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Stage Name

Birth Name

Victor Sylvester Victor Marlborough Silvester

    Originally Victor was a famous dance Instructor who later turned band leader for Ballroom Dance. He was an English dancer, author, musician and bandleader from the British dance band era. He was a significant figure in the development and execution of Ballroom dancing during the first half of the 20th century. As a Band Leader his records sold over 75 million copies from the 1930's through 1980's.

    Victor studied music at Trinity College, London, having already had private piano lessons as a child but his interests had turned to dancing after he was dis-charged from the British Army where he joined at the age of 16. As a dancer He was one of the first post-war English dancers to feature the full Natural turn in the slow Waltz. This innovation was a factor in his winning the first World Ballroom Dancing Championship in 1922 (and 2nd in 1923) with Phyllis Clarke as his dancing partner.

     He was a founding member of the Ballroom Committee of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing which codified the theory and practice of Ballroom Dance – now known as the International Style – and published the first book embodying the new standards in 1927. This was Modern Ballroom Dancing, which became a best-seller and has remained in print through many editions, the last issued in 2005. He also became indelibly associated with the catch-phrase "slow, slow, quick-quick-slow".

    He went on to open a dancing academy in London, which eventually developed into a chain of 23 dance studios. By the early 1930s his teaching had become famous and he had taught some of the top celebrities of the day. Victor had his own BBC television show through the 1950s, called BBC Dancing Club, and was later the President of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

    All the above would lead him to a successful music career with the lack of what he felt were adequate records for dancing led Silvester in 1935 to form his own five-piece band, later enlarged and named "Victor Silvester and his Ballroom Orchestra." He would continue to make music for half a century, mostly covering the popular music standards and show tunes, sometimes (but rarely) swing or Traditional Jazz Tunes. He died while on holiday in the south of France at the age of 78.

Birth Place

Birth Date



London, England 2/25/1900 – 8/14/1978 Dorothy Newton (1922) Victor Silvester Jr.
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Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Ballet Phyllis Clarke You're Dancing on My Heart (1st song he recorded)

Night Clubs







n/a BBC series: " The Monocled Mutineer" 1958 - Dancing Is My Life: The Autobiography of Victor Silvester.
  1950s - Victor Sylvesters "BBC Dancing Club" 8/15/1978 - The Times, London, (p. 14.)

NOTE: n/a