We are many...we are one.
There are many important cogs that work together in the Ceroc Machine!
Mike Ellard, 'The Big Boss' (London)
Every army has a strong leader, and Mike isn't afraid to get stuck in! He has introduced tens of thousands of people to the world of dance, and is also responsible for our awesome National Events, Dance Holidays and Weekenders.
Mike has been dancing from around the age of 7 and competed in Ballroom, Latin American and Disco (as it was known then). Whilst at school, Mike didn't have to clean the neighbours cars for pocket money as he was teaching dance classes from 14 years of age. In the mid-eighties Mike played in a number of swing bands and it was that experience that drew his attention to swing dance and the Jitterbug. It's therefore no surprise that Mike's early Ceroc classes at Busbys nightclub in Tottenham Court Road had a strong swing influence.
It's not uncommon to see Mike dancing at one of the 200 dance classes across the country, and he still loves his dancing as much as he did when he was 7. Mike attends every Escape weekender, reviews every dance class and every feedback form, and talks to as many people as possible to constantly improve everything that Ceroc does. At Escape you will find Mike behind the decks for Swingers hour sharing with you his passion for early R&B, and don't be surprised if you also spot him at a Swing festival with vinyl in hand.
“I have seen many changes to Ceroc over 3 decades, and I strongly believe its success is the freedom to break from the constraints of strict disciplined dances where a lot of scrutiny is placed on small details at the expense of spontaneity, interpretation and individualism. I celebrate the fact that our dance is constantly evolving, largely based on the musical influences of the day, and is therefore always current.
In a fast pace world where people don't have huge amounts of spare time, and personal fitness has never been so important, it is no surprise that Ceroc is more popular now than it has ever been.”
Tim Sant, 'Head Of Dance'
Here at Ceroc we’re all about the dancing, and who better to oversee our Dance Department than everyone’s favourite party starter Tim. An abundance of energy and enthusiastic ambassador for Ceroc, Tim can be spotted on dance floors across the world.
Tim started Ceroc age 14 in Leamington Spa. This fateful day, his first ever experience of dance, would pave his future aspirations as a performer and a teacher. Teaching Ceroc was valuable beer money for Tim whilst he completed his Degree in Dance Studies at Roehampton University and his Teacher Training Post-Graduate qualification in Dance Education at Exeter University.
At 22, Tim found his roots once again working full time as the Head of the Ceroc Dance Department. Setting up residence in London, he reimagined the Ceroc Dance syllabus, and to this day continues to rigorously train all of the new teachers for Ceroc worldwide.
Tim has a wealth of knowledge and a plethora of talents; a well respected teacher, trainer, DJ, competition judge, choreographer and performer, his blood truly runs orange and black.
“It is easy to trivialise Ceroc as nothing more than a dance class, but it is the people that make our dance truly amazing and their stories that continue to reignite my enthusiasm for my work. I’ve seen people who have struggled to put one foot in front of the other who are now world renowned competition medalists. There are those who lose weight, get fit, and overcome illness and disability. Those who have turned up alone, met their partner, got married and had babies (granted, over a period of time!) People who suffer with stress, anxiety or depression gaining confidence, having fun and making lifelong friends. Those who quite simply want to get out the house, learn a new skill or come out for a social with their mates. Dance is a powerful medium, and Ceroc makes it accessible for everyone.”
Virginia Woolf, 'Franchise Owner'
With over 150 venues in the UK (and even more worldwide), Ceroc work closely with Partners who passionately manage venues and events across the country. These experts work hard to introduce new dancers to Ceroc, and ensure that their venues offer the highest quality dance classes in the area. Meet Virginia - the longest running Partner to this day and proud owner of the esteemed Ceroc Kent territory.
Back in 1981, Virginia saw an article in the Evening Standard about Ceroc and was immediately drawn in. As with so many of our new dancers, all it took was one visit and she was totally hooked! Two years later, a change of career meant her relocation to a completely new area, but to her dismay…NO CEROC! Sorely missing the dancing side of her life (and after some serious head scratching and a light bulb moment) she contacted Ceroc to discuss the possibility of running her own dance business in Bromley.
A whirlwind 6 months later, including a gruelling trip through the challenging Ceroc Teacher Training Course, and Virginia opened her very first venue on the 19th May 1994, followed in November with a second.
“There was no stopping me! I was fuelled with drive and passion to spread the word far and wide and took the plunge to do so full time. Ceroc is exhilarating. The energy is totally addictive, and it opens up a new world of not only learning to dance but socialising, partying and keeping fit, without even really knowing you are doing yourself so much good.
After 23 years of being a franchisee, I am just as committed to Ceroc as I was on my first day, and I am so proud to manage and work alongside a very capable and equally committed team. The best thing about having a franchise in Kent is bringing 1000’s of people together every week and creating communities where members can learn something new, have fun, make new friends and have a great night out. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to turn my hobby into a full time business.
Ceroc is about quality, providing the best value night possible to our members, with strength in the teacher training; as such it is hard to beat and continues to be the best in the market. Bring on the next 23 years!"