Sunday, 28 December 2014

East Sussex Dance Highlights 2014

Night of 100 Stars - Adult Ballroom Classes Trip, October 2014
Meeting Professional Latin dancers at Night of 100 Stars
Night of 100 Stars was a feast of world -class demonstations in Ballroom, Latin American and Show dance from the very best dancers (in the UK for the international championships the following week). Held at the Effingham Park Copthorne hotel, East Sussex Dance were lucky enough to secure 2 tables so that our dancers could enjoy the amazing standard of professional dancing. The evening also had time for social dancing so that our students could practice all the steps they have been learning in their dance classes!

East Sussex Dance Junior Ballroom team
Some of our younger Ballroom dancers at the Empress Ballroom, Blackpool 
The East Sussex Dance Ballroom & Latin competition team danced their way to success at the Blackpool Grand Finals in November. Our dancers reached quarter - finals, semi - finals and we even had 3 placings in the finals, including a 1st place in Ballroom!

Champion Ballroom dancers at the Empress Ballroom
Our Blackpool Ballroom champions receiving their awards
 Each of the dancers had qualified for the National Event at Regional competitions throughout the year and had worked hard to prepare for the prestigious Finals in the Empress Ballroom. The kids were especially supportive of each other, and everyone enjoyed the weekend of dancing.

East Sussex Dance Latin finalist Blackpool
Latin Finalist with proud dance teacher!

Back in Sussex, Lewes Goes Strictly, a Ballroom & Latin dance class for beginners and improvers returned for a 7 week course and culminated in a Tea Dance at the end of November. Dancers of all levels came together to enjoy an afternoon of dancing with tea and cake at Southover Church in Lewes. 

The following weekend was our ISTD exam session in Patcham, Brighton. Students from our children's and adult's dance classes took part, entering for medal tests at all levels from Under 6 and Under 8 ' tests through to Gold Star and Awards. Results, along with certificates and medals will arrive in January. 

The last week of term was "Watching Week" where friends and family were invited to watch their children's dance class. At the end of each class we took a retiring collection for Chestnut Tree House (the Sussex childrens hospice) and we raised over £100! 

Looking ahead to the month of January, we have New Beginners classes for Adults and Kids as well as specialist dance workshops, regional dance competitions and social dancing events for all levels.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

New Term, New Dance Classes

School Show at Michael Hall, July 2014

It's been a while since our last blog post,  but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy; quite the opposite!

ESD Students 2nd Place at German Dance Festival, June 2014
Since we last posted we have been to Germany for a Ballroom dancing competition, had our whole school dance show at Michael Hall Theatre in Forest Row, ran 2 kids dance Summer Schools in Lewes, organised various dance workshops and events with our adult students AND attended a UK ballroom dancing competition to boot!

Our Adult Ballet classes and Lewes Fitsteps class have run on Thursday evenings throughout July and August and will continue into the Autumn, with Adult Ballet moving to a Saturday afternoon.
Fitsteps classes in Patcham will recommence on Wednesday 10th September with a new start time of 10.00am. New recruits are very welcome!
On Friday 5th September at 7pm our Adult Beginners Ballroom & Latin class recommences - new students welcome - and our Second Stage Ballroom class resumes on 12th September.

Our more advanced Adult Ballroom classes ran every week through the Summer and we ran a successful Social night on Saturday 16th August. The following week we also ran a Viennese Waltz workshop covering all the basic steps and technique, and even incorporating some American Smooth Ballroom towards the end.

Lewes Kids Summer School, August 2014
The kids have got lots to look forward to this term with new Saturday morning dance classes in Lewes, and of course all of our regular dance classes recommencing in Brighton, Lewes and Danehill. Our children's dance classes restart for the Autumn on Monday 8th September.

Many of our competitive dancers from across East Sussex have qualified for the ISTD Ballroom & Latin finals in Blackpool. We also have Autumn Term ISTD Medal Tests which are open to all students.

Tango dancer at ISTD Southern Area Dance Competition

For a full timetable detailing all our dance classes visit our schedule page.
For the latest updates on all our dance classes why not follow East Sussex Dance on Facebook?
You can also find us on Twitter!

Friday, 6 June 2014

East Sussex Dance - Ballroom dancing around the world!

It's been a busy May with a Ballroom dancing competition at Hove Town Hall, a new term of "Lewes Goes Strictly", the launch of Fitsteps in Lewes and much more besides.
Our younger dancers are currently preparing for the end of year show in Forest Row and on 17th May we held rehearsals in Brighton and Lewes. It was a great opportunity for our dancers to see the other classes dancing their pieces and of course to practice performing in front of other students. The choreography is almost all finished now and most costumes have been tried on and assigned so all that remains is to practice-practice-practice before the big day on 5th July.

East Sussex Dance has gone global this Summer...
Our first couple had come for dance lessons in Lewes in preparation for a holiday in Barbados (see below). They started learning with us only a few months ago and, thanks to their dedicaton and practice, were able to take the dance floor by storm!
East Sussex Dance in Barbados!

One of our wedding couples learned to dance with East Sussex Dance in Brighton and did their "First Dance" at their wedding reception in Cyprus at the end of May.

We are also taking a group of 17 students to Cologne, Germany in June for a Ballroom Dancing Competition. Most of us are flying, although Marcus will be driving with some of our Lewes students through France and Belgium. 

Any other international dance opportunities very welcome - preferably sunny locations please!

East Sussex Dance is a dance school based in Brighton and Lewes. We offer dance classes and private lessons across the county of East Sussex.

Follow us on TwitterGoogle+Facebook and YouTube or visit for more information about our services.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Fitsteps dance fitness is coming to Brighton (Patcham) and Lewes with East Sussex Dance

fitsteps brighton
BBC Strictly Come Dancing's Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe

"It's time to put on your dancing shoes, even if you can’t dance, as the UK is about to go Strictly mad with the addition of FitSteps®!"

But what IS Fitsteps?

fitsteps lewes

Fitsteps is a 45 minute class, designed by BBC Strictly's Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe, which uses the most popular Ballroom & Latin dances to tone, strengthen and burn calories whilst improving co-ordination, poise and posture.

Burning up to 450 calories in 45 minutes, Fitsteps is a dance fitness programme that delivers results fast.

And the best bit? It's Ballroom & Latin but you don't need a partner!

“People taking part in the classes will enjoy learning the 10 dances, picking up a great skill and having a good time. It’s not; “Oh no I have to go to the gym," the physical rewards come almost without you noticing.” 
- professional dancer Natalie Lowe (BBC Strictly Come Dancing)

East Sussex Dance launch their Fitsteps dance fitness classes in Brighton on 7th May and Lewes on 22nd May. To secure your place call Alex on 07901 962163 or email
For more adults, childrens and toddler dance classes visit

lewes fitsteps
Alex with Strictly's Ian Waite
fitsteps brighton
Patcham Fitsteps Poster

Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter holiday dancing antics - not just in Sussex!

The Easter holidays began with a week of private tuition and exam rehearsal classes (in preparation for ISTD dancing exams in Brighton on April 27th) plus Adult Social Ballroom & Latin dance classes running as usual in the evenings. 
Alongside the Easter holiday dancing lessons, we've been up to lots more...

The Spring of Youth
On Saturday 12th April was "The Spring of Youth" at Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead. This was an evening performance showcasing different performing arts groups from across East Sussex. East Sussex Dance had three students invited to perform; Oscar (11) from our Brighton Ballroom class, Camille (12) from our Lewes Ballroom class, and Tessa (16) from our Danehill Ballroom class, who was also involved in several Jazz numbers with Sussex Youth Dance Company.

This was Oscar and Camille's first performance together on stage and would be very different to their previous competition dancing experience. Usually there would be another 6-10 couples sharing the competition dance floor but here they had a big stage all to themselves. On the night the kids gave their Jive routine energy and attack as well as projecting and performing to their audience - a job well done.

An experienced stage performer, Tessa danced a beautifully presented Tango and expressive Rumba. She managed some very swift costume changes and remained focused and professional throughout the show. Tessa is an elegant dancer who really shone both on stage and off. Thank you Tess!


Meanwhile, Alex was on her way to Oxford for her Fitsteps Instructor training course.
Fitsteps is the new dance fitness craze sweeping the nation, designed by BBC Strictly Stars Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe. Fitsteps uses the contrasting Ballroom and Latin dance styles to create a balanced workout that will tone, strengthen and increase cardiovascular fitness as well as teaching the basic steps in each dance with style and flair. Fitsteps classes are fun, varied and "Fab-u-lous" so Alex is very excited to be able to teach Fitsteps classes in Brighton and Lewes.

It was an intense 9-hour day of gruelling workouts, theory and practical assessments but the fantastic course instructors, great music and quality choreography kept the delegates motivated and excited. Strictly's Ian Waite even dropped in at lunchtime to give everyone some encouragement.

Alex will be launching Fitsteps Brighton at Patcham Community Centre on Wednesday 30th April, 9.30am. 
Fitsteps Lewes will be on a Thursday at 6.30pm to begin with, start date tbc.

Entertaining the Senior Citizens - Short Performance in Eastbourne

On Thursday 16th April a completely different East Sussex Dance fixture was booked in. Six boys and one girl headed over to Eastbourne to entertain the senior citizens at a local care home. 

Our Lewes Street dance boys wowed the residents with their fast-paced, high energy routines whilst Joe, Colombo and Olivia (from our Brighton dance classes) did the Waltz, Rumba and Cha Cha Cha. Olivia was brave enough to dance a solo Jive to Jailhouse Rock which went down a storm (you can't beat a bit of Elvis...) 

After the short performance we were rewarded with lemonade and cupcakes and the residents asked the Lewes Street dance boys to recreate their "baby freeze" (see photo below). Of course the boys were only too happy to oblige! 

For more information about our classes, visit our website or call Alex on 07901962163.
You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and watch us on YouTube.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Spring-Summer dancing at a glance

5th April Social dancing / Practice session, Lewes

12th April Youth Dance Show, Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead

17th April Entertaining the Senior Citizens at Milton Grange, Eastbourne

17th April Fitsteps Launch, Lewes

24th April Ballroom & Latin Beginners Class and Social dancing, The Inn on the Park, Golden Cross

27th April ISTD Medal Tests, Patcham

3rd May Danehill/West Hoathly Adult Improvers Class - Summer Term commences

5th May Bank Holiday, although Ballet classes will run as normal

11th May ISTD Ballroom dancing Competition, Brighton & Hove

17th May Dress Rehearsals for School Show

8th June ISTD Ballroom dancing Competition for kids, Brighton & Hove

28th June Cologne dance festival

21st June ARBTA Dancing Exams, Patcham

5th July School Show at Michael Hall Theatre

Saturday, 15 March 2014

"First Dance" : Wedding dance lessons with your local dance school!

If you're getting married this year, why not surprise your guests by learning to dance for the wedding? Charleston, Jive, Salsa, Swing, Disco... you name it, we can help you create a "First Dance" that you'll remember forever.

At East Sussex Dance we've taught those with "two left feet" as well as ex-professional dancers so rest assured that whatever your previous experience, we can get you dancing on your big day.

It doesn't just have to be the Bride and Groom either; Mother and Father of the Bride, Best Man and Bridesmaids could learn with you, and we can even organise a WEDDING FLASH MOB!

Our professional dance teachers work tirelessly to ensure that your dance is unique, taking into account your musical tastes, previous experience (if any!) and any other special requests from you.

When and Where are the Dance Lessons?
Our dance teachers operate mainly at our centres in Brighton, Lewes and Danehill but we can also provide lessons in other venues across East Sussex.
If space allows, we can even provide dancing lessons in your own home.
Wedding dance lessons can be booked at a time to suit you; our dance teachers are available to teach during the day, in the evening and at weekends so we can always find a mutually convenient time.


How Much Does it Cost?
Private lessons start at £24 for 45 minutes, and discounts are available when you buy a block of lessons.
The number of lessons required really depends on how ambitious your dance is, combined with how much time you're able to put aside for practice at home. Some couples find that 3 or 4 lessons is enough, whereas others like to book a block of 10 lessons.

Did you know... you can now buy ESD Gift Vouchers?! A private lesson with one of our professional coaches makes the perfect engagement present and an original gift for anniversaries and birthdays.

"Alex is a fantastic teacher! She choreographed an amazing routine for our wedding dance and taught us it at a pace we were very comfortable with!  It all paid off on the big day!" - James & Rachael

"I had a plan from a very young age of my first wedding dance and that was Dirty Dancing “Time of my Life”, unfortunately my husband didn’t have the same ideas as me and actually could not think of anything worse!!! I went to Alex and Marcus at East Sussex Dance and they solved the problem!! Marcus was my dance partner and performed my dream dance with me on the evening of the wedding wearing a mask of my husband!! It was an amazing experience, I could not dance at all and had regular secret lessons at East Sussex Dance and they taught me in a way that was fun and I really enjoyed myself! The dance was spot on to the original (Apart from the lift in which I needed 4 men to carry me!!). My guests loved it and most of all it made my wedding day! They are amazing and I would recommend them to any one looking for an amazing first dance at their wedding." - Steph (married 2013)

"We’d just like to say that we both really enjoyed the lessons with Marcus and found him friendly, encouraging, enthusiastic and patient. We loved the routine he planned for us – the song choice was not easy to choreograph a routine to as it was a little obscure, but Marcus managed to put something together that included it, plus made other suggestions so that we ended up with two songs and lots of dance styles – something we never would have been able to do without his expert help. A huge thank you for helping to make our wedding special for us and a little different." Susannah and Alex, 2013

East Sussex Dance is a dance school based in Brighton and Lewes. We offer dance classes and private lessons across the county of East Sussex. 

Follow us on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and YouTube or visit for more information about our services.

Monday, 10 March 2014

March Update : Ballroom and Jive dancing events

The Story of Glenn Miller

On Sunday 2nd March, Marcus and Alex were accompanied by Peter (student at our Lewes dance classes) and Chloe (student at our Brighton dance classes) to the Pavilion Theatre in Worthing to perform as guest dancers for The Story of Glenn Miller.
dance class lewes
In the dressing rooms
The theatre was an impressive venue with traditional decor, and was a nice warm haven compared to the howling wind outside! Once the band had warmed up we were then ready for a quick rehearsal on stage before finding our dressing rooms.
First on were Alex and Peter dancing the Quick Rhythm to "American Patrol". They even threw in a few Charleston and Lindy hop moves to showcase some of the major dance styles from the early 20th Century.
In the second half were Chloe and Marcus, dancing to "A String of Pearls". The choreoraphy started with American Smooth Foxtrot, going into the Ballroom Jive, which complimented the Big Band sound really well.
Finally Marcus and Alex performed a professional, high energy Jive routine to "People like you and Me" which only seemed to get faster as it went on!
The live band were amazing and seemed to give our dancing a real boost; no recorded track or digital media could beat it. A big Thank you to the Astor Big Band for inviting us - we look forward to dancing with you again!

Ballroom dancing
The Team - about to go on!

Sussex "Got To Dance"

The very next day, Marcus was Jiving again at the Sussex "Got to Dance" competition with Jo Dearden, ESD student and president of the Ballroom and Latin dance society at the University of Sussex.
The variety and quality of the dance acts was amazing. There were great contemporary and street dance groups, super cool swing and salsa dance groups, some truly amazing break dancers and, something I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing, the Asian dance styles whose music and dancing we could have listened to and watched all day.
Because of the high standard of competitors, we went on with the attitude that we may only dance this once and after the speed, energy and attack we threw into the jive I admit I was glad we didn't have to muster a repeat performance!
In fact, it was so high energy that one of our students from the university dance class came up to me at the end and said ‘I hope our jive doesn’t get as fast as that!’
In all, it has been a very successful week showcasing our dancers' talent at East Sussex Dance and we only have a week before our next performance at the "Sussex Live" show on Friday 14th March.
Then its back to teaching our weekly dance classes until April when we have another show to do at Chequer Mead on 12th April, entertaining Senior Citizens on 17th April as well as school medal tests on 27th April. Phew!

None of these events would be possible without the talent of the wonderful students at East Sussex Dance.

You can view all 3 dance performances at the Glenn Miller show as well as the high energy jive from Sussex Got to Dance on our YouTube page.

Visit for more news about our toddler, childrens, teenagers and adult dance classes, competitions, exams and shows across Brighton, Lewes and East Sussex and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Brighton and Lewes Students at Kids Ballroom and Latin Dance Competition in Bournemouth 

After the powerful storm on Friday and with parts of Bournemouth still underwater, we were almost certain last Sunday's competition would be cancelled or postponed.

However, as if someone had flicked a switch, the skies cleared on Sunday morning and the kids' and teenagers' dance competition ran as planned.
It was a successful day for East Sussex Dance; all of our dances looked fantastic and made good use of the very small dance floor.

Daniel danced the Waltz and Jive. This was Daniel's first ever regional dance competition but he didn't let any nerves show through. He got called back into the Quarter Finals for his Waltz; a great start to his dancing "career"!

Chloe "flew" around the floor during her beautifully poised Viennese Waltz, overtaking many other competitors in the process. 

We feel that Indi's performance in the Pre-Bronze Samba was the best she's ever danced. She really gave her all and, as a result, was called back into the quarter finals.

Josh and Natasha made it to the finals of both their Ballroom and Latin Couples events achieving 4th and 3rd placings respectively.

Maya danced a beautiful Waltz and got all the way to the final round achieving 6th Place.

Elysia did very well in the 3-dance Sequence competition, a gruelling event where competitors perform three different dances back-to-back. Even though this was only Elysia's second time competing in this event she danced through to the final, taking 3rd place.

All of our dancers from Brighton and Lewes should be extremely proud of their performances on Sunday. As usual, they represented East Sussex Dance very well and can now enjoy a well-deserved break from the busy competition schedule of January and February.

Many of the dancers are also performing in a number of shows across Sussex over the next few weeks, so we still have plenty of dancing to be getting on with.

This afternoon we have just returned from a demonstration in Eastbourne at a day centre for older people. They were charmed by our dancers, who showed a variety of their competition routines. One lady was a former dance teacher herself and came to thank us personally for coming to visit the day centre.

Special thanks go to Chloe, Maya and Emma who gave up their afternoon to spread a bit of joy through their dancing :-)

That's all for now; enjoy your half term!
Visit for more news about our children's dance classes, competitions, exams and shows across Brighton, Lewes and East Sussex and follow us on twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A VERY Busy Dance School

We are barely into February but the East Sussex Dance diary is filling up fast…

The new Adult dance classes and Kids dance classes are off to a great start in Brighton and Lewes. January saw our first professional cabaret of the year, the “January Blues” Tea Dance in Lewes and our first social night of 2014 was very well received (next date is 1st March).

Our students have started working on pieces for the whole school dance show, flights have been booked for our Germany trip in June and by the time February has finished we will have attended our fourth dance competition of the year!

Our dance school have also been invited to perform as “guest dancers” at over 12 other shows across East Sussex in the first half of the year! The month of March alone includes 4 performances at retirement and care homes, the Glenn Miller Story at the Pavilion Theatre in Worthing and 3 performances at Sussex University (as part of the Ballroom and Latin Dance society run by the Students).

Recent dance class in Lewes

April and May are pretty hectic too; ISTD exam session for kids and adults in Lewes and Brighton, A St Patrick’s day practice night, Sunday Ballroom workshops as well as preparing for the local Kids and Adults dance competitions in Horsham and Hove.

Saturday 5th July is our major school event: the East Sussex Dance school show. Every class, from our adults and teenagers down to the kids and toddlers dance classes are invited to perform 1 or 2 dances as part of the show which takes place at Michael Hall theatre in Forest Row.
Last year's school show
Although the children’s dance classes break for August, our week of Summer school keeps the kids busy.

At the moment, September and October are business as usual with the adults and children’s dance classes preparing for the Autumn Term exam session and, for some students, their biggest dance competition of the year…The Blackpool Grand Finals in November.

On December 31st we can celebrate yet another fantastic year at East Sussex Dance, looking back on the Christmas partiesTea dances and Social dancing evenings and toasting the beginning of 2015.
It all keeps me out of trouble anyway…

Marcus Edwards

Remember next week is the kids Ballroom and Latin dance competition in Bournemouth so be sure to come back and view the full report here!
Visit for more news about our kids, adult, toddler and private dance classes in Brighton, Lewes and across East Sussex and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
Our February 2014 Ad in Viva Lewes

Friday, 7 February 2014

Photo shoot

Just a few of the gorgeous dance action shots taken by our new friend Ana from Brighton University

This was during our Tuesday teenage Rock n Roll and Street dance classes in Lewes.

More to follow ...

Working out new group dance choreography
Paso Doble
Rock n Roll
More beautiful Paso Doble from Chloe and Marcus
Street dance
A big thank-you to Ana for sharing her photos with us!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Southend Competition Report

Today we were at a Children's Ballroom and Latin dance competition in Southend. Although we only took 8 dancers, they represented East Sussex Dance very well!

You can see how well they all danced by viewing some of the videos on our YouTube page.

First up was Emma, who danced  in the Juvenile (Under 12) pre-bronze category. Emma danced the Quicktep and Cha cha; she really catches the eye on the floor despite being one of the littlest dancers in her event.

Next was Francesca, also competing in the Juvenile category but her dances were the Waltz and Jive. Francesca's enjoyment really shows through her dancing, to the point where we couldn't watch anyone else!

In the Junior couples categories, dancing the Quickstep and Jive were Natasha, Josh, Camille, and Oscar. The boys' posture has improved tremendously over the last few months and they are now standing like young men instead of boys. 

Camille and Natasha showed great control in their very demanding Quickstep and Jive routines; a difficult thing to accomplish considering these are the two fastest dances!

Representing the older students were Jack and Elysia, two very experienced dancers. You can tell these two have been dancing for years in their confidence on the competition floor.
The attack and precision Jack displayed in his Tango and the musical expression in his Rumba require years of refinement.
Elysia presented her Gold Foxtrot exactly how it should be danced; with effortless, powerful movement and big shapes. 

Coming soon...
Forthcoming shows in Worthing and East Grinstead
Weekly school update
Bournemouth children's Ballroom & Latin Competition report

Visit for more news about our children's dance classes, competitions, exams and shows across Brighton, Lewes and East Sussex and follow us on twitter and facebook

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Medals from December exams have now arrived!

We have just received 2 big cardboard boxes of medals, trophies and cups for the dancing exams held on 1st December.

This session included the biggest number of high level (above Gold) entries we've ever had;

Special congratulations to our Gold Star and Imperial Award candidates:

Rosalind Lloyd Bostock
Jade Bowman
Katy Carrington
Maya Savran
Emily Fox

And to our Josephine Bradley Award candidates:

Elysia Holmes
Chloe Webber

The Josephine Bradley Award is a tremendous achievement; candidates show 8 dances across the ballroom & latin spectrum to a very high standard, the culmination of 10 years training for Elysia and Chloe (pictured with Marcus and Alex).

Well done to all of our other dancers too - you have all worked hard and will receive your medals very soon!

The next ISTD exam session will be on 27th April in Patcham.

Monday, 27 January 2014

February 2014

Competition season approaches...
Sunday 2nd Feb : Southend Children's Comp
Sunday 16th Feb : Bournemouth Children's Comp
HALF TERM : Eastbourne Festival
Sunday 23rd Feb : Southend Adults Comp

Other News
On Sunday 2nd March we will be performing as part of "The Glenn Miller Story" at the Pavilion Theatre in Worthing.

12th April is our invitation performance at Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead. We are working on Ballroom, Ballet and Classical Greek pieces for this performance.

27th April : Spring Medal Tests in Patcham (ISTD)