Wayne Sleep is a giant of the dance world, with over 50 years in the business as a dancer and choreographer.
Discussing taking part in Stepping Out, he says: “What a joy this show is going to be, I love everything dance and seeing our couples try and master a new routine every week is going to be a treat. I have high hopes for them… what could possibly go wrong?!”
In 1961, at the age of just 13, Wayne won a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School. Within years, he was principal dancer and had roles created for him by Rudolf Nureyev, Sir Frederick Ashton and Dame Ninette De Valois.
Wayne formed his own company DASH in 1980, as he wanted to fuse the dance styles that he’d learnt, mixing ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary, something that no one else was doing at the time.
He was appointed OBE in 1988 and was the recipient of the Carl Alan Award, an industry honour voted for by dance professionals in recognition of outstanding contributions to dance. He is currently vice-president of the Royal Academy of Dance.
In 1973, Sleep established a world record by doing an entrechat-douze, which to you and me is basically a jump with twelve beats of the feet!
We're honoured to welcome this dance royalty to the Stepping Out studio each Saturday night.
See who else is joining Wayne on our Front Row
See which contestants Wayne will be judging on the dancefloor