Julie started dancing at the very young age of two and a half years old. She had gone along to a children’s class with her sister (Suzanne age six) and their cousin but the teacher was very strict and would not let Julie join in until she was three, however she was allowed to watch. Julie did watch and apart from copying the older children, she was so well behaved the teacher let her join in. At 3 years old Julie achieved Honours in her first medal, Bronze Waltz; she went on to finish all her I.S.T.D Juvenile medals taking the Alex Moore Award when she was only ten. During this time she often made the finals in Medal Competitions at the Hammersmith Palais.
As a Juvenile from about the age of 9 years old, Julie started to do Open Competitions with her partner. They travelled all over the country, competing most weekends, and practising hard during the week. The practice paid off as in one year they won 56 trophies. (A lot of silver to be cleaned). As Juveniles, they became 1st in England and 2nd in the world at the main event held every year in October at the Royal Albert Hall London. At this time Julie still only 10 years old and her partner was 11. They continued into the Junior section and carried on their success, often winning the Under 14 yrs section.
When Julie was 14 years old a new partnership began and together over the next few months they won many titles becoming UK Junior 10 dance champions and again in October at the Royal Albert Hall they were placed 2nd in England and 3rd in the World for Ballroom. Julie and her partner competed in France representing England and won the Ballroom 5 dance and the Latin American 5 dance championship. Not long after that, Julie and her partner were invited to dance for England in the team match against Denmark, which Julie says was a great honour and everyone was delighted when England won.
At 16 Julie felt she wanted to stop travelling to competitions, and in time she started to help her sister Suzanne with adult and children classes. Julie went on to take her Student Teachers exam and it was not long before she was back in competitions. The sisters wanted to enter the All Ladies Professional Competitions and were often placed within the top three. In between getting married and having a family of her own, Julie went on to take her Associate Teachers exam and eventually found time to take her Licentiate Teachers exam. Julie said she could not have done all this without the support of her husband and wanted to thank him for this. Julie’s future plans are too obviously help build up her dancing school, keep taking more examinations and to judge competitions.
Suzanne was introduced to Ballroom Dancing when her parents took her to a Saturday Morning Dance Class. Ballroom and Latin dancing then became her favourite pass time against trying out ballet and tap dancing. Suzanne went on to take I.S.T.D medal examinations and entered the Grand Finals held at the Hammersmith Palais where Suzanne was placed second in the Paso Doble at Gold Level. Suzanne found she preferred teaching to competing and at the young age of 16 started her training with Glenn and Lynette Boyce and Joan and Dan Judah. In 1984 she passed her Teacher’s Associate exam with Distinction and this enabled her to be put forward for the prestigious Phyllis Haylor Scholarship, the youngest teacher at the time. Over the next few years Suzanne taught part-time alongside her office job whilst she built up her clientéle and raised a family. She then went on to take her Licentiate Latin with Martin Simmonds and then Licentiate Ballroom exam with Anne Lingard, again passing both with Distinction. She is working towards her Members exams and would like to become an examiner.
Over the years, Suzanne has become known for welcoming pupils of all ages, guiding them gently from shy beginner to accomplished dancer. She continues to push herself from strength to strength, taking the opportunity to both lecture and is now taking more bookings to Judge Competitions.
Suzanne’s strengths are focusing on the individual, believing that everyone can dance and will achieve their personal goals in their own time. There is no such thing as age in Ballroom dancing. She believes it is the one thing in life where all ages can come together and enjoy each others company regardless of age.
In 2010 Keep Dancing was formed with the sisters working side by side. Its lovely to have all the family involved in the school Mollie and Gerald (Mum and Dad), Her two daughter’s Naomi and Rebecca, and partner Steve all of whom help make this a really happy Keep Dancing Family.