Founder, British Theatre Dance Association, United Kingdom
Ms. Ann Oliver
Advisory Board Member
Dance has always been Ann’s first love, at the age of 18, she was offered her first professional contract, she turned it down, because she had worked so hard to gain her qualifications, Ann decided to open her own dance school instead. Her first classes took place in October 1959 and from that day on there was no stopping her. During the next 10 years, she had successfully opened a further 8 schools throughout the Midlands.
In 1972 Ann formed the British Theatre Dance Association (BTDA); originally a Midlands based Association which has subsequently spread throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. During the past 44 years, BTDA has been at the forefront of dance education, never afraid to take on new challenges in its efforts to raise both awareness and the standards of dance education. Its programmes lead to Ofqual Regulated qualifications.
In 1987 she made a decision to relocate the businesses to the centre of Leicester town but after 16 years of continually running out of space and being subject to landlord restrictions, she decided to buy her own building. Ann had the vision to open her own Dance College and she needed room to expand and realise this dream.
In 1999 she formed the Leicester College of Performing Arts which offers a 3 year Performing Arts Course and she is pleased to say that students from the college are performing all over the world from the West End to Broadway as well as in television and films.
Ann’s life has been dedicated to raising money for charity, developing standards and ensuring that students of dance can go out into this world and earn a living in their chosen profession. Her ultimate reward has always been to see those students living successful lives, but she was lucky to receive further recognition in the form of European Women of Achievement Runner Up in 2001 and an MBE from her Majesty the Queen for services to the Arts in 2007..