News: Dance UK and ADAD's charity tea-dance raises £40,000

Monday 14 April 2014 by Lise Smith

The Sugar Dandies performing at Dance UK/ADAD's charity tea dance. Image: ASH

Dance UK and the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD) hosted their first-ever fundraising event recently (Sunday 6 April), a champagne high tea at the Royal Ballet School. The afternoon featured performances, social dancing and an auction, and raised £40,000 to support the two charities’ work. The money raised will go towards programmes that support dancers, champion health, and nurture career and professional development, and to the creation of new dance works.

The event, held on Sunday, was hosted by the award-winning same-sex ballroom champions the Sugar Dandies included a Spanish-themed high tea menu provided by event sponsors Hispania. There were also performances by Royal Ballet dancer Valentino Zucchetti, tap dancer Annette Walker, jazz dancer Sean Graham, and Rambert dancers Dane Hurst, Carolyn Bolton, Patricia Okenwa and Hannah Rudd.

Fern Potter, Head of Development & Strategy for Dance UK and ADAD, says, “We are absolutely thrilled to have reached our target of £40,000 for our very first fundraising event. This is a phenomenal achievement and shows how two small but feisty national dance organisations can come together and raise significant funds for dance from individual donors. We are grateful to all who supported our efforts.”

Tea-party guest Angela Towler, rehearsal director of Rambert Dance, adds, “The food was delicious, the social dancing was a treat and the Sugar Dandies were a brilliant touch. The money raised will make such a difference.”

The tea dance also celebrated Dance UK patron Dame Gillian Lynne, who was awarded a damehood in the Queen’s 2014 New Year’s honours list. As well as Dame Gillian, other star guests at the event included Royal Ballet director Kevin O’Hare, Akram Khan, choreographer Anthony Van Laast; Royal ballet principal dancer Mara Galeazzi, and Artistic Director of The Place Richard Alston.

Funds were boosted by a ‘money can’t buy’ auction of items generously donated by Dance UK and ADAD supporters, including a visit to Wayne McGregor’s private home in Dartington, the chance to watch a Royal Ballet performance from the wings of the Royal Opera House stage, and the chance to watch Arlene Phillips choreographing a new dance routine. Ballroom costume makers DSI London donated a ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ costume experience, including a chance to meet with the BBC show’s designers and take a dress home to keep. Full details of the auction lots and their winning bids can be seen at the Dance UK website.

Following the success of the tea dance, Dance UK and ADAD hope to arrange further fundraising events in the future. Any donations towards the organisations’ work are welcome and can be made at and

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