Strictly dancing is for everyone

Brendan Cole, the star of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, wants to introduce children to the joy of dancing. He talks to A+ about his Dance Academy.

Strictly dancing is for everyone

Brendan Cole, the star of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, wants to introduce children to the joy of dancing. He talks to A+ about his Dance Academy.

Brendan Cole first fell in love with dancing as a child. He loved sports of all kinds, especially rugby, but it was dance which made his name.

Now after an 18-year career which has seen him become a household name with Strictly and stage successful tours, Brendan has decided he wants to pass on everything he’s learned to dancers of the future.

So the Brendan Cole Dance Academy was born. He works in partnership with the Cooperative and Activate Sport to bring his workshops to children across the country. Activate Sport provides activity camps for children as well as other academies from stars such as Freddie Flintoff and Matt Dawson.

While Brendan’s schedule makes it impossible to attend every three-day workshop, he tries to attend as many as he can. “I have a great team of people and I work very closely with them to deliver the programme. Through the year I try to get to as many courses as possible. I am very hands on with the creative side.”

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He is a passionate advocate of encouraging children to be active and to discover the joy of physical fitness.

“The Dance Academy gives kids an option to try something that’s active but not necessarily sporty,” says Brendan. “It’s not about finding the next great dancer. The academy is about giving kids a chance to enjoy dancing, to mix with other kids and do something that is interactive.”

This year the Academy staged more than 13 workshops from Moulsford in Oxfordshire to Surrey, Hertfordshire and Cheshire.

“The inspiration behind my academy is so much more than teaching kids to dance. It’s the opportunity to share what I experienced throughout my childhood and something I am very excited about doing,” said Brendan.

Dancing, he says, is an important part of a child’s development. It teaches skills such as posture, rhythm, coordination, interaction and expression.

“It’s not just about learning steps and keeping fit. It can develop a child’s mind and learning skills and I honestly believe dance can have a major and very positive effect on growth and development through their early years.”

Dancing has always been a constant in Brendan’s life, even as a child growing up in New Zealand. “I grew up doing everything but while there was football and the sport there was always dancing. My mother was a big influence and she always encouraged me to dance.”

Brendan and his dance partner, fellow Strictly star Camilla Dallerup, both started on BBC’s Come Dancing in 1996 as amateurs and by 2002 they had moved to professional rankings.

He found his way into the nation’s hearts with Strictly. He has appeared in every series and lifted the trophy with Natasha Kaplinsky. He hopes to return for the 10th series. Does he ever tire of Strictly?

“We all get fed up with Strictly because once it starts it doesn’t leave time for anything else. It takes over your life. But it is such a big thing in the UK and millions of people watch it. I can’t imagine not being a part of it.”

During the spring Brendan toured with his successful  Live and Unjudged show which included his brother Scott. They performed to a sold-out crowd at Cheltenham Town Hall.

Brendan and his wife Zoe know the Cotswolds well and enjoy relaxing weekends with friends in the countryside.

Has the popularity of Strictly and other dance shows helped raise the profile of dance in the UK? Brendan says there is no doubt that more and more people are giving dance a go, whether it is ballroom, jazz jive or zumba. He is passionate that as many children as possible experience the joy of dancing.

“I want the kids involved in my academies to be excited and to have the opportunity to try something different. Dance has been amazing for me and if I can help a child find that then I will be very happy.”

To contact the academy and to book a course, write to:

Brendon Cole Dance Academy

Activate Sport Office A

221 Tamworth Road

Long Eaton


NG10 1DN


Tel: 0115 9731676


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