One Dance UK’s Patrons are among the UK’s most influential people, each acknowledged as a leader in their respective fields. United by a vision of the heathiest possible future for dance and dancers in this country, our Patrons support and promote the important work of One Dance UK in a wide variety of ways. We are privileged that these remarkable people have chosen to link their names with One Dance UK.

With the launch of One Dance UK, there’s an opportunity to join this far-sighted group of people. If you’d like to hear more, contact Mariana Rocha on 020 7713 0730

Carlos Acosta CBE

Children and Young People Patron

Carlos Acosta was born in Havana. He trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba and won the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne (1990). He has danced with all the leading ballet companies around the world including the  National Ballet of Cuba, Houston Ballet, The Royal Ballet, ABT, Paris Opera Ballet, Kirov, Bolshoi and Australian Ballet.

Acosta’s performances with The Royal Ballet include Principal roles in works by Ashton, MacMillan, Balanchine, Robbins and Tudor, among others. He has also created several roles in contemporary ballets both with The Royal Ballet and elsewhere, in works by choreographers including Ben Stevenson, Ashley Page and Kim Brandstrup. He was instrumental in taking The Royal Ballet on tour to Havana in 2009 and starred in the Company’s performances of Romeo and Juliet at The O2 Arena in June 2011, dancing Romeo opposite Tamara Rojo as Juliet. He has given acclaimed performances in the title role in Khachaturian’s Spartacus in Moscow, London and Paris with the Bolshoi.


He has staged several shows across Europe featuring both classical and contemporary repertory, including his own choreography and the work of choreographers from his native Cuba. Shows for Sadler’s Wells include the successful semi-autobiographical Tocororo in 2004 and Carlos Acosta with Guests from The Royal Ballet in 2006, for which he won the 2007 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his performances. He recently staged a new production, Classical Selections, at the Coliseum and in the 2013/14 Season produced and choreographed a new production of Don Quixote for the Royal Ballet as well as choreographing a new production of Guys and Dolls.


Acosta has appeared on screen acting in films New York, I Love You and Day of the Flowers. His autobiography No Way Home was published in 2007. His debut novel Pig’s Foot,  was published in 2013.


He was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2014 for his services to ballet and is passionate about nurturing and inspiring the next generation of dancers through the Carlos Acosta International Dance Foundation and the formation of a new Dance Company in Cuba.

Dame Gillian Lynne DBE

A seminal influence on British dance and musical theatre, Dame Gillian Lynne started her career in 1942 at age 16 before joining the Sadler’s Wells Ballet Company in 1944 where she became a soloist performing at the newly opened Covent Garden Opera House as detailed in her autobiography A Dancer in Wartime. Her many roles with the soon-to-be renamed Royal Ballet included the Black Queen in Checkmate, the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty and Queen of the Willis in Giselle.


Following her successful performing career as the star dancer at the London Palladium and on early British TV, as well as being Britain’s foremost exponent of jazz dance, Lynne went on to be a leading director/choreographer of her generation. Notable ballet credits include A Simple Man, Lipizzaner and The Brontes for Northern Ballet, Journey for the Bolshoi Ballet, Some You Win for Irek Mukhamedov’s Company and Fool on the Hill for the Australian Ballet,


Best-known for her ground-breaking work on Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, Lynne has directed over 60 productions in the West End and on Broadway, including the UK premiere of Jerry Herman’s Dear World in 2013.  She has worked on 11 feature films and hundreds of television productions as producer, director, choreographer or performer.


At the end of 2014 Lynne returned to the London Palladium for the new production of Cats. The production marked, apart from her many dancing appearances, the 3rd major musical she has opened at this iconic venue.


Earlier this year Lynne released a landmark exercise DVD aimed at mature audiences entitled Longevity Through Exercise and in October 2014 she recreated Miracle in the Gorbals for the Birmingham Royal Ballet.


Lynne has received numerous accolades including two Olivier Awards – the first Award for Outstanding Achievement for her Choreography of Cats in 1981 – while in 2013 she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement ‘Special’ Olivier. Other awards include: Vienna’s Silver Order of Merit, Golden Rose of Montreux Award for The Muppet Show, Samuel G. Engel Television Award (USA) for her conceptual drama The Morte d’Arthur, a BAFTA for her dance drama A Simple Man which she directed for BBC TV, a Moliere Award and The Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award from the Royal Academy of Dance who elected her Vice-President in 2012. Lynne was honoured with CBE in 1997 and made DBE in the 2014 New Years Honours List for her services to Dance and Musical Theatre, the first woman to be honoured in this way.

Bob Lockyer

Bob Lockyer spent over 40 years working in BBC Television ending as an Executive Producer in Classical Music Television with a responsibility for dance. He has worked with most of the important choreographers of the 20th century including Merce Cunningham, Sir Frederick Ashton, Martha Graham. Christopher Bruce, Kenneth MacMillian, Peter Wright and Robert Cohan. While working at Arts Council England he created Dance for the Camera and produced over fifty short dance films many going on to win nation and international awards. In doing so the BBC did much to support this new and exciting art form. For ten years Bob ran dance film workshops in the UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.


Bob was the Founder Chair of Dance UK. He also helped establish the much admired Healthier Dancer Programme that has been copied all over the world. Until recently, Bob was Chair of South East Dance, the national dance agency, based in Brighton.

Arlene Phillips CBE

Arlene Phillips is a showbiz legend, since she revolutionised dance with Hot Gossip in the 70s, she has become world renowned for her creativity: she has choreographed for Hollywood directors on films from John Huston’s Annie to Ridley Scott’s Legend, created iconic videos for stars including Whitney Houston, Elton John, Queen and Robbie Williams. She has directed arena shows such as Monty Python Live, Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, The Manchester XVII Commonwealth Games and The 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games Official Theme.


Arlene’s theatre credits range from Creative Director of Brazilian dance spectacular Brazouka to producing the enchanting  Midnight Tango  starring Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace to choreographing and directing hit West End, Broadway and international tours of musicals such as The Wizard of Oz, Starlight Express, Flashdance, The Sound of Music, Grease, We Will Rock You and Saturday Night Fever.


As a television talent judge on So You Think You Can Dance and Strictly Come Dancing in the UK and Over The Rainbow in Canada, Arlene has become a well-loved household name and in 2013 she was honoured by the Queen as a CBE for her services to dance and charity.

Peter Badejo OBE

Following a long and brilliant career in Nigeria and the USA, Peter moved to Britain in 1989, founding Badejo Arts one year later. Peter gained much admiration for the great number of contemporary African dance works he either choreographed or produced during this period. His reputation as a leading light for African performance arts was further assured as a result of several research projects he has undertaken on the subject at universities throughout the world.

Peter’s impact on the UK arts scene has been recognised by being awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contribution to the development of African dance. This pivotal appointment will support One Dance UK’s continuing commitment to Dance of the African Diaspora and will undoubtedly help raise the art form’s profile both in the UK and globally.


“Peter Badejo OBE  is one of the most esteemed custodians of African dance culture in West Africa. His choreographic and research initiatives have made an indelible mark on the UK DAD sector. As Patron, Peter will help ODUK build a legacy for DAD, both nationally and internationally.” Judith Palmer


“Peter Badejo’s addition to the board of One Dance UK is welcome news.  His experience in academic and artistic circles in Britain, various parts of Africa and the United States will support One Dance UK as it seeks the development of the dance of the African diaspora in Britain. Peter Badejo as one of the sector’s elder practitioners will also provides that much needed intergenerational perspective of the sector’s work.” Funmi Adewole