Burnett Crowther

Wayne Sleep OBE

Wayne Sleep OBE


Wayne Sleep won a Leverhulme Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in 1961 and joined the Royal Ballet Company in 1966. Later he became a Principal Dancer and had numerous roles created for him by - amongst others - Ashton, MacMillan, de Valois, Layton, Nureyev and Neumeier. He was a Guest Artist with several ballet companies including English National, London City, Scottish, Capab and London Contemporary Dance. Recently he danced Ugly Sister in Ashton’s CINDERELLA with the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and in Tokyo.

His West End theatre performances have included: Uncle Willie in Cole Porter’s HIGH SOCIETY, Einstein in ARSENIC & OLD LACE, Puck, Aerial, Feste, Tony Lumpkin, Truffaldino and Soldier in A SOLDIER’S TALE, Mr Mistofeles in CATS, Child Catcher  in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, Emcee in CABARET, Oblio  in THE POINT, Adjutant in INTO THIN AIR and SONG AND DANCE. He has topped the bill in 20 Pantomimes.

Films include: HOUND, ELIZABETH I, THE FIRST GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY and THE TALES OF BEATRIX POTTER.

Choreography includes: 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 & GOLIATH (London Contemporary Dance Theatre), WINDING ROAD (London City Ballet), SONG & DANCE (Toronto), HOLLYWOOD & BROADWAY, and for the National Youth Ballet Wonderland - scenes from ALICE, CINDERELLA and TOAD.

He directed, choreographed and appeared in his own review of DASH, culminating in a world tour.

Wayne has been a judge on the BBC Television prime time weekly show STRICTLY DANCE FEVER, the subject of THIS IS YOUR LIFE, Melvyn Bragg’s THE SOUTH BANK SHOW and as a guest on numerous chat shows. Appointed OBE in 1998 and received honorary degrees from the Universities of  Exeter and Teeside, he is a patron of the British Ballet Organisation, Vice President of The Royal Academy of Dance and a Trustee of the Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund. He has two entries in the Guinness Book of Records and was Show Business Personality of the year in 1984. His publications include: VARIATIONS ON WAYNE SLEEP and his autobiography PRECIOUS LITTLE SLEEP. He has now set up a charity The Wayne Sleep Foundation to help aspiring youngsters and continues o pass on his knowledge at his dance workshops throughout the world.