Ian and Leah Hardaker – Ian started ‘Old Time’ dancing at the age of 10 and began competing at the age of 14. He danced in Junior and Amateur competitions in the 1960s and appeared for ‘The North’ on Come Dancing just after his 21st birthday in 1968. He gave up dancing completely a few years later until 35 years on he and Leah met in 2006.
Leah had started ‘Beginners’ dance classes only 18 months earlier. They began dancing socially with the Morgan School of Dancing in Darlington, but soon entered the competition world in late 2007.
They progressed quickly with the Thomson Dance School winning the British Senior Modern Sequence Title at Blackpool in 2009,10 and 11 and were also runners-up in the Classical Sequence Championships in the same years. They retired from competitions in July 2012 and were married in August of the same year.
They qualified as Professionals in January 2013 and in their 2nd inventive dance competition, won with their classical Tango Tenuta at the NATD competition in March 2013.