Draper’s Dance began when Raymond Draper left his mining tradition to start a career in dance. He originally taught at rented halls in Killamarsh and Southall, before purchasing the old Miners Welfare in Beighton with his wife Carol, to ensure his pupils didn’t miss out when a hall booking was cancelled. On the first night they taught one pupil, adding to numbers as the nights went on. Over the 30+ years Raymond & Carol taught hundreds of locals to dance, building up to 25 classes a week, a social dance at the weekend, and children’s classes on Saturdays. During this time Raymond taught his eldest son Scott to dance, through to him becoming World Junior & Youth Champion. Scott moved to London to work with International Dance coaches, which saw him become European Ballroom and World Showdance Professional Finalist.
In 2004, Scott returned from London with wife Hayley. Scott retired from competing with Italian partner Morena Colagrecco, whilst Hayley had also retired from a dance partnership with irish partner Brian Redmond. Scott & Hayley bought Draper’s from Raymond & Carol, and began by completing a huge refurbishment, with new plastering, lighting, wiring, dance floors and a new bar – a fresh start for the second generation of Draper’s. Since then the business has gone from strength to strength, with a brand new ballroom being built to the front of the building in 2012.
Scott still has input in the competitive world of dance, which sees visits to the centre from foreign pupils wishing to study with the Draper’s. Couples have come from Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China to be coached by Scott & Hayley, yet they still ensure they have time to coach 30 adult classes, 15 children classes, as well as 2 adult social dances every week.
At Draper’s it’s about more than dancing. It’s a chance to meet new people, a fun way to exercise (without spending endless hours at the gym!) and a chance to have some ‘us’ time. Plus, at the end of it all you will have learnt a new skill, what’s not to love!