ACS Dance Centre, also known as Anthony Clifford Studios is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year; husband and wife team and ex-professional dancers Diana and Mark started the school with just three students. They are now a registered charity as well as having their own impressive multi-studio dance premises in Albert Road, Romford.
This February they are joining forces with the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch in their new production about the competitive world of Ballroom dancing Kiss Me Quickstep. Seven ACS students will form part of the show’s community chorus. They are Jack Burchell, Jessica Moores, Ella Nelson, Sue Smith, Elzbieta Szatkowska, Tomasz Szatkowski and Mieko Wertheim.
Joint Principal Diana Clifford said ‘We are so proud of our school, and all its pupils both children and our many adult members who may start to dance much later in life. I truly believe dance is for everyone and its benefits for health and happiness are immense, even for those who do not want to take it up professionally. This new collaboration with the Queen’s Theatre is very exciting as it is promoting just this message!’
The school’s accomplishments speak for themselves, with many students going on to professional careers in all forms of dance, theatre and acting, even performing lead roles in the West-End and across the world.
Unusually for a dance school however, the Ballroom and Latin genre is equally well regarded as their theatre side and ACS excels in Ballroom, winning at National Blackpool grand finals and competing worldwide. The school has also been awarded the annual IDS Vocational Dance School of the Year four times, chosen from many thousands of applications from across the country and overseas by judges from the Royal Ballet school and the Editor of the Dancing Times, presented by Angela Rippon and Wayne Sleep. Diana is delighted to have recently been accepted as a Chance to Dance – Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House and teaches special classes on their behalf as part of the Royal Opera House’s Outreach program, with ACS and the Opera House offering selected children scholarship places at the school.
Kiss Me Quickstep plays at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 22 February to 9 March. Co-produced with New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, this sequin-studded ballroom drama by Amanda Whittington reveals the backstage stories behind the fabulous frocks, fixed smiles and fake tan, looking at the lives of those for whom dancing is everything. Tickets are £12.50 – £29 (plus an additional 65p QNew Transformation fee), with £8 tickets available for Under 26s (Tue – Thu & preview). Audiences can see this show and two more Queen’s Theatre productions (In Basildon and The Hired Man) from just £15 each with a Jump the Q season ticket. Offer ends 9 March. For more information about the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch visit queens-theatre.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01708 443333.
For information about classes for adults and children in Ballroom, Latin, Ballet, Tap, Modern and Freestyle see acsdance.uk or call 01708 783576.