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The BDC Teacher's Committee Hall of Fame
Honouring the work of
Peggy Spencer MBE
Margaret Ann "Peggy" Spencer MBE (née Hull; 24 September 1920 – 25 May 2016[was a British professional ballroom dancer, choreographer, competition adjudicator, and organizer.
Peggy married Jack Spencer in 1940, and had two children, Helena and Michael. The marriage was not successful and they divorced in 1947. Peggy formed a close relationship with her brother-in-law Frank, whom she eventually married in the late 1960s.
For many years, she and Frank (a musician and a dancer before the Second World War) ran the Royston Ballroom in Penge, South London. Peggy was a regular TV dance commentator. She was a leading coach for competitive Latin dancers, and was influential in both Ballroom and Latin American branches of the ISTD. Her ballroom formation team was twice invited to dance for the Queen at Buckingham Palace. For 40 years, her teams appeared in the Come Dancing TV programme.
Peggy choreographed a dance sequence for a Beatles video ("Your Mother Should Know"), and the tango for Rudolph Nureyev in the film Valentino (1977). She was a choreographer for the Burn the Floor dance show, which combined ballroom dances with modern ideas. More than most things she enjoyed appearing on the BBC's children's show Blue Peter, where she brought young dancers from her classes to demonstrate. She was the subject of the TV show This Is Your Life in 1993.
In 2004. Peggy Spencer became President of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. She received multiple awards for her work in teaching and adjudicating in ballroom dancing, including eight Carl Alan Awards. She and Frank were both appointed MBE in 1977.
Peggy was undoubtedly one of the finest grass-roots dance teachers of all time, and remained amazingly sharp and current until her death in 2016.
Shortly before her death in 2016, and at the age of 96 she was asked in interview by BCD Teachers Committee member Phil Meacham
“Given that you have always been a visionary, where do you feel dance styles are heading next?” Peggy replied “you need to listen to the style of the music of today, and match what we do in dancing to that. She continued “Keep an eye and sharp ear on the current trends by Will.I.Am, Jay Z and Pharrell Williams, and that will tell you the way our styles are developing.”
Not the kind of response you would expect from a 96 year old, but is showed instantly that Peggy remained in touch with current trends right to the end.
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