Patrons 2014

Dance Proms has been supported by a wide range of industry professionals since its beginning in 2011. We are delighted that our Patrons who are supporting Dance Proms 2014 are:

Darcey Bussell CBE
Anton Du Beke
Kevin Clifton
Matt Flint
Len Goodman
Karen Hauer
Chris Hollins
Lukas McFarlane
Arlene Phillips CBE
Lisa Riley
Angela Rippon OBE
Wayne Sleep OBE
Kimberly Wyatt

Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell was born in London and trained at the Royal Ballet School where the late Kenneth MacMillan noticed her exceptional technique and in 1988 gave her the leading role in his ballet The Prince of The Pagodas, causing her to move to The Royal Ballet. A year later on the opening night of the show she was promoted to Principal, at the time the youngest ballerina to be given this honour.

In 1990 she was voted Dancer of the Year by readers of Dance and Dancers Magazine, Winner of the Evening Standard Award for Ballet and Winner of the Variety Club’s Sir James Garreras Award for The Most Promising Newcomer.

She has been featured in television documentaries including the BBC documentary about her called Britain’s Ballerina (2005) and appeared in numerous televised ballet galas and TV programmes. In 1995 Darcey was awarded an OBE and subsequently awarded a CBE in 2006.

Darcey retired from ballet with a final performance of MacMillan’s Song of the Earth performed at the Royal Opera House and broadcast on BBC 2 in 2007. The same year, Darcey teamed up with Welsh Opera sensation Katherine Jenkins with whom she created and performed in the musical Viva La Diva, out on DVD in 2008. She collaborated with an experienced author to create the Magic Ballerina books for young girls released in October 2008. Darcey is a member of the Board of Directors, Sydney Dance Company. In 2012 she was appointed President of the Royal Academy of Dance.

Angela Rippon

Angela Rippon has been a well-known face and voice in British broadcasting for over 46 years. This award winning journalist and broadcaster has worked on a wide range of radio and TV programmes in Britain, America and Australia as a director, editor and presenter. Her credits include BBC Television News; Top Gear; Come Dancing; The Antiques Roadshow; Cash in the Attic; numerous major royal events; The Holiday Programme and The One Show. She is currently a presenter on the highly successful BBC consumer programme, Rip Off Britain and new travel programme, Holiday Hit Squad.

Alongside her many broadcasting awards, in 2002 she was named European Woman of Achievement, and has been awarded the OBE in recognition of her services to Broadcasting, Charity and the Arts.

Her charitable work includes being President of The Lady Taverners; Vice President of the Patients Association; Vice President of the British Red Cross and an Ambassador of the Alzheimer’s Society. She is also currently co-chair of the committee to promote Dementia Friendly communities as part of the Prime Minister’s National Dementia Strategy.

Miss Rippon was born and educated in Plymouth. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities by the American College in London, a Doctorate of Arts by the University of Plymouth and is a Visiting Professor of Consumer Journalism at Lincoln University.

Matt Flint

Born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Matt began dancing at the age of 12 and after quickly discovering his passion he put all his focus into becoming as versatile a dancer as possible. He went on to train for three years at Laine Theatre Arts and has since then danced internationally ranging from musicals and television to dance companies and feature films.

Matt choreographs for film, TV and theatre. Recent credits include: All Stars 3D (Vertigo Films), Strictly Come Dancing (BBC), Morrison’s ‘Better Than Ever Awards’ 2012, 42nd Street Gala (Palladium), Darling Of The Day (Union), Legally Blonde (Arts Ed), So You Think You Can Dance USA Season 8 Finale (FOX), Let’s Dance for Comic Relief (Series 3 Winner, BBC1).

He has appeared in 10 West End shows including: Dirty Dancing, Guys & Dolls, On The Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Contact and spent time travelling the world with Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker and Highland Fling (USA, Asia, Australia).

Matt also works as a presenter. Recent credits include: Olympic Men’s Football and Rhythmic Gymnastics, Wembley (both for London 2012) and Main Stage host at Move It! 2013 (London Olympia).

When he is not performing, Matt loves to work with young people. For the last 10 years he has had regular teaching posts at performing arts colleges in and around London, also travelling the UK giving lectures and workshops in all aspects of technique and performance with his company

Along with his business partner Tom Shilcock, Matt has set up Can You Dance?, the ultimate dance experience, which gives young dancers a platform to show off their talent and offering masterclasses and exhibitions at events across the country. You can find out more at

Follow Matt on Twitter – @MATTJFLINT

Len Goodman

Len Goodman is known to millions as the supreme and generous judge of Strictly Come Dancing and the USA version of the show, Dancing with the Stars. His vast knowledge of Ballroom and Latin American dancing – gained over a lifetime of competing, judging and teaching all over the world – has made him one of the most well-respected characters in the dance fraternity.

Born in Bethnal Green in the East End of London, Len started his career relatively late in life. He actually wanted to be a footballer and it wasn’t until the age of 20 that the ex-docker started dancing. Having retired after a successful competitive dancing career, which included winning Dual of the Giants, British Rising Stars, The British Exhibition Championships (four times) and the World Exhibition Championships in the early 1970s it was a natural progression for him to start up his own dance school in Kent.

As an Examiner for the National Association of Teachers of Dance, a Fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, Adjudicator for the World Dance Council, British Dance Council, Ballroom Dancers’ Federation and a founder member of the International Dance Sport Judges and Trainers Association, what Len doesn’t know about dance isn’t worth knowing.

Len has received various awards in the UK, including a Life Achievement Award for his work in dance and a Carl Allen Award (the equivalent of the Oscars of the dance world). His work on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars has ensured nominations and awards aplenty and in 2006-07 he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his work on Dancing with the Stars.

Len has made numerous TV and radio appearances in the UK but one of his greatest was surely winning Celebrity Weakest Link. He has also appeared on the Royal Variety Show, BBC Breakfast, GMTV, Lorraine Kelly Show, The Wright Stuff, Ready Steady Cook, Would I Lie to You? What Are you Like?, Alan Titchmarsh Show, Richard and Judy and The Jonathan Ross Show. Millions of people have been entertained on BBC2’s It Takes Two, where Len has tried, without much success, to teach the presenter Claudia Winkleman to dance. In America Len has appears on Entertainment Tonight, E! Entertain, Good Morning America and Larry King Live.

Len has also released an instructional DVD, Dance with Len Goodman, and has written his autobiography, Better Late than Never.

Chris Hollins

Chris Hollins is currently the main presenter of the sports bulletins on BBC Breakfast. Chris won BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing 2009 with dance partner Ola Jordan. He consistently won the public vote throughout the competition despite losing the judges’ vote in the final.

Chris says: “Having been through the Strictly ballroom process myself, I not only have absolute respect for teachers, dancers and dance students – I know how exhilarating, rewarding and exciting a performance can be; throw in the Royal Albert Hall and you really do have a once in a lifetime opportunity!”

Arlene Phillips CBE

Arlene Phillips CBE is a showbiz legend, having worked with stars from film and TV, to theatre and arenas, as well as becoming one of Britain’s favourite television judges.

Throughout her illustrious career, Arlene has directed many well-known arena shows such as Strictly Come Dancing the Live Tour, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. She has produced Midnight Tango, The Very Hot Gossip Show, Britannia High and DanceX and has also choreographed much loved musicals such as Starlight Express, Wizard of Oz, Flashdance, The Sound of Music, Grease, We Will Rock You, Saturday Night Fever, Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Arlene has also rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in the music industry, working as a choreographer with many music stars, such as Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, The Bee Gees, George Michael, Cliff Richard and Robbie Williams.

Always willing and excited to pass on her dance knowledge and opinion from many years of working in the arts industry, Arlene has judged dance and talent television shows such as Over The Rainbow, So You Think You Can Dance, Strictly Come Dancing, Strictly Dance Fever, and Let’s Dance for Comic Relief, searching for the stars of tomorrow who will go on to grace our screens and stages.

Arlene has also turned her hand to pen and page, adding her books Dance to The Musicals and the Alana Dancing Star series to her list of impressive achievements and accomplishments.

Follow Arlene on Twitter! @arlenephillips

Lisa Riley

Lisa started in the industry at a very young age. She trained at the Oldham Theatre Workshop from nine years old and it has been a fun-filled ride ever since. Whilst training at OTW she appeared in numerous productions; her favourites being Worzel Gummidge  and Oh What a Lovely War.

Lisa became a household name with her popular character Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale, where she stayed for seven wonderful years. Prior to landing the role of Mandy she played numerous characters in television, theatre and film;Flight, Blood and Peaches and Hetty Wainthrop Investigates for the BBC. Wonderful comedy roles followed Having it Off, Heroes and Villains, Put out More Fags Bard to Verse. Further television credits followed with guest roles in Wish You Were Here, Holby City, Doctors, Birthrace 2000, The Bill , Waterloo Road, Young Dracula , Scott & Bailey and more recently BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing!

The role closest to Lisa’s heart was her critically acclaimed portrayal of Rebecca in Kay Mellor’s award winning drama Fat Friends. Running parallel with Lisa’s acting career she hosted You’ve Been Framed for five years and also OK TV, taking both shows viewing figures to the highest ever known.

British film credits include Butterfly Kiss, Secret Society and Six Bend Trap.

Lisa has won various awards in the business. “Most Popular Newcomer” National TV Awards, “Funniest Person in Soap” for four consecutive years and “Most Popular Young Achiever”, an accolade which afforded her the opportunity to meet Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Lisa narrated the popular children’s series Lights Camera Animals for Channel 5, and was proud to be involved in Celebrity Cash in the Attic for the BBC of which all proceeds went to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, a charity very close to Lisa’s heart.

Theatre has played as massive role in Lisa’s life over the past 4 years in The Play What I Wrote, The Naked Truth, playing Bev, where she was also Assistant Director, Vagina Monologues and the hilarious Waiting for Gateaux. Lisa has also appeared in The Rise & Fall of Little Voice and Calendar Girls.

Lisa took part in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and she went on to tour with the live show. Lisa will also be appearing in Strictly Confidential in May. 

Wayne Sleep OBE

Wayne Sleep won a Leverhulme Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in 1961 and joined the Royal Ballet Company in 1966. Later he became a Principal Dancer and had numerous roles created for him by – amongst others – Ashton, MacMillan, de Valois, Layton, Nureyev, and Neumeier. He was a Guest Artist with several ballet companies, including English National, London City, Scottish, Capab, and London Contemporary Dance.

His acting roles in the West End have included Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Ariel (The Tempest), Feste, Tony Lumpkin (She Stoops to Conquer), Truffaldino (Servant of Two Masters), Soldier (in A Soldiers Tale), Mr Mistofeles (Cats), Child Catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Emcee (Cabaret), Oblio (The Point), Adjutant (Into Thin Air) and Song and Dance.

He has choreographed Hot Shoe Show (BBC TV), Carousel, Salad Days, Savoy Suite (English National Ballet), Roll Over Jehovah, Aspects of Dance, World of Classical Ballet, History of Dance, David and Goliath (London Contemporary Dance Theatre), Winding Road (London City Ballet), Hollywood and Broadway, and for the National Youth Ballet Wonderland (Scenes from Alice), Cinderella, and Toad.

He directed, choreographed and appeared in his own review of dance, DASH, culminating in a world tour. Last Christmas he was the lead in the pantomime Beauty and the Beast at the Theatre Royal, Windsor.

Appointed OBE in 1998 and received honorary degrees from the Universities of Exeter and Teeside, he is a Patron of the British Ballet Organization and a Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Dance and has two entries in the Guinness Book of Records. His publications include Variations on Wayne Sleep and his autobiography Precious Little Sleep and he has now set up a charity – the Wayne Sleep Foundation – to help aspiring youngsters, and continues to pass on his knowledge at his dance workshops throughout the world.

Kevin Clifton

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On his debut appearance in Strictly Come Dancing 2013, Kevin Clifton reached the final with his celebrity partner breakfast news presenter Susanna Reid.

Kevin was born in Grimsby, England and is former Youth World Number One and four times British Latin Champion. He trained in ballroom and Latin from an early age, taught by his parents, former World Champions Keith and Judy Clifton. He went on to win International Open titles in Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Japan, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Belgium. From an early age, Kevin was taught the importance of giving your all during a performance and his boundless energy is electric and contagious. His passion and love of dance as an art form is evident and this shines through on stage. Kevin is trained in all styles of ballroom dance and he enjoys creating new routines and working with established choreographers. His diverse taste in music ranges from a love of rock legends such as Robbie Williams, Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury to the romantic delivery of Michael Buble, all of whom bring out the showman in him, making Kevin a compelling and intuitive performer to watch.

Away from the ballroom scene, in 2010 Kevin made his musical theatre debut in Dirty Dancing The Musical at the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End. More recently, Kevin (and his professional dance partner and fiancée Karen Hauer, who is also a fellow professional dancer in Strictly Come Dancing), have been principal dancers of the Burn The Floor Dance Company for several years, performing in the show’s record breaking Broadway run as well as starring at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End. Kevin also toured the world with the show performing in countries including Japan, Australia, South Africa and the USA as well as making guest appearances on So You Think You Can Dance in Holland.

Karen Hauer

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Best known to millions of people all over the country as one of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing professionals who last year partnered Hairy Biker Dave Myers, Karen Hauer’s Latin background is evident through her sultry looks and passion for dance. Born in Venezuela, Karen was brought up in New York from the age of eight. She attended The High School of Performing Arts otherwise known as ‘The Fame School’ and whilst there she majored in ballet and contemporary dance and received The Helen Tamaris Award for Excellence in Dance. Aged 10, Karen received a full scholarship to attend The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance where she learned her craft and continued to study for the next 10 years. Living in New York, Karen was influenced by a very broad range of dance styles. The cosmopolitan community and access to training in jazz, African and hip-hop ignited her determination to learn as many different dance disciplines as possible. At the age of 19 a visit to a Cha Cha class sparked her interest in Latin dance and that sent her in a new direction learning all the major ballroom dance styles.

Karen was crowned the 2008 World Mambo Champion and the following year gave her the chance to show her versatility as an all round trained dancer when she reached the final six girls of the American version of So You Think You Can Dance. Performing jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, hustle, ballroom and Latin, she worked with choreographers including Jason Gilkison, Melanie Lapatin, Tony Meredith, Napoleon and Tabitha, Wade Robinson and Laurieann Gibson. She was also one of Jennifer Lopez’s dancers for the singer’s performance of ‘Louboutins’ in December 2009.

Following her success on So You Think You Can Dance USA, Karen joined the original Broadway cast of Burn The Floor at Longacre Theatre in 2009 as a principal female dancer working once again with choreographer Jason Gilkison. She stayed with Burn The Floor on Broadway until 2010 before continuing her role in a world tour that took her to the USA, Europe, UK (she was a member of the original West End cast), Asia, Australasia and South Africa. Karen has an amazing presence on stage and is one of the most expressive and charismatic dancers on the current dance scene. Able to express emotion through each and every movement right through to her fingertips, Karen takes choreographed routines to new heights and she has that rare talent to attract the eye of every audience member whenever she performs.

In autumn 2012 Karen was invited to join the UK series of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing and her celebrity partner was former Westlife singer Nicky Byrne. In 2013, Karen partnered “Hairy Biker” Dave Myers and reached week seven.

Kimberly Wyatt

Kimberly Wyatt

Best known as an original member of the recording group, The Pussycat Dolls, Kimberly Wyatt is a powerful woman to be reckoned with. Kimberly began dancing at the age of seven. At 14, the talented teen earned scholarships to the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet and Broadway Dance Center, both based in New York.

Then, in 2001, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in dancing, and it paid off. 2003 saw Kimberly bust her moves in the Black Eyed Peas video ‘Shut Up’, and she was soon spotted by the founder of the Pussycat Dolls. The rest, as they say, is history…

The Grammy-nominated girl group sizzled onto the pop scene in 2005 with their debut album, PCD, and had a string of hits, including ‘Don’t Cha’ and ‘Stick Wit U’, both of which reached number one in the UK charts.

After reaching pop success all over the World, touring for over 7 years with one of the biggest selling girl groups of all time, Wyatt has sold more than 15 million albums and 40 million singles worldwide.

In 2010 Kimberly put her years of training and well founded knowledge to the test when she became a Judge on the hit Sky1 show ‘Got to Dance’ alongside Adam Garcia and Ashley Banjo.

Now in its 5th season alongside a panel that includes Ashley Banjo and Adam Garcia, the show is at the peaks of its popularity gaining impressive viewing figures of 4-5 million, Kimberly has won the hearts of the British public by inspiring scores of people to follow their dreams.

Kimberly has her own range of cruelty free cosmetics ‘Beautiful Movements’ stocked in Holland & Barrett stores nationwide, her debut fragrance ‘Kaydance’ launches in the Summer. Kimberly launches her first clothing collection in August 2014.

Follow Kimberly @kimberlykwyatt