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Michael Sandham

Director 2021-2022

Fellow and Ballroom Branch Examiner

Michael is a Fellow and Examiner of IDTA, and former Chairman of the North West Area Ballroom Committee.

Having grown up in the business, Michael and his wife Marie had a successful amateur and professional competitive career, and are former finalists in the World and European Professional ten dance championships. When they retired from competing they opened their first dance studio and now run IDTA studios in three locations.

Over the past 20 years IDTA members have supported him with advice and assistance, and as a Director he is able to return that support by working hard for members of the Association. Michael is a member of many IDTA committees including the Ballroom and Latin Faculties, the Finance & General Purposes Committee and London Meeting and Congress Arrangements Committee.

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Yvonne Saunders

Director 2021-2022

Fellow and Ballroom Branch Examiner

With 30 years of service as an IDTA Examiner, Yvonne has a wide experience in Ballroom, Latin, Classical Sequence and Freestyle. Since the age of 17 she has taught social and medallist dancers to achieve their ambitions, and now coaches many professionals for their qualifications.

With her in-depth knowledge and teaching techniques, she has pioneered to increase the IDTA’s visibility globally by successfully establishing links in other countries. A former Chairman of the Ballroom Faculty, and current Chairman of the Latin Faculty, Yvonne is a team player - contributing new ideas whilst always taking into consideration the needs of the IDTA members and the high standards of this Association.

She contributes regularly to the Dance International Magazine with her Saunders Snippets feature. She feels strongly about developing wider communications within the IDTA, specifically the links between the Theatre and Ballroom branches. The growth, development and structure of the dance business has never been so important as at this time.

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Barbara Sharples

Director 2021-2022

Fellow and Theatre Branch Examiner

Barbara began dancing at the age of 7 years and trained in all styles of Theatre Dance up to Professional level, covering many facets of Dance as a competitor, teacher, choreographer and adjudicator.

She was Principal of her own very successful school for 47 years, during which time many past pupils achieved high accolades including scholarships, finalists in Miss Dance, National Championships and the World Tap Championships. Barbara is particularly proud of her pupils who are now Fellow Examiners of the IDTA.

Barbara examines for the IDTA in the UK and Overseas and from the 1970s to the present day she has been involved with the updating and choreographing of new syllabus work.

Early in her career Barbara was privileged to become an Adjudicator Member of the British & International Federation of Festivals and Member of the All England Dance panel.

Barbara has had many years experience of Committee work including the Board of Directors, Chairmanship of the Tap Faculty, Member of the original Quality Assurance Panel and Overseas Committee. She was recently involved in the setting up of a workshop in Spain and is keen to assist members overseas and keep them “up to date” with all the latest IDTA syllabus work.

She was very honoured to be the recipient of two Carl Alan Awards, in 2002 for outstanding services to Dance and in 2014 for Lifetime Achievement. In 2007 she was awarded the Classique de Danse Professional Thetare Award and in 2011 the IDTA Distinguished Service Award. In 2014, as an IDTA delegate, she was elected President of the Theatre Dance Council International which annually presents the Carl Alan Theatre, Freestyle and Street Awards.

In 2011 Barbara, with the support of the IDTA, launched the BSICA. A choreographic award to promote and encourage young aspiring choreographers. This Award, which covers all Dance genres, is now in it’s fifth year with the finals being held in Manchester.

Working on diverse Committees, in many aspects of Dance, Barbara is fully aware of the continual changes in the Dance world, ballroom and theatre, and is always willing to listen to and help Members with the promotion of IDTA Dance in their schools and colleges.

Being fully committed and dedicated to the IDTA, Barbara has the time and energy to devote to the continued success of the Association and benefits for its Members.

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Bryan Thomson

Director 2021-2022

Fellow and Ballroom Branch Examiner

Bryan Thomson began dancing at the age of ten and took his first professional examination at 17. He has been a member for 42 years. At aged 26, with his wife Brenda, he opened Lee Green Dance Centre which grew quite quickly. Making full use of the medal test system brought success to his pupils in the school at Area and national level in all sections of the ballroom branch. He has compered all the IDTA Nationwide events for many years along with serving the North East as Area chairman on more than one occasion a position he has held with great pride. It has also been his pleasure to lecture at Congress on more than one occasion. As a ballroom branch examiner he always enjoys his visits to other schools and to see their progress. He continues to study to further his knowledge in all aspects of dance and still has a desire to promote dance at all levels.

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Patricia Lupino Thompson

Director Emeritus

Fellow and Theatre Branch Examiner

Always aware that she is a descendant member of the famous Lupino family, Pat has been a member of the IDTA since its amalgamation with the Empire Society, and previously was a full member of the Empire.

During her time as a vocational student at the Nina Hodgson School, she also had Ballroom lessons. Several years in showbiz followed with Prince Littler and George & Alfred Black (the Andrew Lloyd Webbers of the day), then onto being head of The Lupino School of Dancing in Bury.

She enjoyed many successes with pupils, including; IDTA Scholarship winners, Championship titles, West End productions, contracts with major Ballet companies and pupils working abroad and on cruise ships. Now there are many previous pupils, Members, Fellows and Examiners of the IDTA with successful schools themselves.

Pat has held many successful positions in the world of dance and has worked as a Director on the board of the IDTA for over 15 years. Pat is an IDTA Examiner, Adjudicator and Lecturer for British Federation and All England. She is also the organiser of the annual IDTA Theatre Dance Festival, Director of the All England Dance, and a member of the Royal Academy of Dance.

Pat was a recipient of a Theatre Carl Alan Award and the Classique de Danse Awards in 2007. In 2013 Pat was honoured and delighted to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the IDTA.

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Elizabeth Murphy

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Economics in 1989, Elizabeth moved to Brighton and worked for Lombard North Central and BT plc before joining the IDTA in October 1993.

After graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Economics in 1989, Elizabeth moved to Brighton starting her career with Lombard North Central and BT plc before joining the IDTA in October 1993.

Over the years, Liz's role at the IDTA had changed with key areas being the Association's two annual national conferences, examiner appointment and training, the Dance International magazine and publications and supporting the Board of Directors and sub-committees. With the Association's recognition by Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and the CCEA in 2011, Liz took on the role of Quality Assurance Manager, working closely with the IDTA's regulatory consultant, Rachael Meech.

Liz was appointed as the IDTA’s Chief Executive by the Board of Directors with effect from 1st June 2017.

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