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18 November 2021

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing is delighted to announce the appointment of Michael Elliott as Chair.  Michael was duly elected to the Council by the AGM on 17 November 2021.

Michael is a Trustee of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, a member of the Governing Body of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and a Pro-Chancellor, and Chair of the Fundraising Board, of the University of Wolverhampton. In the last 20 years he has served as the Chief Executive of both the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; as Director, Culture in the senior civil service of the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS); and, until his recent retirement, as Chief Executive of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), the world’s leading music exam board.

Upon the announcement of his appointment, Michael said:

“As I share the Society’s belief in the power of dance to inspire creativity, communication, expression, collaboration, and physical and mental well-being, I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to its growth and development in support of its members and their businesses and students. The Society’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, innovation and sustainability will be at the heart of our drive for excellence in dance and dance education as we prepare to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the next ten years."

In her address at the AGM, Ginny Brown, Chief Executive thanked Acting Co-Chairs Frederick Way and Erin Sanchez for their dedication to the Society. Upon Michael’s appointment as Chair, Ginny said:

“It is my absolute pleasure to welcome Michael as the new Chair of Council.  Michael’s exceptional experience in leading world-renowned arts organisations to drive forward business strategy and growth; organisational and digital transformation; international collaboration; and advocacy will inform the Society’s development so that we, in turn, can continue to nurture future generations of dancers and teachers.”

Michael joins the Society at a pivotal time, as it, along with members and their businesses, navigate the challenges of the global pandemic and a crisis in arts and cultural education funding.

We are committed to supporting our dance teacher members to build resilient and sustainable businesses, to open-up dance education for all and to demonstrate our reputation as world leaders through progressive, inclusive syllabi and qualifications.   

The Society’s dedication to creating an inclusive dance community means striving to break down barriers to accessing dance education. Working hand in hand with its members, we provide training, resources, and advocacy to enable teachers to be leaders in their communities and make dance a part of everyday life. While investment in developing sustainable and digital products will be matched by our commitment to providing the best quality training for all.

Michael Elliott, Chair Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing:

“The Society has enormous potential for growth and for extending its reach to support of dance education in new contexts and new territories given the breadth and quality of its offer, and its values offer an essential foundation to its wider role in championing dance education and to building alliances that will make a positive difference. The ever-increasing pace of societal, economic, technological, environmental, and educational change places new demands on our lives, communities, working practices, and businesses. This will require the Society to be ever more agile and efficient in adapting and responding to changed circumstances, developing its services to members and learners, and improving its governance, talent, delivery infrastructure, and systems.”

Also elected to the board of trustees

Sho Shibata was elected for a third term of office with newly elected Trustees, Leanne Kirkham and Kathryn Williams and Michael Elliot. They join current trustees: Frederick Way, Elisabeth Swan, Karen King, Tom Hobden, Jeremy Kean, Lynn Chandler, Keith-Derrick Randolph and Nafisah Baba.

Sincere thanks to Erin Sanchez, who stood down from Council after six years of dedicated service.

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