Our history


The Society of Australian Teachers of Dancing Ltd., (known as SATD) was inaugurated in 1945 when a group of Stage Teachers invited the late Jack Keating to chair a meeting with the view to forming an alternate dance association in Australia. That meeting resulted in a uniting of Ballroom and Stage Teachers and the SATD was founded. Under the guidance of Jack Keating, together with Des Etheridge (Secretary) and the late Bob Potter (Treasurer), the SATD introduced its medal test examinations while continuing to promote Amateur and Professional competition and championship events. Following a visit to Sydney in 1949 by Jack and Val Guthrie of New Zealand, the formation of SATD New Zealand was achieved.

Interstate Championships

Co-operation between the Australian Institute of Dance (WA) and the SATD (NSW) resulted in teams from Perth (organized by Robert Wrightson) travelling across the Nullabor to the eastern states, culminating in Interstate Teams’ Matches – which were very successfully presented at the famous Trocadero in Sydney. 1950 saw the SATD, as a major driving force in the organisation of the Australasian Championships.

The early fifties saw the SATD organizing championships in Queensland under the control of the late Ron Steele.

Australasian Championships

During 1964 the Australian Dancing Board was established and Jack Keating, along with Eileen Kane, Robert Wrightson and the late Mickey Powell played a major role in its formation. In 1978, SATD was admitted as a member of the ADB and still remains a member of the Australian Dancing Board. The same year, Don Kersnovske was appointed as our Queensland Organiser for the Sunshine State Championships and Australasian Selections, and also the year that saw the passing of SATD founder Jack Keating.

Enduring Legacy

Although the format of the Australasian Championships has changed over the years, SATD remains the official organiser of the Australasian Championships.

SATD is one of the major dance organisations in Australia. It has been active in its service to the Dance Fraternity for over 70 years. SATD is well known throughout Australia, especially for its voluntary work in the sponsorship of couples to the Australasian Championships as well as to other interstate events.

In 2011, SATD sponsored a large team of dancers to Perth to compete in the Inaugural East Coast -v- West Coast Challenge Event, which was conducted by Dance Masters International Association Inc.

SATD continues to support dancers with sponsorship and awards through its Loyalty Awards program.

SATD also continues to offer a vast range of Medal Test options for Studios. Professional examinations can be undertaken where qualifications, recognised by the Australian Dancing Board can be gained in all styles of dance.