About Wayne Sleep

In 1961, at the age of 13, Wayne Sleep won a Leverhulme Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School. Five years later, in 1966 he joined the Royal Ballet Company. He soon became a Senior Principal Dancer and had numerous roles created for him by amongst others – Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Dame Ninette de Valois, Joe Layton, Rudolf Nureyev, and John Neumeier. Wayne was a Guest Artist with several ballet companies, including English National, London City, Scottish, Capab, and London Contemporary Dance.

In 1980 Wayne formed his own dance company DASH, which after many seasons in the West End toured the world, concluding back in London at the Coliseum. The concept for DASH was to present dance to a wider audience using a mix of styles including ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary. This innovation at the time was well received by both critics and audience. As Ann Nugent said in Dance and Dancers: “Wayne Sleep deserved a special prize for making dance more accessible with his brilliantly conceived DASH.”

Wayne has appeared on television as a dancer, guest and celebrity, on shows including I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Celebrity Come Dine with Me, Four Royal Variety performances, This is your life, The Goodies, Parkinson and Wogan to name but a few. He has also appeared on both TV and radio as an actor. Wayne was a judge on ITV’s dance show, Stepping Out in 2013 and he appeared in Channel 4′s Big Ballet in February 2014.

Appointed OBE in 1998 and received honorary degrees from the Universities of Exeter and Teeside, he is a Patron of the British Ballet Organization and Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Dance and has two entries in the Guinness Book of Records. His publications include Variations on Wayne Sleep and his autobiography Precious Little Sleep. His charity, The Wayne Sleep Foundation provides scholarships for talented youngsters to further their training in all areas of theatre and dance. Wayne continues to pass on his knowledge and passion at dance workshops throughout the world.

West End Acting credits include: Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Ariel (The Tempest), Feste, Tony Lumpkin (She Stoops to Conquer), Truffaldino (Servant of Two Masters), Soldier (in A Soldiers Tale), Mr Mistofeles (Cats), Child Catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Emcee (Cabaret), Oblio (The Point), Adjutant (Into Thin Air) and Song and Dance.

Choreography credits include: Hot Shoe Show (BBC TV), Carousel, Salad Days, Savoy Suite (English National Ballet), Roll Over Jehovah, Aspects of Dance, World of Classical Ballet, History of Dance, David and Goliath (London Contemporary Dance Theatre), Winding Road (London City Ballet), Hollywood and Broadway, and for the National Youth Ballet Wonderland (Scenes from Alice), Cinderella, and Toad, Beauty and the Beast (lead actor). Directed, choreographed and appeared in his own review of dance, DASH. Choreographed and appeared in video installation for David Hockney’s A Bigger Picture at The Royal Academy Summer 2011.