Dancing Times & Dance Today celebrate their centenary next month

PRESS RELEASE – September 2010    

Ballet NEWS
Dancing Times October 1960

The pioneering publications Dancing Times and Dance Today, widely respected and much loved sister magazines of the dance world, celebrate their centenary in October this year. 

Ballet NEWS
Dancing Times 90th

Dancing Times

, first published in 1894 as the house magazine of the Cavendish Rooms, London, a ballroom dancing establishment, is the oldest monthly devoted to dancing. It was bought in 1910 by Philip J S Richardson OBE and T M Middleton and transformed into a national periodical, covering all forms of dancing, and reporting worldwide. 

Largely through the initiative of Richardson, and his contacts throughout the dance teaching and performing profession, it played an instrumental part in the founding of the Royal Academy of Dancing (now Dance), the Camargo Society for the encouragement and presentation of British ballet, (1930–33), and the British Board of Ballroom Dancing (now the British Dance Council), which codified the technique and controls the standards of the “English Style” of ballroom dancing. 

Richardson continued as editor until 1958 when he was succeeded by Arthur H Franks, journalist and author of books on ballet and social dancing, but remained president until his death in 1963. Franks split off the ballroom section of the magazine into a second periodical, Ballroom Dancing Times, and in 1962 doubled the format of Dancing Times to its present size of A4. Franks died suddenly in 1963 and Mary Clarke, then assistant editor, became editor and eventually part owner, with her colleague Jocelyne Adams. 

After Adams retired in 1992, it was decided, for the sake of continuity and security, to place the magazine’s ownership in the hands of a Trust. In 2001 the ballroom magazine was redesigned and relaunched as Dance Today, still in the smaller format but devoted to a far wider range of social dance. The magazine is now edited by Nicola Rayner. 

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Dancing Times 1916

Dancing Times

, edited by Jonathan Gray since Clarke’s retirement from the editorship in 2008 continues its original stated policy to maintain the highest standards of criticism and illustration, give voice to leading authorities, encourage high standards of teaching, encourage awareness of dance history and stress the importance of dance in education.  

For nearly 100 years Dancing Times has remained the leader in its field, sustained by loyal readers and advertisers alike.    

“Happy birthday, Dancing Times and, to quote the title of a song, ‘the times they are a-changin’’, but let’s hope Dancing Times and Dance Today 

go from strength to strength and stay just as fantastic as they have always been in the future”.

 Len Goodman, Head Judge, BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing”  

“From the age of four Dancing Times has been a part of my dancing life. Now at 83, it is wonderful to be able to send my congratulations on this, the magazine’s 100th anniversary, together with my appreciation for the high standard of reporting it continues to give. Having had the honour of knowing the founder, Philip Richardson, I feel sure that he would be proud of the magazine’s development and of the skilful direction of Mary Clarke, editor for so very many years. To her successor Jonathan Gray and all involved, I wish every success for a great future. May the coverage continue to inform and enhance the growth of dance across the world”.    

Dame Beryl Grey DBE

“For 100 years, through a consistent maintenance of the highest standards of writing, criticism and illustration Dancing Times and sister magazine Dance Today has served the UK and worldwide dance community. We are very proud of that achievement”.  

Ballet NEWS
Dancing Times 1970

Jonathan Gray, Editor of Dancing Times

From their October 2010 issues onwards, both Dancing Times and Dance Today have been redesigned to mark this special occasion, the first in nearly ten years, together with the re-launch of the websites.  (Visit from early October).  

In late October “the great and the good” of UK dance will gather for a celebratory party to be held in London.