Meet Our Team

At our dance school, excellence is not just a goal; it’s a standard. Our amazing staff, composed of passionate and skilled instructors, is the heartbeat of our commitment to providing exceptional service.

With a blend of expertise, creativity, and genuine love for dance, they go above and beyond to ensure every student feels inspired and supported. Their dedication sustains the high levels of excellence that define our dance community. ​

Experience the joy of dancing in a space that not only promotes skill development but also provides a sense of community and connection.
ZELJKO DAMLJANOVIC (JOHN), The western dance centre in hadleigh, essex

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.

Zeljko Damljanovic (John)

Principal

STEPH ELVIN, The western dance centre in hadleigh, essex

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, intermediate & advanced dancers and also started a Latin Fusion class.

Steph Elvin

Instructor

Ballroom & Latin American

ROMEA CARVER, The western dance centre in hadleigh, essex

I have danced at the Western Dance Centre since I was 3 years old. I have been teaching here since taking 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. Since I stopped competing, I now pass my dance passion onto teaching Ballroom and Latin dancing to children and adults from beginners to advanced both social & 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.

Romea Carver

Instructor

Ballroom & Latin American

RACHAEL ASHDOWN, The western dance centre in hadleigh, essex

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!

Rachael Ashdown

Secretary

VANESSA BROWN, The western dance centre in hadleigh, essex

I started learning to dance Latin & Ballroom at the age of 8 years old & fell in love with it immediately. I went on to compete & achieved many awards. 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 and went on to take my first professional teaching exam at 18. I have many different roles at the school, some days I'm running Parent & Toddler music & 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 & princesses how to dance Ballroom & Latin with each other & 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 & non-pupils.

Vanessa Brown

Instructor

Ballroom & Latin, Parent & Toddler, Over 50’s Tea Dance & Children’s Parties

DENIZ TAYLOR, The western dance centre in hadleigh, essex

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!

Deniz Taylor

Instructor

Egyptian & Turkish Cabaret Belly Dance & Tribal Belly Dance

our dance teachers at the western dance centre in hadleigh essex, Western dance instructor

I started dancing when I was 10, I never knew I was going to be so passionate about ballroom & latin dancing but my first time dancing and it was love at first sight. By the age of 14 I was already competing at the highest level of dancing in Romania and winning every competition in open basic level. At the age of 19 I decided to move the UK and continue my dancing career here. Within my first year dancing in the UK, I won multiple competitions and for the first time in 2017 my partner and I came 8th in the British National Championship, where I maintained this position as a British national semifinalist for multiple years! I am a very energetic, passionate, patient and hard working teacher who is ready to help anyone that wants to give ballroom & latin dancing a try either socially or competitively!

Catalin Gheorghe

Instructor

Ballroom & Latin American

our dance teachers at the western dance centre in hadleigh essex, Western dance instructor

From what started as a plan to spend more time wearing sparkly high-heeled shoes at just four years old, I quickly fell in love with ballroom and latin dancing after my first lesson at Western Dance Centre. As a juvenile/junior, I won the NATD, IDTA and UKA championships as well as multiple other local competitions. I then strived to compete internationally and at the age of 12 went onto the open circuit. In 2017, I met her current dance partner Catalin and we went on to win multiple competitions nationally. We were selected to represent Team Great Britain at the German Open Championships as well as securing 8th place in the National Championships, maintaining a place in the semi-final for multiple years. My new found love is teaching students at Western Dance Centre, a place which holds my happiest childhood memories. I am particularly passionate about teaching children, sharing my love for dancing whilst inspiring them to thrive in competitions. I teach both the children and adult classes, private lessons and also partner at competition.

Caitlin Verner

Instructor

Ballroom & Latin American

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latin and ballroom dance classes at western dance centre in hadliegh essex