Now in its 5th year, the Dance School of the Year Awards was founded by Anne Walker MBE to celebrate the achievements of theatre dance schools who so often do not receive the recognition they deserve.

From the thousands of dance schools of all sizes across the UK and Europe, 34 schools including ‘Jaide’s Stage Studios’, based in Rugby, Warwickshire, have been shortlisted across four categories which are:

  • Up to 100 students
  • 100-200 students
  • Over 200 students
  • Vocational Schools (Vocational is a full-time school whose primary purpose is to prepare students for a career in dance and the performing arts)

Receiving our Finalist Certificate at the Awards Ceremony for ‘Dance School of the Year 2017 UK/Europe’
Thanks to Anne Walker MBE for a fabulous evening. #mumanddaughtertimeawardshardworkspaysoff

Judges this year were

  • Entrepreneur and Businessman Paul Haigney
  • Francesca Filpi who danced with The Royal Ballet Company for many years and is now a teacher, judge and adjudicator
  • Broadcaster and journalist and life-long dance supporter Angela Rippon CBE

The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony which will be held at a glamorous black-tie event at the Woodbury Park Hotel in Devon later this month.

As well as winners in each category there is an Overall Winner who will be crowned Dance School of the Year 2017. Trophies are awarded to winners of all categories as well as prizes provided thanks to the generous sponsorship of Everywoman, Dancing Times and Creative Mouse.

Anne Walker MBE, a former dance teacher who has founded and run a number of businesses including International Dance Supplies, created these Awards to celebrate this incredible industry. She says: “Dance teachers should be applauded and celebrated. So much more than just a teacher – they are almost a substitute parent to many of their students as they are role models, mentors and social workers, offering support, stability and a disciplined approach to life. They instil a love of dance, music and theatre which will hopefully turn many students into tomorrow’s theatre-goers if not performers or teachers.

Photo: With Angela Rippon CBE

Fellow dance teachers have supported me in my career over many years and now I hope, through these Awards, we can all celebrate the life-long passion for dance and the achievements of theatre dance teachers everywhere.”

Thank you so much for all the lovely messages of support everyone! We didn’t win the big one, but to be selected as a finalist which was open to thousands of dance schools of all sizes across the UK and Europe was an unbelievable achievement for us! We were over the moon to be shortlisted for ‘DANCE SCHOOL OF THE YEAR’ and is recognition of not only our commitment to all our students but has raised our profile as an outstanding local business. How proud are we!! Jaide and I had a fantastic evening at the awards event in Devon, (I even had a glass of wine), met some lovely dance teachers and even managed to get a selfie with Angela Rippon CBE who wished us all the best and good luck for the future! Massive thanks to Anne Walker MBE who created these awards to celebrate the dance industry and who organised such a fantastic event – we look forward to being nominated again next year! xx