DSI - DanceSport International Ltd. formerly known as Hearn & Spencer Ltd., was founded in 1982 by Geoffrey Hearn and Peggy Spencer MBE, who had taken over “The Alex Moore Letter Service”, which had been running since 1933. The Company utilized the “green room” studio within the Spencer Dance Centre, as an office by day but each evening everything had to be packed away in readiness for the evening dance lessons.
The Letter Service was a monthly letter sent out to Dance Teachers all over the world, giving news and new dance variations. Geoffrey used his technical knowledge as a qualified Teacher/Examiner, and he developed this service into a 24 page magazine, giving variations in both Modern Standard & Latin American dances. For both intermediate, social dancers right through to advanced level choreography. In 2004 this publication received another "facelift" and was renamed "The Choreographer". The last publication was printed in December 2008 after more than 25 years of service to Dance Teacher’s the World over.
Malcolm Hearn joined the Company in 1982 and expanded its Mail order Sales Service from a handful of books and LP records to today’s comprehensive list of media products. 1987 saw the start of the company’s venture into Video production, with it’s first title called “Ballroom Lines”. We are still producing top quality dvds, our latest being called “The Irvine Legacy” featuring Oliver Wessel-Therhorn with William Pino & Alessandra Bucciarelli.
Keith Hoyle joined the company in 1994 and his first job was to increase the company’s market share of the shoe business, and so started the journey into shoes. In 1996 the Company purchased the liquidated stock of "DanceTogs" - a well known shoe and accessories business, and with this purchase came the Exhibition rights to sell these products at the prestigious Open British Championships in Blackpool.
In 1996 Geoffrey & Peggy sold their shares in the business to Malcolm and Keith, who became business partners. Geoffrey still continues to work with the company on a consultative basis, and has produced dvds for us on a freelance basis, and is the author of two best selling books on Advanced Techniques.
In 1997 the Company purchased a Jewellery business called “Golden Girl” and again their Exhibition rights at the Blackpool Festival.
In 2000 we decided to start the dress making department we employed a designer & four machinists and we are pleased to say that the original four machinists are still with us, but the machining team now numbers twelve. With 23 staff in total making up the dress & tailoring departments.
It was at this time that we also decided to change our business name from Hearn & Spencer Ltd. to DanceSport International Ltd., as this more accurately reflected the nature of the business at the time.
In 2001 Gerald Schwanzer joined the company as Sales Director. His considerable knowledge and wealth of experience on the fashion side of our industry inspired the company to produce a range called "Visions". This included exciting new fabrics, rhinestones, laces, and dancewear; thus we were in a position to present the complete package for all aspects of dance.
One of the most successful ventures to date was the introduction of our Juvenile & Junior range for Boy’s & Girl’s, and with this came a request to dress the British Teams for the Junior Dance Festival in Blackpool. Something we were very proud of.
Development is an on-going part of our business, with new shoes being offered for both the Competitive and Social dancer; we are constantly bringing out new dress designs and are always on the look-out for new products to add to our catalogues. We also hope to develop and expand our dealer network all over the world to be able to offer dancers the ability to purchase from a local source.
As Dancesport had become the generic name for the sport of Dance we found others using the name which sometimes reflected badly on the company. So the company reinvented itself as DSI
In 2003 DSI was appointed as the official agent for Preciosa rhinestone’s in the dance market.
In 2005 Keith decided to retire from the Company and Gerald purchased his shares to become Malcolm’s new business partner. The past few years have seen phenomenal growth in the business.
The Company goes from Strength to Strength and with the appointment of Vicky Barkess as Creative Head for the Company we have worked on some memorable projects. We are currently working with the BBC for “Strictly Come Dancing”. We are now in the sixth year of our cooperation with them, and our involvement increases with each year. In 2009 we provided “Wizard of Oz” inspired character costumes to feature as the centerpiece in the Harrods Christmas Windows. Each character was given a “Strictly DSI” makeover.
Over the years we have invested in a number of products & businesses to improve our position within the market place. Two years ago we took over the running of a shoe factory to ensure continued production and quality control. Our latest development has been the release of our “Rude Nude” tanning products. All these projects have been self financed through careful planning and prudence.
We are one of the few companies able to offer Ballroom & Latin dancers throughout the world a total service by Mail Order. We are also pleased to welcome many visitors to our Showroom in Croydon, where customers may browse at their leisure, listen to CD’s, view dvds and select shoes etc. from the stocks always available. Please see "Visit our Showroom" for opening times.
We hope you find this site of interest and use. If you have any comments good or bad we would love to hear from you, or if you are in our area, please come and visit us. Or if you see us out and about at any of the trade shows, congresses, competitions that we attend then please do come and say hello – it’s always nice to put a face to a name.
We look forward to being of service to you.