NEWS RELEASE: Monday 30th March 2015
BBC Dragons’ Den Success Crowned Dance Teacher Of The Year
BBC Strictly Come Dancing’s assistant Charleston choreographer Scott Cupit was crowned Dance Teacher of The Year on Saturday 28th March at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom by Dance Today, the magazine focusing on UK social dancing for over 100 years. As well as helping celebrities and professional dancers to Charleston by assisting choreographer Jenny Thomas on Strictly, the award recognises Mr Cupit’s numerous achievements over the last year.
He appeared on Dragons’ Den and successfully secured investment from Deborah Meaden for Swing Patrol, his dance school and events company. Swing Patrol now has over 47 teachers operating from 35 venues across London, holds hundreds of social events each year and has developed corporate events and content marketing arms to his business. He has appeared on TV teaching people the joy of swing dancing — such as BBC Breakfast presenters Louise Minchin and Mike Bushell. He has also brought inspirational teachers such as Norma Miller – the last surviving member of famed swing dancers Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers – and Hollywood dancer Jean Veloz to the UK to inspire and dance with his students. All of this and he continues to teach lessons in London and internationally, has launched three new dance troupes, has written a book titled Swing Dance due to be published in September 2015 and ran a series of large swing dance events at cities around the UK to introduce new dancers to swing.
Dance Today Teacher of the Year is a nationwide competition that attracts hundreds of votes from the magazine’s readers for their favourite dance teacher. Last year’s winner was T Damien Anyasi, of B Better, a London-based teacher who specialises in hip hop and breakdance.
Dance Today’s News Editor, Zoe Anderson said, “We’re delighted to announce that Scott Cupit of Swing Patrol is our 2015 Dance Today Teacher Of The Year – the first ever swing teacher to win. We’ve had a brilliant response from voters, with great involvement from the dance community. Scott is an inspiring example to teachers and dancers – I know our editor, Nicola Rayner, was hoping for a dance with him at the ceremony! Look out for our feature on Scott in our May issue.”
The award win was welcomed from leading members of the UK swing dance community. Joo-Lee Stock from Durham and Newcastle’s lively social dancing and swing dance school Lindy Jazz said, “Such an esteemed magazine like Dance Today presenting a lindy hopper with this award is incredibly important for the whole of the UK’s swing dance scene. Scott has done amazing work building lindy’s popularity and credibility. He is encouraging absolute novice dancers as well as seasoned dancers from other styles to experience the truly unique joy of lindy hop. Scott works with numerous swing dance communities around the UK and the world. He has a far wider outlook than London, and is fulfilling what he sees as a vocation to promote the values of lindy hop — joy, friendship and community.”
Scott’s students praised him in their nominations:
Katie Latter, 22, a production assistant from east London said, “Scott leads my dance troupe the Brat Pack and is the best teacher we could have asked for. He took a group of 32 misfits and turned us into a freaking amazing high energy troupe of awesomeness that now regularly performs at events around London. He does everything from running Swing Patrol, to teaching classes at a bunch of socials, to making sure he never forgets anyone’s name… ever.”
Dave Compton, 28, a business consultant from Dalston said, “Scott teaches goofy moves that get everyone laughing. He loves teaching beginners. I’ve seen him do the same hand-to-hand Charleston lesson about ten times at different community fairs and events for novices, and reckon he must have done it many, many hundreds more times than that. He always looks like he’s absolutely loving it all the way through. He makes you feel like you’re part of the gang straight away.”
Clare Weeks, 32, an occupational therapy student from Elephant and Castle said, “Scottie is incredibly busy — now more so than ever with the expansion of Swing Patrol – yet nothing is too much for him. He loves his job, the students within it and his consistency with his regard for each one, despite his own pressures, has never, ever failed. He is always happy, supportive of everyone, an all round genuine guy and a great role model for everyone entering into swing dancing.”
Scott Cupit, Managing Director of Swing Patrol said, “I am incredibly grateful to Dance Today for running such a competition, but I am also so grateful that I belong to such a special community of dancers who nominated me for this award behind my back. I am so very chuffed that so many would go to such an effort to put my name forward — crazy wonderful community you are.”
For further editorial information, images, press passes to events, sample lessons or to arrange interviews contact: [email protected] or call 020 3287 9030.