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Michael Stylianos and Lorna Lee

Michael Stylianos

Michael Stylianos was born on April 20, 1944, in Birmingham. His parents immigrated to England from Greece, and when he was one year old, they moved to London. As a young boy, he passed a trial to become a player at Chelsea Football Club but chose dancing instead. At the age of 18, Michael joined the Latin American beginners class at the Sydney Francis Dance Studio.

Lorna Lee

Lorna Lee was born on July 8, 1947, in New Malden near Kingston, Surrey. From about the age of five, she attended a stage school in Carshalton, studying tap, ballet and acrobatics with the ambition of teaching one day. At twelve, she began ballroom lessons and by sixteen, she became a full-time student teacher at the Court School of Dancing.

Meeting and Early Career

One day, Michael walked into the school in North Cheam where Lorna was a student teacher and their love story began. They met in October 1963, and in January 1964, they entered their first competition together, the South East of England Championships. By October 1964, they were engaged and they married in July 1965, a few days after Lorna's 18th birthday.

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Competitive Career

Michael took Lorna to the Sydney Francis Studio, where Sydney suggested they start competing professionally. Sydney was their first teacher and later, their main coach throughout their career was Walter Laird. When they were already champions, they started to work, with Walter's approval, with John Del Roy. Walter developed their technical skills, while John added artistic touches, teaching them arm-styling and musicality. But it was Walter who kept everything they developed with John sound and acceptable.

In 1970, they reached the final of the British Professional for the first time and subsequently climbed to the top. They were vice-champions of the World Professional Latin Championship in 1973, 1974, and 1975. Michael and Lorna were seven times International Professional Latin champions, and three times United Kingdom and British Open Professional Latin champions.

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After retiring from competition in 1975, they continued performing worldwide. They appeared before members of the Royal Family and in 1986 became the first and only Latin American dancers to perform at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.


In 1975, Lorna and Michael received a Carl Alan Award for the most outstanding partnership in the world.

In 1982, Michael received another award for promoting ballroom dancing, primarily due to his work with the British Ice Skating Team, including contributions to the success of Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean. In 1993, he received the Carl Alan Award for Best Latin American Teachers. Michael has also received teaching awards from Slovenia, Greece, the USA, and Finland.

Michael and Lorna received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ballroom Dance Federation in 2004, the Classique de Danse Award for Best Latin American Professionals in 2005, and the Classique de Danse Award for Outstanding Services to Dance in 2008.

Teaching, Coaching, and Lecturing

Michael's innate talent for choreography was evident from the very beginning of his career as he started to invent his own routines in collaboration with Lorna.

Walter Laird inspired Lorna's deep interest in dance technique. Today, Michael and Lorna are known as a dream team of choreographer and technician, offering comprehensive insights to their students.

For the past five decades, they have trained numerous world champions and continue to teach and lecture globally, imparting their expertise and knowledge to younger generations of dancers. Both hold Fellowship qualifications with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and were elected members of the Latin American Faculty.

Lorna was a council member of the BDF and later chairwoman of the ISTD Latin American Faculty, involved in the last revision of ISTD Latin American technique. She is also the head of the WDO Education Committee.

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Organisers and Promoters

Besides teaching and lecturing worldwide, Lorna and Michael organize prestigious competitions in Ballroom and Latin dance: The Universal, The All England, The World Ultimate Challenge, The Imperial, and the Carl Alan Awards. Recently, they launched a new dance festival, "The Majestic" in Brighton, in collaboration with Jukka Haapalainen and Sirpa Suutari Jääskö.

Bonds with Slovenia

Michael and Lorna helped start Slovenian Latin dance and have been a special part of our lives ever since. I vividly recall climbing to 'The top of the stairs' studio with my first students 35 years ago, where our shared journey began.

Michael has graced our country with numerous visits over the years, creating beautiful choreographies for our dancers, using his playfulness and innovation and sharing his wisdom through teaching methods infused with genuine humor. During his stays in Ljubljana, he would lodge in our son's tiny room, always leaving a few coins on the windowsill as a symbol of well-being for our family.

At the beginning, we worked with Lorna mostly in London, as she had two small daughters at the time. Later on, she visited Slovenia a few times, not only to teach couples but also to study the revised ISTD technique books with Slovenian dance teachers.


Coming from a Greek and British background, 'Stylianos' symbolizes strong family values. I met Zoe and Kara when they were small girls, playing with their dog Trixy.

As grown women, they now help their parents organize numerous dance competitions. Kara is a brilliant MC and Zoe a skilled PR professional. Michael and Lorna have extended their family values to the dance community and will always be my role models.

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Personal Note

I extend my heartfelt gratitude for the knowledge, wisdom and inspiration Michael and Lorna have shared. Their expertise in dance is matched only by their warmth, kindness and genuine care for dance and people.


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