The Dance Teacher

photo: Ricky Blackett

Ricky Blackett, dance teacher and founder of SLY Dance, first became interested in dance at the age of 5. His father used to let him perform to James Brown, Sex Machine before going to bed every night! By the age of 9, Ricky was renowned for being the best disco dancer in his primary school. He started at the Henry Thornton School for boys at the age of 11 where he finally attended his first ever dance lesson. Ricky's first inspiration and main support to launch his dance career came in the form of Mr. Neville Braithwaite, a Lambeth Youth Worker. Neville Braithwaite taught Ricky African Dance at Workshop No. 7 from 1974 to 1979, where he performed professionally at 'The Cockpit Theatre' and 'The Place Theatre'.

Ricky progressed to 'The London School of Contemporary Dance' where he was taught contemporary dance and jazz by Mr Elroy Joseph until 1980. He continued to indulge himself into many dance disciplines such as ballet, street and disco dance. He attended the St. Martin Dance Company and the Donald McCalpines in the 1970's and even self-taught himself in other forms of dance that he enjoyed.

In 1993, Ricky was fortunate enough to gain a place at the Laban Centre, where he was taught the Laban technique, working with the elderly, children and people with learning difficulties.

Year after year, Ricky has thrown himself into various different school projects across London working with Tower Hamlets, Warwick School in Redhill, Bishops Thomas Grant and Heavers Farm School to name but a few.

photo: Ricky Blackett dancing

Ricky's professional experience in dance has included performances at two Arts Festivals at Brixton Town Hall and County Hall and even a private conference in honour of Lady Churchill.

Ricky teaches a group of dancers from Tower Hamlets junior school in North East London. The group have had the opportunity to perform internationally in Holland, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, Poland and Austria as well as many famous London venues, such as the 'Royal Opera House'.

Ricky now mainly devotes his time to teaching his junior, senior and adult classes for SLY Dance at the Secombe Theatre in Sutton, the Tower Hamlets Group in North East London and work for the 'Royal Opera House'.