The elegance and style of the early 1900s were major factors in the development of ballroom dancing by the habituees of the smarter West End establishments. A chance meeting between one of the leading ladies of the time, Josephine Bradley, and a talented young American, GK Anderson, produced a partnership which provided the foundation for the English Style for which the ISTD is still world-renowned. Further developed by Phyllis Haylor and other famous names of the time, it is indeed fortunate that, under the leadership of Lady Humphries, they joined together to preserve the Style with examinations of standard to a set technique, and so the Modern Ballroom Dance Faculty of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing was born. When, under the guidance of a committee headed by Alex Moore, it was decided to write the Technique of Ballroom Dancing, the ISTD established itself as one of the leaders of a now virile profession, a position it has maintained since.
The Imperial Dance and Dance Sport Faculties' Board guides the multi-faceted activities of this Faculty. An annual summer Congress presents new work and ideas coupled with refinements in the presentation of technique to the hundreds of professional teachers who regularly attend. Refresher courses are held throughout the country which ensure that first class tuition is available for those who not only wish to take advantage of the examination system but also for those seeking to improve their technique for social activities. Everyone, from the social dancer, keen amateur or aspiring professional, can measure their progress, assured in the knowledge that their assessment is in capable hands. As a further inducement to progress, the ISTD runs regular competitive events for the keen medallist. These enable students from various schools to compete against each other in a friendly fashion, and are extremely popular events with tremendous atmosphere. Competition ballroom dancing, both professional and amateur, has grown tremendously over the past two decades, and has become a worldwide activity. Top class teaching and coaching are necessary to attain the standards required in this field, and it is no surprise to find that many of our examiners and committee members travel the world to work with aspiring and existing champions.
The ISTD is keenly aware of the importance of dance in the social structure of tomorrow. Continually increasing interest from young children has prompted us in the past to offer attainment awards for youngsters from an age as low as five years and this facility will be developed accordingly. With the present accent on fitness and the increase in longevity, more and more people of all age groups are finding a need to fill their leisure time in a healthy and enjoyable manner. In this respect, the benefits of dance for increasing friendship and well being are second to none, and all our services for the future will be geared to filling this need. A new dance, a new style, new music, all of our members will be kept abreast of developments through one of the leading dance organisations in the world, the ISTD.