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Michael Sandham

Director 2014-2015

Fellow and Ballroom Branch Examiner

Michael is a Fellow and Examiner of IDTA, and former Chairman of the North West Area Ballroom Committee.

Having grown up in the business, Michael and his wife Marie had a successful amateur and professional competitive career, and are former finalists in the World and European Professional ten dance championships. When they retired from competing they opened their first dance studio and now run IDTA studios in three locations.

Over the past 20 years IDTA members have supported him with advice and assistance, and as a Director he is able to return that support by working hard for members of the Association. Michael is a member of many IDTA committees including the Ballroom and Latin Faculties, the Finance & General Purposes Committee and London Meeting and Congress Arrangements Committee.

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Dawn Parker

Director 2014-2015

Fellow and Ballroom Branch Examiner

Dawn started dancing at the age of seven, and was introduced into the Medal test system through the classical sequence branch. Subsequently she took Medals in several branches, entered and partnered in IDTA Medallist competitions, and in 1974 won Medallist of the Year in Classical and Modern Sequence under the guidance of Derek Tonks and Beryl Bates.

Her desire to teach was very strong and as a result she qualified at 17 in Classical Sequence and Ballroom. She continued studying for further qualifications in other branches at John Knight Dance Studios. By 28 years old Dawn had attained Fellowships in Ballroom, Latin and Sequence, and at 29 was appointed IDTA examiner. She has been a full-time dance teacher all her working life.

She has been a part of IDTA since the beginning in 1967 and firmly believes it will remain the biggest and best by keeping up with modern trends and styles, and encouraging all ages and abilities to get involved in the subject. She has, and still continues to, fully support the Medal test system and has entered thousands of pupils in Ballroom, Latin, Sequence, Freestyle, Rock 'n' Roll, Country and Western, Cheerleading, Dance Exercise and Club Dance style tests.

She has trained numerous professionals in all branches. Dawn has been a member of the Midlands Area Committee for 14 years and is currently Vice Chairman; she is also the current Chairman of the Freestyle Faculty and has previously held titles in 2002-2004 and 2009-2010.

In 2006 she was elected onto the Ballroom Faculty and has thoroughly enjoyed working with colleagues on the revision of our technique book. Her love of examining, lecturing and adjudicating at all levels has not deteriorated, and she still loves the buzz of visiting and revisiting venues to receive a warm reception from all our members. She has thoroughly enjoyed her ten years as a member of the Board, and has become even more aware of how hard her fellow directors work to maintain our standards.

It has been an honour and privilege for Dawn to play a part in the continuing development of the biggest and best dance teachers association in the world, and especially to represent the Association as President from 2010-2011 - a role she thoroughly enjoyed and took very seriously. She would like to thank everyone who had faith in her. Dawn is always approachable and ready to offer advice and encouragement.

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Patricia Lupino Thompson

Director 2014-2015

Fellow and Theatre Branch Examiner

Always aware that she is a descendant member of the famous Lupino family, Pat has been a member of the IDTA since its amalgamation with the Empire Society, and previously was a full member of the Empire.

During her time as a vocational student at the Nina Hodgson School, she also had Ballroom lessons. Several years in showbiz followed with Prince Littler and George & Alfred Black (the Andrew Lloyd Webbers of the day), then onto being head of The Lupino School of Dancing in Bury.

She enjoyed many successes with pupils, including; IDTA Scholarship winners, Championship titles, West End productions, contracts with major Ballet companies and pupils working abroad and on cruise ships. Now there are many previous pupils, Members, Fellows and Examiners of the IDTA with successful schools themselves.

Pat has held many successful positions in the world of dance and has worked as a Director on the board of the IDTA for over 15 years. Pat is an IDTA Examiner, Adjudicator and Lecturer for British Federation and All England. She is also the organiser of the annual IDTA Theatre Dance Festival, Director of the All England Dance, and a member of the Royal Academy of Dance.

Pat was a recipient of a Theatre Carl Alan Award and the Classique de Danse Awards in 2007. In 2013 Pat was honoured and delighted to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the IDTA.

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John Knight

Director 2014-2015

Fellow and Ballroom Branch Examiner

John, like other past presidents, is able to draw on an intimate knowledge of the workings of the organisation and has a personal interest in its members' activities and successes.

He is a three-times past-president and has been fully involved in the work of the Association for many years. Serving on numerous committees of the Association and the British Council has given him wide experience, and he believes in pursuing good causes and looks to anticipate change for the good.

During his career, John and his wife Joan have received three Carl Alan Awards and the IDTA Distinguished Service Award. Joan and John's school in Wednesbury has a full range of activities from social beginners upwards. The school supports the Medal test system in full, with three sessions or more each year using all branches ranging from rosettes upwards. As an addition the school is now taking on board Ballroom and Latin Grades examinations.

He feels that success in a school of dancing depends on hard work, an appreciation of customer needs and a massive sense of humour! John prefers to look forward to the challenge of the changing future. He has the attitude that optimists live longer than pessimists.

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Richard Hopkins

Director 2014-2015

Fellow and Ballroom Branch Examiner

Richard is a proud member, past President, Examiner and member of the Board of Directors of IDTA. He has lectured at the London and Southport conferences, and in many IDTA Areas.

Richard enjoys judging the superb Area and National Medallist events, and teaches all grades of dancer, be it professional or amateur. Having run a dance school for over 46 years, Richard strongly identifies with the needs of members.

He enthusiastically endeavours to dedicate his time and energy - alongside his passion for innovation and development - into continuing to keep our association as the leader of the dance world.

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Carol Hammond

Director 2014-2015

Fellow and Ballroom Branch Examiner

Carol has been teaching for over 30 years, being involved in Ballroom, Latin American, Classical, Modern Sequence, Freestyle, Musical Theatre and Theatre Craft classes. Her students have entered the International Dance Teachers' Association Medal test system and also Ofqual Grade examinations - from Preparatory Grade through to Grade 3 - in her Studio.

She has two daughters; Adele, who is already qualified in IDTA and is a successful professional coach/lecturer in UK, USA and South Korea, and Kate, who has recently decided to embark on obtaining professional qualifications within the Association.

She runs a very successful studio - catering for children from 2 ½ years to adults 80 years plus! - covering a broad spectrum of social and competitive dancing, and fully supports the Nationwide Medallist of the Year Competitions and the new IDTA Supreme Medallist Competitions.

Carol has also trained many professionals and several of her pupils have been recognised with awards by the IDTA. She is a Fellow and Examiner of the Ballroom, Latin American, Classical Sequence and Freestyle branches. Carol is privileged to lecture, examine and adjudicate both in the UK and abroad. This is something which she enjoys immensely as it allows her to visit other schools and meet other professionals. Carol is a proud and fully committed member of the IDTA and feels very honoured to be a member of the Board of Directors. She is passionate about maintaining the high standard of dance with the IDTA to help keep ‘One Step Ahead’.

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