About The Studio


The Dance Lab offers a wide range of classes and lessons meeting the needs of all ballroom dancers. Owned and managed by Stefano, Natasha and Damiano, we are a family run business and for all three of us, dance has been the centre of our lives. With a passion for ballroom dancing, we are dedicated to bring to you the best possible service with fantastic facilities, great music, experienced teachers and a variety of classes and special events. We pride ourselves on listening to our pupils and producing the most efficient and effective system in accessing the services offered at our studio. 

Although the focus at The Dance Lab is on ballroom and latin, we also offer other dance and fitness classes to either enhance your ballroom skills or for you to simply enjoy a different form of dance or exercise. Alternative dance and fitness classes you will find at The Dance Lab include In the coming months we endeavour to include services such as Ballet, Salsa, Argentine Tango, Belly Dance, Zumba and Pilates.

We hope you will enjoy your experience at The Dance Lab and we welcome any comments or suggestions which can be made through our contact page.

Meet The Team

Directors


Stefano Soldati

A great dancer and a great teacher is the best way to explain our Stefano. He has endless experience both as a competitor and teacher and he simply loves what he does. He was twice Italian Amateur Ballroom champion and since turning professional has been semifinalist at the world championships and the very prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival. He continues to compete as a professional with his partner Natasha, and together they are hugely successful at an international level. Stefano owned his first dance school at the age of 17 and has since established a wide student base all over the world. Since moving to London in 2011, he has also coached the Dancesport Team at Imperial College University. Stefano’s Italian flair, is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face during any lesson whilst giving you all the tools necessary to develop your dance skills.


Natasha Soldati

Natasha, together with her partner Stefano are one of the world’s top ballroom professionals. They have been dancing together since June 2011 and during this time have performed shows and danced competitions all over the world. They are well established teachers in England and Asia and together have over 30 years teaching experience. As current competitors, they are constantly improving and updating their skills, an asset appreciated by students of any level. Natasha has also been the head coach for the Imperial College University Dancesport Team for the past 5 years, leading them to great success at National level competitions.

Natasha is originally from Australia, moving to London in 2002 to further her dancing career. She comes from a successful dancing family, and has been involved with dance almost all of her life at the highest level. Natasha is passionate about dance and loves to share her experience and skill with students of all levels to help them reach their potential. She believes dancing must be enjoyed regardless of the level, so be prepared to have a giggle in her lessons!


Damiano Soldati

Born in the heart of Rome, Italy, Damiano has been dancing since he was 10 years old. Earlier on in his Amateur career, he was twice Italian Amateur Ballroom finalist. In 2011, he moved to London and representing England achieved a ranking in the top 12 in the country. Some of his most notable achievements include Dutch National Champion and finishing in the top 48 couples at the world renown Blackpool Dance Festival. July 2015 saw Damiano start a new partnership with Laura Fox where they will represent England in International Amateur Ballroom field. Damiano has many years experience teaching classes and since relocating to England has become involved with the Medalist circuit, preparing students to participate at Medalist competitions in the Student\Teacher events. He is also well recognised and liked for his friendly and patient manner when teaching.


Teachers


Brian Dibnah

Brian’s dance story begins at age 12 in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he first caught a glimpse of the Ballroom and Latin American world on New Zealand’s version of ‘Dancing with the Stars’. After days of pestering his parents to allow him to give it a go, he went and joined his first kids class and not only fell in love with the boy to girl ratio, but also the music and dance itself. 

Brian quickly went onto hitting the competition scene becoming the New Zealand National champion in all styles at the highest grades as a Juvenile, Junior and as a Youth Competitor. After also becoming the Australasian Champion in Under 21 at age 17 and making the Grand Final placing 4th in ‘New Zealand’s Got Talent’, Brian and his partner thought it best to specialise in the Latin American field and move to England to further their dance career.

After training with some of the globe’s top coaches, Brian and his partner went from being in the top 96 of the world, to being in the top 12 after a year of living in England. This improvement saw Brian and his partner fly back home to New Zealand to not only defend their title as Under 21 National Champions, but also take out the Adult National championships as well. 

Brian is our little fire cracker here at ‘The Dance Lab’, with his endless amounts of energy and enthusiasm as he shares his absolute love for dance with everyone around him. Brian has been teaching for over 5 years and has taught at some of the most prestigious schools in New Zealand and London and we are delighted to have him here at ‘The Dance Lab’ full time. 

 


Laura Fox

Laura was originally born in Rochdale but grew up in Birmingham.

She started dancing when she was thirteen in a church hall opposite to her house, purely out of curiosity. It was then that she got the dancing bug and hasn't stopped since! Laura started off dancing in the All Girls category, where she was ranked first in England and managed to find her first boy partner aged fifteen. She then went from strength to strength, with achievements including winning the North of England Amateur championships, being a United Kingdom Closed Amateur finalist and finishing in the top 48 couples at the Blackpool Dance Festival.
  

Since July 2015, Laura formed a new partnership with our very own Damiano. Laura is a great addition to our team, teaching private lessons, helping with classes, socials and also starting up our brand new kids program coming soon! We are so thrilled to have this exceptional young lady on our team.  


Julian Manderson

Julian is originally from a very small town in Queensland, Australia called Gin Gin.  He has been dancing since he was 12 when his parents first got him involved.  In 2003, after being twice an Australian finalist in the Professional Latin he decided to move to the United Kingdom to further his dancing career and knowledge.  

During his time in the UK, he forged quite a remarkable dance career winning several major international titles and making the quarter finals in all major dance competitions worldwide.  It was during this time he had privilege of working with the very best coaches in the industry where he was able to hone his skills as both an accomplished dancer and teacher.  

He has worked with Strictly Come Dancing on their sport relief programme and for Warner Hotels  ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ weekends, teaching and performing.  He was even fortunate enough to judge one of their competitions with Mr Craig Revel Horwood.  He also had the great pleasure to work with the cast of ‘Dirty Dancing’ on the West End as the Latin Coach and Choreographer.  This gave him an incredible insight into the world of performing arts.

For the past 3 years, Julian has been travelling the high seas performing his very on choreographed 45 minute dance show - DANCE TRANCE.  The show was an unrivalled, dynamic theatrical dance experience combining jaw-dropping choreography, heart-pounding music and breath-taking moves.  It was seen by over 300,000 passengers and received rave reviews.  He also provided dance class to over 20,000 passengers from all walks of life.  This truly incredible experience has given Julian all the tools necessary to not only make you a fantastic dancer but provide you with a wonderful learning experience.  

Now based in the United Kingdom, Julian is looking forward to sharing his knowledge, passion and love for dance.  From beginners to medalist to the most dedicated competitor, Julian will be able to assist and guide you on your journey.  


Lemington Ridley

Born in New York, Lemington began his dance life at 10, studying at Princeton Ballet School. Dancing and performing through high school, Lemington moved to New York City, where he studied ballet and modern with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

Lemington has a strong performance background, including dancing on Broadway in SWING, performing in productions at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as being a featured theatrical arts and cabaret performer in New York and abroad. Since discovering ballroom and latin, he has been twice US champion is currently the UK champion and 4th in the world in the same-sex men's latin division. He has a well-rounded knowledge of many dance styles and besides latin american, he dances west coast swing, hustle, Argentine tango and salsa, as well as american style rhythm and ballroom.

He has been teaching for 10 years, starting in the Authur Murray and Fred Astaire dance schools, and training with numerous top coaches in all styles. Lemington is an inspirational dancer and teacher, with a passion for dancing.  He is able to bring audiences and classes in to his dance world, but is also able to teach and inspire those learning with him, to dance and express themselves.


Julie Tomkins

Born in Ipswich, Julie was aged five when she was first introduced to dancing, she attended the local dance school and it was at this dance school that Julie developed her passion for dance. Julie enjoyed a very successful Juvenile and Junior career in both Modern Ballroom and Latin American 

On leaving school at 16, Julie choose to make dancing her chosen career and became a full time Dance Teacher. Qualifying with the ISTD at the age of 17, she was awarded the Phyllis Haylor Scholarship in 1980, and was also the winner of the Imperial 10 Trophy and the Pierre Trophy on several occasions.

As a professional competitor she was a finalist in the Closed British & UK Latin American and 10 Dance Championship's and is proud to have represented her country Internationally. In a varied career she has enjoyed performing on board Cruise Ship's to include the QE2 and numerous high profile social events.

In the mid nineties she became the youngest ever to be appointed an ISTD Examiner in Ballroom, Latin American & Freestyle, and continues to enjoy examining both at home and overseas.By the late nineties Julie was invited to sit on the Latin American Faculty which she has really enjoyed and finds most rewarding, and in 2013 was proud to be elected as the Chairman, a position which she continues to feel most honoured to hold.

Teaching and training all ages and abilities whether it is competitive, social or technical in Ballroom, Latin & Freestyle, is the most rewarding part of her life and she is proud to have been a part of many successful competitive partnerships. Julie continues to enjoy a very full dancing life, with regular invitations to teach and judge overseas as a championship adjudicator.  

For the future Julie aims are to continue to promote good dance ethics and principles which have proved so valuable to her in her career, encourage good foundations and assist in the growth , development  and education to those who have chosen all forms of Dancesport.