About us

UK Equality Dance Council

About us

The United Kingdom Equality Dance Council (UKEDC) was first founded in May 2006, formerly known as the UK Same Sex Dance Council (UKSSDC). The primary aim of the Council is to represent the interests of equality dancers in the UK, as well as their trainers, the adjudicators, and competition organisers on a worldwide basis. This has included setting out the framework of rules for Equality Dance competitions, which are currently adopted by UK competition organisers.

Today, the Council continues its campaign to increase the awareness of, and participation in, equality dance competitions. This includes offering a network of advice and providing a directory of all competitions and social events.

Download our constitution and bylaws.

Meet the committee

Ansell Chezan
Ansell Chezan

Chair

Ansell is a Director, Executive Council Member, Fellow and Examiner of UKA dance, and a Life Member of the ISTD and IDTA. He held International Championship Adjudicating Licences with the British Dance Council (BDC), World Dance Council (WDC), and International Dance Organization (IDO). Ansell also holds a BDC Scrutineers Licence. Ansell provides teaching in the London and Essex boarder area in many forms of dance.

Ansell is the UKA representative on the Movement & Dance Division of Sports & Recreation Alliance. He is also their representative on the Dance School Safeguarding Working Group. He is also involved with Inclusive Dance.

Tom Dane
Tom Dane

Secretary

Tom had his first dance lessons in 1999 while studying in Germany and subsequently competed in waltz for Bristol University. A few years later he discovered the Same-Sex dance scene in London and went on to compete in the Eurogames in Barcelona, Helsinki and Stockholm, the World Outgames in Miami, the World Championships in Paris as well as smaller Same-Sex competitions across Europe.

While he enjoys the challenge of competing, it is the warmth and friendliness of the Same-Sex scene that keeps him dancing and he has made many friends as a result.

Tom is a qualified chartered accountant.

Roswitha Wetschka
Roswitha Wetschka

Vice Chair

Roswitha is a Fellow dance teacher of the ISTD, Director of London Dance Studio in West London and the host of the Sapphires Women’s Latin & Ballroom Night in London. She has been one of the founding members of a women’s dance club in Vienna since the 1990s, and then of the ESSDA in 2007 and was the ESSDA Female Co-President in the early years.

She has been the head of the organising team of the Vienna Dance Contest for 15 years, a popular same-sex dance competition.

Marius Stankiewicz
Marius Stankiewicz

General Committee Member

Mariusz has a Fellowship qualification within the prestigious Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).

Mariusz has been involved in Same-Sex dance community for over 12 years providing group classes and private lessons to its members. In 2018 Mariusz decided to start competing and he became Same – Sex Ballroom Vice World Champion at the Game Games in Paris. Later that year he also became first Professional Ballroom male dancer to compete as follower at the British Closed Ballroom Championships in famous Winter Gardens – Blackpool.

Malcolm Hill
Malcolm Hill

General Committee Member

Malcolm started dancing when he was ten years old. He worked his way through the medal test system and started competing, winning and becoming a regular finalist in competitions he attended. He found his passion for teaching at an early age and at 16 decided to start training for his professional qualifications.

Malcolm is Fellow and Examiner of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). He is also the first appointed Head of Faculty Development for Ballroom, Latin American and Sequence for the ISTD.

Lori Pearce - Altendorff
Lori Pearce - Altendorff

General Committee Member

Lori learnt to dance with her Grandma in the 1950s and took NATD ballroom medals to gold cross standard in the 1960s. It wasn’t until 1990 when she and a group of friends found Jo Purvis’ LBGT tea dances at the Paradise Club, Islington that she started to dance again. She competes with her life-partner, Crista, in same-sex and equality competitions. Taught at Dance South, they are also taking their ISTD medals, and compete in regional and national medallist competitions at their grade and age level. Lori, leading Crista, won the over 65s gold Latin championship at Blackpool in 2021.

Jo Taylor
Jo Taylor

Communications

Jo has been dancing all her adult life. She is the dance teacher for the equality dance club in Brighton, Cheek 2 Cheek and alongside her partner Louise competes on the same sex dance circuit, they compete in Latin and their biggest achievement was placing Silver at the World Championships, making them the top UK female Latin couple. Jo & Louise have their own business in which they teach, perform and hold their own events. 

Gary Lyness
Gary Lyness

Treasurer

Gary’s interest in Equality dance stems from Wheelchair or Para Dance.  He started in wheelchair dancing in 2010 and with his dance partner was undefeated across Europe as Amateur Combi Latin Champions for three years.  They then progressed to compete as the UK’s first Top level Wheelchair Dance Sport couple in IPC competitions for Para Dance Sport Team GB achieving their top World ranking in 2017 of 8th in Combi Latin and 7th in Combi Freestyle.

Having competed in wheelchair freestyle for GB at the Gay Games in Paris in 2018 he then began to dance “standing” with a male partner and begun to compete on the Equality circuit.

Gary is welcoming the chance to help promote Equality Dance in the UK and to bring more wheelchair dance under the same umbrella

Thorsten Dreyer
Thorsten Dreyer

General Committee Member

Thorsten started dancing in Germany when he was twelve and competed in mainstream competitions until the age of 21. Alongside competing he was also involved in the German Dance Sport Association’s youth committee, working on widening participation in dance sport. In his early 30s he discovered equality dancing in London where he became a member of Guyz in Sync. Thorsten has competed in equality dance competitions in Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Hungary, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden and the USA. He enjoys social dancing and wants to increase the opportunities for those interested in equality dance across the UK.