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  5. Shirley Ballas announced as ISTD President

1 February 2024

As an ISTD member, dance school owner and teacher, Shirley has been a lifelong advocate for the value of dance for all.

“I am beyond honoured to have been appointed President of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Sharing my passion for dance and promoting dance education for all in this new and exciting role is going to be fantastic.” said Shirley Ballas, ISTD President. “Thank you to all at the ISTD, I am looking forward to working with you all.”

Shirley’s first official event with the Society will be to attend the ISTD Graduation as guest of honour on 13 February and celebrate the success of recently qualified dance teachers.

Shirley has recently supported the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) campaign – Find Your Dance Space – which encourages people to find their love of dance. “Dance is a wonderful outlet that enables people to connect and express themselves, and I feel passionately that more children should have the opportunity to experience and enjoy it,” said Shirley of the campaign. 

Shirley Ballas President

The role of President is the highest honorary accolade that the Society can bestow, and has previously been held by Peggy Spencer MBE, Bill Irvine MBE and Dame Beryl Grey CH DBE. 

“As a world champion dancer, an established dance teacher and the chair of the Strictly panel of judges, Shirley excels in her commitment to ISTD’s key values of passion, excellence, continuing professional development, creativity, diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is an inspiration to our members, their students, and the wider dance community.” said Mick Elliott, ISTD Chair of Trustees of Shirley’s appointment. “We are absolutely delighted, therefore, that Shirley has agreed to serve as our President and join our members in championing the cause of dance and dance education in challenging times.”

As ISTD celebrates its 120th anniversary, the Society’s focus is firmly on building a strong future for dance education. Shirley’s expertise and passion is perfectly matched to the Society’s vision and strategy for the future development of its qualifications, which support dance teachers to build strong businesses and to create greater access to dance within formal and informal education.

“As one of the best-known dance personalities in the UK today, Shirley’s appointment will shine a light on the amazing work of our dance teachers in towns and cities across the world.” Explains Ginny Brown, ISTD Chief Executive. “There are so many positive benefits of dancing and with Shirley’s support we hope to spread the word and encourage more people to join our community.”

Read more about our President and our Patrons

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