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005 dancetoday may15

Inside this month:


“Everything comes round in patterns”

Phil Meacham interviews ballroom legend Peggy Spencer about troublemaking, trailblazing and changes in the dance industry

Up High
Nicola Rayner takes to the air with newly formed Pana Dance Company

The name of the game
Sponsorship and product placement is everywhere, in films, television, in sport and on the dancefloor. Alison Gallagher-Hughes looks at where it started and delves into its pros and cons

And much more!

  • Blackpool in China

    Blackpool Dance Festival is...

    26 May 2015
  • Blackpool begins!

    The Blackpool Dance Festival...

    26 May 2015
  • Strictly stars support wheelchair dance

    Strictly Come Dancing...

    18 May 2015
  • The UK Tango Festival and Championship

    This year's UK Tango...

    11 May 2015

Welcome to Dance Today

Welcome to our new-look website! At our grand old age – we are 100 this month – we thought it was an apt time for a bit of a nip and tuck, so as well as redesigning the magazine, we have updated our web look too. We are just in time for “Strictly Come Dancing” season, so stay up to the minute here with Marianka Swain’s new blog, Strictly speaking, complete with our sequin-o-meter rating the dances!

For more “Strictly” news, see our October issue (out on October 6) where Marianka meets new professionals Artem Chigvintsev and Jared Murillo. Elsewhere in the issue, we have some lovely, nostalgic features by Mary Clarke on Dance Today’s history and Zoë Anderson (How the Charleston changed the world). We hope you enjoy browsing through the website and magazine and, as we celebrate our centenary, we would like to thank our contributors, our advertisers and you, our readers, who have made reaching our 100th birthday possible. Here’s to the next century.

Some dance teachers are unstoppable. This month, Phil Meacham meets dance coach extraordinaire Peggy Spencer, who, even when she moved to King's Lynn later in life, found herself coaching a formation team with a combined age of over 800 years. At 94, Peggy is still unafraid to speak out about what she believes in. I challenge you to read her interview without smiling. Speaking of insuppressible, we find out more about our Dance Today Teacher of the Year, Scott Cupit of Swing Patrol, through the words of those who voted for him in this month's magazine. And on a personal note, I'd like to thank a few dance teachers I've been lucky enough to work with this month: salsa teacher Lee Knights, who teaches for HF Holidays, among others, is always funny, always fun, and Nina Daines and Patrick Hood, on their eight-week aerials course, opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at social dance. It won't come as news to readers of Dance Today, but it's true that dance changes lives for the better, which wouldn't be possible without teachers, so thank you, all of you

Nicola Rayner, Editor

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WIN The Ballet Lover’s Companion

ballet-lovers-companionThe Ballet Lover’s Companion, published by Yale University Press this month, is Zoë Anderson’s latest book. Focusing on 140 ballets that form the core of the international repertoire, Anderson takes the reader on a journey through the history of ballet, from its earliest times at the aristocratic courts of renaissance Italy and France to the Romantic era and then on to the emergence of the Ballets Russes and the masters of 20th-century dance. Her concluding chapter brings us right up to date with the choreographers of today, including Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon.
We have three signed copies of the new hardback to give away as competition prizes. To enter, send your name, address and answer to or to the address here.

In what year did Frank Sinatra die?
The closing date for the competition is June 30.

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