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Big award win sees Romford’s ACS Dance Centre declared the Dance School of the Year

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 October 2020

The ACS Dance Centre in Romford - run by husband and wife team Mark and Diana Lunn - was declared the Overall Winners at this year's Dance School of the Year Awards. Picture: Diana Lunn

The ACS Dance Centre in Romford - run by husband and wife team Mark and Diana Lunn - was declared the Overall Winners at this year's Dance School of the Year Awards. Picture: Diana Lunn

Archant

A Romford dance school has been declared the overall winner at this year’s Dance School of the Year Awards.

The ACS Dance Centre — run by husband and wife team Mark and Diana Lunn — was awarded the accolade at a recent online ceremony hosted by the awards founder Anne Walker MBE.

One of 35 schools shortlisted in four size categories, ACS beat entries from the UK and beyond to win the honour.

In response to their victory, the couple gave an acceptance speech via video link, in which Diana said: “We are just so, so honoured to have this award. We can’t say how much this means to us, especially this year with Covid.”

She also paid tribute to the many dance schools who have done “incredible things” in such a challenging year, before ending by saying that the award was truly a joint effort: “The award isn’t just for us, it’s really for our team.”

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The centre — also a registered charity — runs classes for people of all ages in Romford and Hornchurch across a number of styles.

Mark and Diana’s policy is that everyone is welcome to the ACS Dance family, whether a beginner, professional dancer, or somewhere in between.

This ethos no doubt contributed to their recent win; before revealing the victory, former professional dancer — and awards judge — Ali Coyne spoke glowingly of ACS, saying: “This school stood out for a number of reasons, not least the way in which they looked after their staff as well as their pupils during lockdown. Always looking for untapped areas, they are fabulous at seeing an opportunity and turning it into a business stream, the latest of which has been to focus on the pro-dancers who suddenly found themselves out of work when the theatres shut.

“They created teacher training programmes specifically with them in mind, thereby helping to support the whole of the industry.”

Another source of pride for the Albert Road school is its dedication to nurturing male dancers, with ACS boasting more than 30 boys amongst its ranks.

It offers one fully funded scholarship to a male student each year, with a number of other bursaries partially subsided for both boys and girls.

For further information, visit acsdance.uk/ or call 01708 783576.


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