Strictly Charity judges announced!

24 June 2016

As promised, today we announce the judging panel for Season 3 of our ‘Strictly Charity’ fundraising event happening on 9th July sponsored by Ryan’s. We have some well-known faces from the dance industry coming along to judge our dancers at the Grand Final. We’d like to say a huge thank you to them being involved and supporting our event. 

jeanette Dec 11 005

First up we have Jeanette Siddall who has held many key roles in the dance sector including Director of Dance for Arts Council England.

Jeanette has recently moved to Ipswich following a career that has included performing and teaching dance.  She has held a number of key jobs such as Director of Dance UK, Arts Council England’s Director of Dance and Interim Director for DanceEast prior to Brendan Keaney’s appointment.  In 2013 she received a CBE for her services to dance and was awarded the National Dance Awards’ Industry Award.

She has a list of very impressive organisations in the dance sector under her belt including being a board member of the National Youth Dance Trust, Swindon Dance, Candoco Dance Company, Bonnie Bird Awards, Chair of the Foundation for Community Dance and an Olivier Awards judge.

Brendan Keaney

Next up is Brendan Keaney, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Dance East.

Brendan has over 35 years working in the dance industry and is currently Artistic Director and Chief Executive at Dance East. He started his career as a freelance dancer, performing with a number of independent dance companies, and has a string of film, TV, and theatre credits. He has since worked as an animateur choreographer, teacher and laterally as an administrator and manager.

Before joining Dance East in March 2013, Brendan was the Director of Greenwich Dance for 16 years. Immediately prior to this, he was employed as the Dance Officer with responsibility for Independent Dance at the (then) Arts Council of England. He received the Dance UK Industry Award at the Critics Circle National Dance Awards In January 2007, has served as a judge on both the Hamlyn and Jerwood awards for choreographers and is an advisor for the Bonnie Bird Choreographic Fund.

Brendan has many links to Ipswich including being a Member at Ipswich Primary Academies Trust, a multi academy trust of primary schools in Ipswich aiming to provide the best possible education and life chances for children in the town.  He also serves as a member of the Board of Ipswich Central.


Emma Hawley

And last but not least, Emma Hawley from the Ipswich School of Dancing will be joining us as a judge to give those all important SEVERRRN’s.

Emma has been in the dance industry for all her life learning to dance at the family school, the Ipswich School of Dancing. Emma competed in Ballroom and Latin and represented her country at international level before choosing to impart her knowledge onto others by turning to teaching. She has taken many professional qualifications and is one of the most highly qualified professionals of her generation winning the prestigious Phyllis Haylor Scholarship with the ISTD in 2011.

Emma has connections to Strictly Come Dancing herself! She learnt to dance alongside Strictly star Robin Windsor and has also worked alongside Strictly’s Pasha Kovalev, choreographing and training her dancers to perform on tour with him.

KEEEP DANCING until the Grand Final on 9th July!