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Dance Today Dance Teacher of the year

Posted on November 1, 2016


So many of our readers love to dance, and love the teachers who have led, informed and inspired them. When magazine Dance Today, now incorporated into Dancing Times, launched the Teacher of the Year competition for social dance teachers, we were amazed and touched by our readers’ votes. You didn’t just vote for your teachers, you told us why they were wonderful – how they drew out skills people didn’t think they had, built up communities of dancers and opened doors to new levels of health, skill and fun.

Over the three years of the competition, launched in 2013, the Dance Today Dance Teacher of the Year has also highlighted the range of social dance teaching in the UK. Our very first winner, Pauline Mason of Danceworks Devon, focused on ballroom and Latin, among other styles, and was particularly cherished for the supportive, friendly atmosphere of her studio. Our second winner, T Damien Anyasi of London, specialised in hip hop and breakdance, bringing out the joy of performance in everyone from toddlers to a senior NHS manager. Last year’s winner was a swing teachers, Scott Cupit of Swing Patrol, who has choreographed for Strictly Come Dancing and successfully appeared on Dragon’s Den, bringing swing to both new and very loyal audiences.

Dance Today has now found a new home at Dancing Times, when the two magazines – originally one – were reunited in 2015. Our competition has a new home, with the same eagerness to celebrate social dance teachers in all their splendid variety.

The competition

So who will be this year’s winner? What style will triumph? You can vote for any social dance teacher, working in any style and at any level. However, they must be based in the UK, and must not have won before. The teacher with the most reader votes will win the title.

We want to hear about the UK’s best dance teachers. Has your teacher nurtured your enthusiasm for dance? Have they guided you through the trickiest of figures, brought out talents you didn’t know you had, encouraged and uplifted you? If you think your teacher, past or present, deserves recognition for their work and dedication, tell us.

All you have to do to nominate your teacher is to get in touch by January 6, 2017, by post, email, or via Twitter or our Facebook page. Tell us about your teacher and why you’d love to see them win the Dance Today Teacher of the Year 2016. One of our favourite things has been hearing about the work of the teachers – heartfelt thanks and delightful descriptions, from praise of teacher’s sensitivity to happiness in new skills. So when you vote, tell us why your teacher should win, what makes them special and inspiring. The best reader contribution will win a year’s free subscription to Dancing Times.

The winning teacher will receive a specially created trophy – a cover of the magazine starring them – and a year’s free subscription to Dancing Times. They’ll also receive a selection of dance books, DVDs and CDs – and, of course, the bragging rights!


How to contact us

Send us your Dance Today Teacher of the Year entry, or get in touch with any questions, at:

Post Dancing Times Limited, 36 Battersea Square, London SW11 3RA


Facebook You’ll find us under “Dancing Times

Twitter @dancingtimes



Our past winners… 

Pauline Mason of Danceworks Devon

Pauline Mason teacher of the yearThey said… “Pauline has something to offer an old-timer like me and also a titchy street dancer like my granddaughter,” wrote reader Carol Kuhlmann. “Her studio is a refuge to newcomers to the town, to those who have lost their partners, to people with special needs. We socialise with tea and a bun, exercise and learn to love dance.”

Pauline said… “One or two people told me they’d nominated me, and I was extremely flattered, but I didn’t think for a moment I’d win – there are so many big-name teachers out there.”



T Damien Anyasi of B Better

toty_2014They said… “I have watched him teaching and it is like watching the Pied Piper, the kids are completely absorbed by Damien and watch every move he makes,” wrote reader Emily Jane Reed. He gives children an inner confidence I have never seen before and it’s so incredible when you see a child’s face when they have just done a move they didn’t think they were capable of doing… he’s now got hero status in our family.”

T Damien said… “Winning this award gives me an opportunity to reach more people and take things to the next level.”



Scott Cupit of Swing Patrol

They said… “Swing Patrol has changed my life so positively,” wrote reader Joanna Kramer, “and that is due to the dedication and passion which Scott puts into his teaching, passing his love of swing to everyone he comes into contact with. He also pays continuous homage to the rich history of this dance, organising visits from influential and inspirational teachers and originators, such as Norma Miller… He takes the welfare of everyone seriously and always strives to make Swing Patrol a safe and happy place to learn.”

Scott said… “I amvery chuffed that so many would go to such an effort to put my name forward… Crazy wonderful community you are. I am really humbled.”


Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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