Our Founders

Shawn & Gladys Dance Academy continues to be the leading Latin and Standard dance training centres in the region and their students have gone on to compete and perform at a variety of events at both national and international levels.

Shawn and Gladys have an enviable record as competitive dancers. Between 1982 and 1993, the pair dominated the DanceSport scene – garnering 20 prestigious international championship titles around the world, including the 1985 Doris Lavelle Challenge Trophy (England) and the 1990 Asian-Pacific Ballroom Dancing Championships (Korea). After their retirement from competitive dancing, they became world class adjudicators and consultants for numerous international championships and events. They also founded the internationally-acclaimed Singapore Lion City DanceSport Championship which has been running since 1985, and the BD Dance World Superstars DanceSport Championship Series.

dance school singapore

SHAWN TAY

  • World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) President

  • World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) former Vice-President and General Secretary

  • Chairman of WDSF Dance Academy

  • WDSF Licensed Chairman & License "A" Adjudicator

  • 20 Times International DanceSport Champion

  • WDSF President's Award 2003

  • SSC Coach Recognition Awards 2004, 2005 and 2006 

  • Spirit of Enterprise Award 2008

  • National Coach, Singapore DanceSport Federation

  • WDSF Chairman of Adjudicators

  • Chief Choreographer and Dance Consultant for international movie ‘Dance of the Dragon’

  • Visiting Professor, Tongji University, Shanghai

  • Supervising Officer, 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China

  • Organiser of the 2011 WDSF World Latin Championship

  • Organiser of BD Dance World Superstars DanceSport Championship Series (2014-present)

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Shawn Tay started his competitive dancing career in 1982 with his wife, Gladys. In 1984, after winning several dance competitions, they travelled to England to further their dance training. After winning more than 20 prestigious titles around the world, they retired from competitive dancing in 1994 to focus on coaching aspiring dancers.

In 1985, Shawn was invited by the former General Secretary of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), Rudi Hubert, to compete in Germany. It marked the start of his lasting relationship with WDSF, the world’s governing DanceSport organization that is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In 2003, Shawn received the WDSF President’s Award for his outstanding contributions in DanceSport and became a WDSF Presidium Member in 2004. Today, Shawn is the General Secretary of the WDSF (elected on 13th June 2010)—one of the 5 members of the WDSF Managing Committee which oversee the running of the day to day affairs of WDSF – and is the Chairman of the WDSF DanceSport Academy.

Shawn is instrumental in organizing annual WDSF competitions throughout Asia. He founded the Singapore DanceSport Federation (SGDF) in 1986 and is currently its advisor and Singapore’s national coach.

Alongside international achievements, Shawn received the Singapore Sports Council’s Coach Recognition Award for three consecutive years from 2004-2006 as Singapore’s national coach for DanceSport, and in 2008, Shawn and his wife, Gladys, were honored with Singapore’s Spirit of Enterprise Awards.          

Over the years, Shawn Tay has successfully organized numerous prestigious DanceSport championships, such as the Grand Slam Latin Championships, World Youth Latin Championships, World Youth Ten-Dance Championships, and 21 years of the Lion City International DanceSport Championships in Singapore. With this good track record of successfully organizing some of the most significant DanceSport championships in the world, Shawn Tay was awarded the right to organize the WDSF World Championship Latin in Singapore in 2011- the first time such a prestigious international competition has been awarded to an Asian organizer.

In 2010, Shawn Tay was nominated by WDSF to be the Supervising Officer in organizing the inaugural DanceSport competition in the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. Later in 2010, Shawn Tay also organized and hosted the Grand Slam Finals in China.

Today, Shawn and Gladys Tay run Shawn & Gladys Dance Academy, Singapore’s most established DanceSport academy. Shawn is the first person to introduce DanceSport into Singapore’s Ballroom dancing scene. He has also coached numerous dance champions and celebrities in Singapore and around the region. For instance, Shawn was chief choreographer and dance consultant for the international production, “Dance of the Dragon”, starring Korean heartthrob Jang Hyuk, Singaporean celebrity Fann Wong and American actor Jason Scott Lee.

Gladys Tay, Dancesport coach Singapore

GLADYS TAY

  • 20 Times International DanceSport Champion

  • SSC Coach Recognition Award 2007

  • Spirit of Enterprise Award 2008

  • Chief Judge for Eurovision Dance 2008, Scotland

  • Judge for The Dance Floor TV Show

  • Dance Consultant, Instructor and Choreographer for international movie, ‘Dance of the Dragon’

  • National Coach for SEA Games Team

  • National Coach, Singapore DanceSport Federation

  • Member of Singapore Sports Council (SSC)

  • Advisor to People's Association Dance Program

  • Dance Choreographer for ChildAid 2010

  • Adjudicator for 1st Asian Indoor Games, Bangkok

  • Adjudicator for 2009 World Games, Kaohsiung

  • Co-organizer of the 2011 WDSF World Latin Championship

  • Adjudicator for 2012 WDSF Grand Slam Standard, Japan

  • Adjudicator for 2012 WDSF German Open, Germany

  • Organiser of BD Dance World Superstars DanceSport Championship Series (2014-present)

Born into a family of dancers, Gladys fell in love with dance at a very young age. She was mesmerized by the graceful and expressive dance moves of her parents, Steven and Vivien Kok, both accomplished professional dance champions.

Her father, Steven Kok, discovered her flair for dancing when she was just a child. Gladys would impress him with her musicality. Soon, Gladys was helping him at the dance school, giving out counts to his students who were many years her senior. Having taken dance lessons from her parents, Gladys turned her talents into outstanding accomplishments in the competitive dance scene. Together with her husband Shawn Tay, the pair took the competitive dance world by storm with 20 title wins from 1982 to 1994.

Today, Gladys is an internationally-renowned dance adjudicator, coach, and choreographer. She has adjudicated many WDSF DanceSport championships, such as the World Latin Championships, World Standard Championships, and Grand Slam Finals.

Well-recognized by the local media, Gladys was one of the judges for the local television dance show – The Dance Floor, and was the dance consultant, instructor and choreographer for the international production “ Dance of the Dragon”, starring Korean heartthrob Jang Hyuk, Singaporean celebrity Fann Wong and American actor Jason Scott Lee.   

In 2007, Gladys was awarded the prestigious Coach Recognition Award by the Singapore Sports Council. In 2008, both Gladys and Shawn were honored with Singapore’s Spirit of Enterprise Awards. Also in 2008, Gladys was appointed Head Judge of the 2008 Eurovision Dance Contest held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, one of the largest dance contests in Europe that garnered an estimated 30 million viewers from 21 countries. Shawn and Gladys also choreographed for the Korea Hyundai DanceSport Supermatch 2011, starring ten of the WDSF Standard, Latin and Professional Division champions – one of the largest DanceSport shows ever staged. Gladys is currently the national coach for the Singapore DanceSport team and choreographs for numerous prestigious events and performances around the world.