4 January 2022 14:29

The world of dance recognised in New Year's Honours

RAD teacher and examiner, Barbara Peters, joins such dance luminaries as Sadlers's Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Alistair Spalding CBE, and dancer and choreographer, Ashley Banjo, in achieving recognition in the New Year's Honours.

Barbara Peters.

Barbara Peters has been dancing since she was two years-old. Now at the age of 83, she has been teaching dance for 66 years and has been made recipient of the BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to dance. Featured this week in her local newspaper, Barbara says “I started teaching at a very young age and I’m still teaching now [...] I’ve given my whole life to dance. My job has been my passion.”

Sadler's Wells' Alistair Spalding receives a Knighthood. Under his leadership, the theatre has grown in scope, becoming a producing organisation, hosting and collaborating with international dance companies, and supporting associate artists and resident companies: “Dance is now one of the most popular art forms in this country. I believe this award is an indication that our vibrant dance culture goes from strength to strength, and that our ambitious plans for Sadler’s Wells East will inspire and nurture a new generation.”

Ashley Banjo has been awarded an MBE after a year in which he campaigned heavily on behalf of racial equality. The dancer and choreographer said he was “humbled and extremely proud” to receive the honour, having been named in the New Year Honours list for services to dance.

Dance recipients for 2022

Knight of the British Empire

  • Alistair Spalding CBE – Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadler’s Wells Theatre. For services to Dance.

British Empire Medal

  • Barbara Mary Peters - Dance Teacher. For services to Dancing. (Greetland, West Yorkshire)


  • Leslie Brotherston – Theatrical Designer. Awarded an OBE for services to Dance and Theatre (West Sussex).


  • Michael Asante – Co-Founder Boy Blue. Awarded an MBE for services to Hip-Hop Dance and Music (Greater London).
  • Ashley Banjo. For services to Dance. (Bicknacre, Essex)
  • Norman Murray – Chairman of Scottish Ballet awarded an MBE for services to the Arts.
  • Christopher Nash – awarded an MBE for services to Dance and Photography (Greater London)
  • Professor Emma Redding - Professor of Performance Science and Head of Dance Science, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. For services to Dance. (London, Greater London)

Congratulations to all on their well-deserved recognition.