The whole history of modern ballroom dancing follows the history of Victor Silvester very closely. He was in the forefront of dance and its music and played a major role in the development of social dancing. Right up to his death in 1978 he included all styles of dance in his work both as an author and with his world-famous orchestra.
The Victor Silvester Television Dancing Club ran for seventeen years and his Orchestra featured in more than 6500 broadcasts for BBC Radio. Some years ago his record sales were in excess of 75 million!
Together with Philip Richardson of The Duncing Times, Victor Silvester started the movement to standardize technique and form an official board which gave rise to the British Council and the International Council. This was indeed a chance meeting of two great men at the right time!
It gave me great pleasure to revise and update this book. It also gave me a great surprise for there was so little to be changed and what better testimony could there be to the thoroughness of the original work. But changes do take place all the time. The great impact of Disco dancing, with its solo style, is now complemented by the 'new' style of people dancing together. The latest craze is to dance in 'the oldfashioned way' ! From my work with the International Council of Ballroom Dancing, I know of the influence of the Tango Argentine style and of the renewed interest in the Square Rumba for social dancing. Dancing is taking place in hotels and restaurants again and smaller floors have meant some alterations to dance performance which is reflected in this book.
The photographs, which are truly inspirational, were specially taken by Shaun Botterill of Allsport at the 1993 UKOpen Championships. I think it is fair to say that the skill and artistry displayed on this and many other occasions has been built upon the foundations laid down by Victor Silvester. You can feel confident that study of this book will give you a fine start whether dancing for social enjoyment or planning more advanced competitive performance.
The wheel keeps turning. People have always danced and Victor Silvester has helped so many. I hope you enjoy his book.
LEICESTER DANCE CENTRE,