, Marcus Hilton M.B.E and Karen Hilton M.B.E., Luca and Loraine Baricchi, Christopher Hawkins and Hazel Newberry M.B.E.   

For Latin Dance:  Sammy Stopford and Barbara McColl, Corky and Shirley Ballas.   Donnie Burns M. B. E.  and Gaynor Fairweather M. B. E.


Bryan Allen                   
Current President and Chairman of the BDC.  An active coach of competitive couples and very energetic in pursuing the aims of the BDC, the working teacher and all those involved with competitive dancing.  

Len Armstrong                    
A very successful competitor, Was President of the BDC and the International Dance Teachers’  Association

Stan Atack, Chairman of the BDC        

Josephine Bradley
Actively in
volved in establishing the “English” style of  ballroom dancing in the 1920s and in coaching untill well after world war 2.

Donnie Burns MBE and Gaynor Fairweather M. B. E.  
World Professional Latin Dance Championship winners for an outstanding 13 consecutive years

Richard Gleave O.B.E and Janet Gleave.
Nine times World Ballroom Champions (1973 to 1981)

Phyllis Haylor.                    
Involved in the early days establishing modern forms of ballroom

Marcus Hilton M.B.E & Karen Hilton M.B.E.      
Ballroom Dance Championship winners for an outstanding 9 consecutive years as well as winning the British Amateur Latin dance championship in 1983.

Bill Irvine M.B.E and Bobbie Irvine M.B.E.   
Successful ballroom dance competitors, officials of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and renowned coaches of dance couples. Winners of 13 world titles in Ballroom, Latin American and Ten Dance. 

Henry Jacques                   
Excellent dancer and analyst of dancing.  Wrote an excellent study book, by many regarded as the best detailed analysis of Ballroom Dancing     

Keith Jones                       
A popular exhibition dancer in the 1950s vice chairman of the BDC and a leading member and President of the National Association of Dance Teachers.

Walter Laird                        
A very successful demonstrator of Latin dance and wrote a definitive text book on the dances. A Director of the International Dance Teachers Association and three times World Professional Latin Champion.

Lyndon & Felicia                
The most popular Latin dance exhibition couple of the late 1940s and 1950s. Helped popularize Latin dance.  Lyndon was Honorary Treasurer and Chief Administrator of the I. D. T. A. Wrote seven books on social dance. One translated into six languages 

Alex Moore MBE
Developed the modern form of analyzing dance technique, had a letter service with a world wide circulation with Guy Howard and Eve Kendall gave dual couple formation exhibitions – the forerunner of formation dancing 

Eric Morley                         
Head of Mecca dance halls.  Created the original Come Dancing TV programs, the Miss World contests  etc.

Edna Murphy
Secretary of the Allied Dancing Association who was personally responsible for persuading British Tax Authorities not to charge Value Added Tax on dance activities.          

Wilfred Orange.                  
Organizer of the major enterprise Butlins Dancing

Pierre (Zurcher Margolle) and Doris Lavelle      
Introduced Latin dance to Britain with especial reference to the adoption of the System Cubana rhythm for the Rumba

Len Scrivener                     
A beautiful dancer and analyzer of the dances and wrote a valuable technique book

Peggy Spencer M.B.E.      
Ran a busy school in Beckenham, England and developed formation dancing teams that were highly successful pioneers in the style. A staunch ISTD member and President

Michael Stylianos and Lorna Lee, Michael Stylianos 
a very successful competitor, teacher and Member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing’s Grand Council

Major Cecil Taylor               
An early President and Secretary of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.


1975                         Richard and Janet Gleave,                                   

1976                         Byron and Dorothy Charlton,                               

1977 – 82                  Michael and Vicky Barr.                                         

1983 – 85                  Stephen Hillier and Lindsay Tate                        

1986                         Kenny and Marion Welsh                                              

1987                         Marcus and Karen Hilton                                      

1988                         John Wood and Anne Lewis                                

1989                         Marcus and Karen Hilton                                      

1990                         John Wood and Anne Lewis                                  

1991—92                  Andrew and Loraine Sinkinson                           

1993                         Andrew Sinkinson and Amanda Owen             

1994—95                  Luca Baricchi and Loraine Barry                          

1996                         Andrew Sinkinson and Adele Preston                 

1997                         Andrew Sinkinson and Charlotte Jorgensen     

1998—9                    Luca and Loraine Baricchi.                                   

2000—01                  Christopher Hawkins and Hazel Newberry       

2002                         Alan and Donna Shingler                                     

2003                         Christopher Hawkins and Hazel Newberry      

2004                         Timothy Howson and Joanne Bolton                 

2005                         Christopher and  Justyna  Hawkins                          

2006                         Timothy Howson and Joanne Bolton                 

2007                         Jonathon Crossley and Lyn Marriner               

2008                         Jonathon Wilkins and Hazel Newberry              

2009 – 10 –11 - 12     Warren and Kristi Boyce           


1975—6                    Alan and Hazel Fletcher                                       

1977                         Peter Maxwell and Lynn Harman                        

1978 -- 9                   Keith and Judy Clifton                                          

1980 – 2                   Sammy and Shirley Stopford                              

1983 – 4                   David Sycamore and Denise Weavers                        

1985                         Sammy Stopford and Barbara McColl                

1986                         David Sycamore and Denise Weavers               

1987                         Donnie Burns and Gayner Faireather                        

1988 – 93                  Sammy Stopford and Barbara McColl                

1994 -- 5                   Corky and Shirley Ballas                                                

1996 – 7                    Bryan Watson and Karen Hardy                          

1998                         Paul Killick and Karina Kyklova                            

1999                         Gordon and Nicola Nordin                                    

2000 – 3                    Paul Killick and Hanna Karttunen                       

2004                         Matthew Cutler and Charlotte Egstrand             

2005 – 6                    Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova                       

2007                         Paul Richardson and Olga Rodionova              

2008                         Paul Killick and Oksana  Zoloterevskaya           

2009 -- 12                 Gregor Rebula and Rachel Heron                     


1931                        Maxwell Stewart and Pat Sykes.

1932                        Timothy Palmer and Kathleen Price     

1933                        Timothy Palmer and Edna Dean

1934 / 5 &6               Henry Jacques and Mavis Deeming

1937 & 8                  Cyril Farmer and Adela Roscoe

1939                        Timothy Palmer and Ella Spowart

1940                        Sydney Lee and Vera Dunham

1941 – 45                 Suspended – War Period

1946                        Charles Theibault and Doreen Beahan

1947                        Tie between Wally Fryer and Violet Barnes and

                               John Wells and Renee Sissons.

1948 & 9                  Wally Fryer and Violet Barnes

1950 / 1 & 2              Len Scrivener and Nellie Duggan

1953                        Sonny Binick and Joyce Hayward

1954                        Tie between Sonny Binick and Joyce Hayward and       

                               Australians Alf Davies and Julie Reaby

1955                        Sonny Binick and Sally Brock

1956                        Alf Davies and Julie Reaby

1957 & 8                  Sonny Binick and Sally Brock

1959 / 60 & 61          Harry Smith-Hampshire and Doreen Casey

1962 / 3 & 4              Bill and Bobbie Irvine

1965                        Peter Eggleton and Brenda Winslade.

1966                        Bill and Bobbie Irvine

1967 & 8                  Peter Eggleton and Brenda Winslade.

1969 / 70 / 1 & 2       Anthony Hurley and Fay Saxton

1973 /4/ 5 / 6 / 7 / & 8  Richard and Janet Gleave

1979                        Michael and Vicky Barr

1980 & 81                 Richard and Janet Gleave

1982 / 3 / 4 & 5         Michael and Vicky Barr

1986 / 7 & 8              Stephen Hillier and Lindsay Tate

1989                        John Wood and Anne Lewis

1990                        Marcus and Karen Hilton

1991                        John Wood and Anne Lewis

1992                        Marcus and Karen Hilton              

1993                        John Wood and Anne Lewis

1994 / 5 / 6/7 and 8    Marcus and Karen Hilton

1999/2000 and 1        Luca and Loraine Baricchi           

2003 and 4                Christopher Hawkins and Hazel Newbury

2005                         Timothy Howson and Joanne Bolton


1965                          Robert and Margurite O’Hara

1966                          Bill and Bobbie Irvine

1971 – 2                    John and Betty Westley     

1975                          Michael Stylianos and Lorna Lee                                                

1976                          Peter Maxwell and Lynn Harman

1977                          Alan and Hazel Fletcher

1978                          Peter Maxwell and Lynn Harman

1979 – 80                   Alan and Hazel Fletcher

1983                          Sammy and Shirley Stopford

1984 – 88                   Donnie Burns and Gaynor Fairweather

1989                          Sammy Stopford and Barbara McColl

1990                          Donnie Burns and Gaynor Fairweather

1991 – 2                    Sammy Stopford and Barbara McColl                                     

1994                          Sammy Stopford and Barbara McColl

1995 – 6                    Corky and Shirley Ballas.


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