Jean was an open competitor and had been a member of the famous Connie Millington formation team, before moving from her native city of Liverpool to Glossop in 1966, where she started teaching dance at the Crystal Ballroom.
The Stardust Ballroom opened its doors in 1976 and when Disco exploded onto the scene in the 70s, it was the life and soul of Glossop with full houses every Friday and Sunday night. Everyone came to learn all the latest moves from Saturday Night Fever.
During the week, Latin American and Ballroom Dancing was taught with classes catering for all ages. Top competitors from all over the country flocked to Stardust for coaching with the then World Latin American Champions – Sammy and Shirley Stopford.
The first formation team was put together in 1978. The Derbyshire Latin team represented the Midlands and West in the popular BBC’s Come Dancing program for many years working with hosts, Terry Wogan, Angela Rippon, and Rosemary Ford, until the BBC stopped filming the program. The Derbyshire Latin Team went on to become British Champions and represented Great Britain, traveling all over Europe competing in World and European Championships for many years.
With over 40 year’s experience, Jean has produced numerous adult and junior Champion Formation teams which have appeared on many TV programs like Barrymore, Gary Wilmot, Blue Peter, Making Out, as well as Christmas specials and pop videos.
Junior and Juvenile Formation teams also enjoyed success, winning the British Formation Championships at the World famous Blackpool Tower. It was in recognition of this and her dedication to Formation dancing that she met the Queen and received her MBE for services to Ballroom dancing in 2001.
A fabulous dressmaker, Jean has always made all the costumes for the dancers as well as many wedding dresses for team members as they grew older. Many children and grandchildren of past team members now dance at Stardust which is testament to its success.
Still dancing and teaching, Jean spends her retirement sailing on many Cruise Liners teaching people to dance.