Snezhana Draper is our Ballroom and Head Coach. She is a Russian born professional dancer, coach and judge. She started dancing from a very young age. Initially she started with gymnastics and followed this with a few years of ballet, deciding later to focus on competitive dancing when she turned 11. Snezhana was inspired by her old sister, who was already doing ballroom dancing, and encouraged by her parents. Snezhana started dancing professionally which required lots of training, lessons and competitions. This ultimately led Snezhana to move to the capital of Russia – Moscow – at the age of 15. Focusing on her dream to become a top dancer and determined to reach this goal her hard work paid off when she became the Youth Russian Champion and 3rd in the World Championships the following year.
Following this success, Snezhana moved around the world representing both Italy and Bulgaria with different partners. When she returned to Russia one of her English coaches reached out to her as one of his students, Craig, was looking for a new partner. It turned out that Craig was one of the best dancers in the world and was already the British Champion in all age categories and one of the top ranked dancers in the world. Snezhana was very excited about this opportunity and they both had an amazing connection with each other from the start. This connection initially drew them to dance together, but soon after they fell in love and got married. Snezhana moved to England and the couple represented the UK for their entire career together.
Among their numerous successes Snezhana and Craig became:
United Kingdom Champions, British Nationals Champions, European finalists and peaked at 14th in the World Rankings in Ballroom.
After retiring from competitive dance, Snezhana now focuses on coaching and adjudicating in England and around the world. As part of her efforts to pass on her knowledge to the next generation she proudly trains BULABDS.
Patrick coaches our Intermediate and Advanced Latin dancers as well as our social class. He is originally from France. He started dancing at the age of 16 years old and competed in France for two years in Ballroom and Latin as a Beginner, Novice and Pre-Champ where he won the French National Championship. Just before joining the army, Patrick stopped dancing and only re-started dancing in 2008 when as a mature student he joined BULABDS and danced on the team until 2014. During that time, he enjoyed being part of the society, winning the Intermediate Latin competitions and making it to the advanced Latin finals. Since 2011 Patrick has danced with Sonia Repetto (also a former BULABDS member) and in 2014 they started to dance in the Senior Category of the Open Circuit (over 35s). Together they have been finalists at the numerous Internationals for the past two years, 3rd in the World Championship in Paris in 2016 and achieved the 9th Place in the Open to the World Cup in Blackpool in May 2017. Their successful career was crowned by the titles of UK Latin Champions (2015-2017), British National Latin Champions (2015-2016) and European Latin Champions (2017). Patrick loves sharing his passion and knowledge that he has acquired over the past years and wants to pass it on to the next generation of BULABDS dance talents.
Lisa started dancing only during her PhD course (She was apparently too short for the team for 2 years before that!). She learned her first dance steps at BULABDS as a beginner in 2001, worked hard and went on to win advanced Latin at IVDC in 2005. Thereafter she trained with Pam McGill in Surrey and carried on in the open circuit while helping her coaches at BULABDS train the students. Family commitments soon led Lisa to retire from competitive dancing. She got her professional qualification in 2007 and has been teaching at BULABDS since. Lisa loves seeing her students discover their love and passion for dance and helping them evolve from complete beginners to becoming great dancers. “Dancing is 10% talent, 90% hard work” is one of the things Lisa learnt from her former coach Diane Isaac at BULABDS. Other great wisdoms she picked up include “It’s like throwing a sack of potatoes” and “Tits over toes!”. One of Lisa’s best memories with BULABDS involves this quote: “I can’t believe my dance teacher is wheelbarrowing me!” (A former student, in Blackpool). Lisa is a full time single mummy to 3 children. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys running and… dancing of course!