The Directors of Dance Options Cheam outside Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Garden Party, celebrating World Champions in Sport for Great Britain.
About Dance Options
Dance Options, Cheam was founded in 1993 by a partnership of four couples, each of whom were World Champions in their fields during their competitive careers. Their intention was to create the best possible environment for the teaching/coaching of competition dancers competing in the Ballroom and Latin-American styles and to offer those competitors the facility to practise their skills in the ideal conditions.
To this end the dance-floor area was maximised and a top-quality maple-wood floor laid. Together with a state-of the-art sound system, the foundations were laid to achieve their goal. Many years on, Dance Options, Cheam is established as the premier Ballroom and Latin-American dance studio in London and attracts competitors from all corners of the globe, who take lessons with one or more of the wide selection of world-class Teachers, who have chosen Dance Options, Cheam as their base.
As Ballroom Dancing became more widely popular with the general public (due in no small part to the popularity of “Strictly Come Dancing”), Dance Options, Cheam’s Directors responded by introducing classes for Beginners and Social Dancers. This proved extremely popular and the classes on offer have since developed to encompass various levels from Beginner – Advanced and take place on two evenings per week.
In addition, dance-fitness classes were introduced with “Zumba” and “Fitsteps” proving particularly popular. The Directors keep their fingers on the pulse of modern trends and react by changing the classes offered when appropriate.
Over the years since its inception the studio has benefitted from various improvements and enhancements such as the installation of air conditioning and atmospheric lighting to enable the perfect ambience to be created for each activity.
In October each year the studio celebrates its anniversary with an Allstars Party, where a number of the world’s foremost Amateur competitors perform cabaret versions of the Ballroom and Latin-American dances. This attracts spectators from aficionados to members of the public, who might be experiencing such a spectacle for the first time. All-comers are welcome, so please see “Allstars” under the Events heading for details of the next Anniversary Party.
Kenny and Marion Welsh
Marion was originally from Australia and Kenny from Liverpool, England. Before their paths collided Marion started at the age of 9 having gained the highest honours in the Medal Test system in Ballroom, Latin and Australian New Vogue. This led her to greater success with her previous partner known as Greg Smith & Marion Alleyne. Their achievements included: Australasian New Vogue Amateur Champions, Australian, South East Asian, South Pacific and Australasian Amateur Ballroom and Latin Champions, United Kingdom and World Cup Amateur 10 Dance Champions, 3rd in the Open British and World Amateur Latin Championships, Open British and World Amateur Ballroom Champions. This achievement was honoured with a Carl Allen Award presented by Princess Margaret. As Professionals they were Grand finalists in the Open British Latin Championship and 3rd in the World and Open British Ballroom Championships. Because of their unequalled success as Australian dancers, they were included into the Australian Dancing Hall of Fame.
Kenny started his career from the tender age of 10 winning the International Juvenile Ballroom Championship and then went on to win the Junior United Kingdom, International and Open British Ballroom Championships with Cathy Owen. As an Amateur he became International, United Kingdom, 3 times Nth of England, British National Champions, World, European and Open British Ballroom Champions with Kathy Gilmartin. This achievement was also honoured with a Carl Allen Award presented by Royalty.
It was at this point Marion and Kenny's paths came together and tied the knot in matrimony. Together as Professionals, they quickly accredited themselves as runner up in the United Kingdom and European 10 Dance Championships and Grand Finalists of the World 10 Dance and British National Latin Championships. Grand Finalists for 8 years: United Kingdom, International, European, World and British Open Ballroom Championships. Later they had the honour of being members of the undefeated "British Team" became World Cup Ballroom Champions and British National Ballroom Champions. Since retiring from competitive dancing they have been highly active initially with demonstrating, then coaching, lecturing and adjudicating to the World of Dance.
Dance Options became a dream come true when they formed a partnership with their co-founders. The Studio can boast they are partially responsible for producing many of the world famous Ballroom and Latin champions of today. Kenny now holds office as a Director of the British Dance Council, Honorary Chairman for the HKIAABDS (wheel chair organisation) and President of The Ballroom Dancers' Federation.
Lynn Harman F.I.D.T.A
Former World Professional Latin American Champion
Former British Open Professional Ballroom Finalist
Director of Dance Options
Lynn started dancing firstly through the medal test system progressing to competitions at the tender age of 11.
With her partner Peter Maxwell she became Triple Open British Junior Ballroom and Latin American Champion winning her first title at the age of 13 (a record that has never been equalled), continuing on to become Youth Ballroom and Latin American Champion by the age of 16 and at 22 won both the British Amateur Ballroom/ Latin Championships and the World Latin American Championship.
Having won all other major titles in both disciplines in 1974 Lynn turned Professional.
Her professional achievements included representing Great Britain in the British Open Professional Team Match, being winner of the World Cup 10 Dance, a finalist in the British Open Professional Ballroom Championship and winner of the World and British Open Latin American Championships.
Following her very early retirement in 1979 Lynn has judged all major events including World and European Championships and now concentrates on teaching others to follow in her footsteps. Having been the founder with her co-owners of the now world famous Dance Options Cheam, one of her proudest moments was the opening of the studio in 1993.
David Sycamore & Denise Weavers
David Sycamore and Denise Weavers have been referred to as the professionals' professionals. Following a successful Amateur career, which saw them winning the World Latin and 10-Dance Championships for two years, they turned professional in 1979. By the time they retired as competitors in 1990, they had won the British National Latin Championship three times, the World Latin-American Showdance Championship and the World 10-Dance Championship for five successive years. They also proudly represented Great Britain in the British Open Professional Team-Match for a period of 10 years. Following their retirement from competitions David and Denise were in great demand as cabaret artists and continued to travel the world performing their shows for an extraordinary eleven years. They are also frequently called upon as adjudicators at major national and international championships and have officiated at World, European and British Open Championships as well as the national championships of various countries. David has also acted as Master of Ceremonies and Chairman of Adjudicators on occasions when World Championships have been held in Great Britain since 2002. Their wealth of experience and knowledge ensures David and Denise are in demand as coaches and teachers to contemporary competitors from various countries and can list many of the Professional stars of Strictly Come Dancing among their former pupils as well as the current top echelon of Professional and Amateur competitors.
Both David and Denise are Assessors for the International Dance Teachers Association. David also plays an active role in the administrative side of the business and presently holds office as the Vice-Chairman of the Ballroom Dancers' Federation International. He has formerly been a Director of the British Dance Council and continues to sit on its International Professional Affairs Committee.
David also has input to the Executive Board of the World Dance Council and is a member of its Education Department's Committee.
3-TIMES BRITISH NATIONAL LATIN CHAMPIONS
5-TIMES WORLD & EUROPEAN 10-DANCE CHAMPIONS
FORMER WORLD CHAMPIONS IN LATIN-AMERICAN SHOWDANCE