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.
Meet the committee
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
Tessa has danced all her adult life. She discovered ballroom and latin dancing in the early ’90s at Ralf and Tony’s classes at the London Lesbian and Gay Centre, and Jo Purvis’s tea dance at the Bell and has been social dancing ever since. She was briefly a member of the Pink Dancers, and in the last few years has been competing on the same-sex circuit. It is through same-sex dancing that she found her family and her community and hopes that ukedc can ensure that the same warmth and strength of community can be there for others.