Meet the Teachers
Zeljko Damljanovic (John)
Principal and Owner of Western Dance Centre
I started dancing in Serbia over 30 years ago. In 1984 I became a teacher. In 1985 I opened my first dance school. It is called Vracar and has just celebrated its 30th year anniversary and is still being run by my former business partner. In 1992 I came to England to help improve my dancing knowledge and have been here ever since. I bought Western Dance Centre in 1998 and am proud of the school it is today. My speciality is my technical knowledge and choreography in Ballroom & Latin American although I also teach Le Roc, Salsa, Argentinian Tango and other styles of dance.
When you call Western Dance Centre Rachael is likely to be your first point of contact. For any information she is the person to go to!
My love of Dance started at age 7 when I attended my first Ballroom and Latin American class. I soon found myself attending numerous classes and went on to take ISTD exams from Beginner to Gold Stars and Awards. I competed in many events and was crowned Essex Latin Champion at age 12. My love of dance continued with GCSE dance at school, and later in Argentinian Tango and Salsa. When life took over my dancing took a backseat for a few years. Until I attended the Parent & Toddler class at Western with my youngest and my passion found new life. I started attending classes and soon found my way back into the exam room once more this time for my teaching exams. I have now been teaching new beginners and intermediate dancers for the past 3years and also started a Latin Fit class and Friday daytime social/practice session.
Egyptian & Turkish Cabaret Belly Dance & Tribal Belly Dance
Deniz has been teaching Belly dancing for 15 years and has been taught by some of the best teachers in Turkey Egypt and the UK She teaches Egyptian and Turkish cabaret belly dance and Tribal style which is a combination of belly dance with flamenco flourishes. This dance style is suitable for all ages shapes and sizes and the good thing is you don't need a partner just comfortable clothing and a smile! I have shimmy belts for you to borrow if you would like to try it! Belly dance is a good form of exercise too!
Ballroom & Latin American
I have danced at the Western Dance Centre since I was 3 years old. I have been teaching here for the last 9 years after taking my professional exams in 2008. I have spent my entire life dancing and competing in regular competitions for the Western, from Supadance to IDTA Medallist competitions and being regular finalists in the events, with my finest result on my last competition with a 3rd and 5th place at the IDTA Medallist of the year dancing at Blackpool Winter Gardens. Since I stopped competing, I now pass my dance passion onto teaching Ballroom and Latin dancing to children and adults from beginners to competitors. I teach both private lessons and classes and enjoy teaching people to be able to dance, at ease, and with confidence around the floor
Ballroom & Latin
Dancing is my passion. It has been ever since I stepped into Western Dance Centre over 20 years ago! I have trained in Ballet, Contemporary, Ballroom and Latin and also Zumba and Bokwa fitness.
Ballroom & Latin, Parent & Toddler, Over 50’s Tea Dance & Children’s Parties
I started learning to dance Latin and Ballroom at the age of 8 years old and fell in love with it immediately. I went on to compete in numerous competitions and achieved many awards. At the age of 16 years old my instructor offered me the chance to study to be a teacher. This was to be the right move for myself but I felt I needed to train with the best, so I approached Western Dance Centre where I went on to take my first professional teaching exam at 18. I have many different roles within the dance school, some days I'm running Parent and Toddler music and movement classes. On others I will be found working with the over 50’s running their lovely tea dance or I'll be lost in the Land of Make-Believe teaching little prince and princesses how to dance Ballroom and Latin with each other and with their parents (who secretly love it). Finally, if there's a party to be had I'm your girl. I host traditional Children's Birthday parties within the school for pupils and non-pupils. So I'm pretty much an all-rounder, I even mopped the floor once!