Society News

Announcing our New Chair

Chris Hocking joins the Society as its new Chair at the annual general meeting on 18 November 2020.

AGM 2020
Chris Hocking

Chris Hocking was appointed as the new Chair to the Board of Trustees at the 2020 AGM on 18 November 2020. Chris was elected to the position by the Council and replaces Sue Passmore who served in the post since 2016.

Formally trained at the Nesta Brooking School of Ballet, studying Cecchetti Ballet and National, Chris has enjoyed a successful performing and choreography career with West End shows such as Chicago, Carousel, The King and I, The Rocky Horror Show and much more. His career saw him direct and choreograph numerous pantomimes around the country which led to his awarded M.A. in Choreography from Middlesex University. Current Principal of ArtsEd and CEO of ArtsEd International, Chris has also been awarded the Fellowship of the British and International Federation of Festivals, is Chair of all England Dance and a Head Judge for Dance World Cup.

Upon the announcement of his appointment, Chris Hocking said:

“In my journey from a young boy taking ISTD Primary Tap, through to a teenager passing the ISTD Cecchetti Associate Exam with Distinction, I am now currently the Principal at ArtsEd, one the UK’s oldest and most well-known performing arts institutes. I have dedicated my life and career to dance and its associated genres by performing in West End shows, teaching in vocational Dance/Musical Theatre/Drama schools, choreographing major productions, adjudicating Dance Festivals around the world, increasing representation in Dance of people from diverse backgrounds and being involved in charitable activities for the world of Dance. I relish the prospect and honour of being Chair of the Society in this challenging and thought-provoking time, as Benjamin Franklin said “out of adversity comes opportunity.”


In her address at the AGM, Ginny Brown introduced the new Chair and applauded the commitment and dedication of the previous Chair Sue Passmore, who championed inclusive practice and curated events to share the work of varied artists, recruiting diverse perspectives onto the Board of Trustees and for her introduction of the bursary funds and instigating the Contemporary Dance syllabus during her tenure. Ginny Brown said:

“It is my absolute pleasure to welcome Chris as the new Chair of Council. Chris brings to this role a wealth of experience as a performer and Principal of one of the country’s leading vocational schools. I know that he shares my commitment to diversity in the dance sector and I am looking forward to working with Chris to maximize the future impact of the Society.”

ginny brown, chief executive

Tom Hobden, an independent choreographer, educator, mentor and founder and CEO of UNIT will also join the esteemed board along with Chris, who comprise of Erin Sanchez (Vice Chair); Frederick Way (Vice Chair); Jeremy Kean (Chair of Finance and Audit); Elisabeth Swan (Chair of Nomination and Renumeration); Lynn Chandler; Karen King; Sian Prime; Keith-Derrick Randolph; Sho Shibata and Carrie Wooten. Chris will work closely with the Board of Trustees and the Chief Executive, Ginny Brown to continue to broaden and expand the future of the Society.

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