Ballroom Dance > Len Scrivener?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by elgin47, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. elgin47

    elgin47 New Member

    Hi All,

    I am trying to find information about Len Scrivener and his partner, Nellie Duggan.. Len was my great uncle and I am trying to find out what he did during his career after he was a champion in the 50s...

    I would be happy if anyone here knows about him and his partner (or has pictures of them..)

  2. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    Welcome to DF elgin47!

    Hopefully somebody will be along that can help you!
  3. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Amongst other things he wrote a book, "Just One Idea" which provides a r e f r e s h ingly clear look at some key issues of ballroom technique, with brief quotes from it having been a starting point for some discussions here.
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Len was one of my teachers (Nellie as well ). I was fortunate enough to see him win most of his titles. He probably imfluenced my thinking about " dance " more than any of the other greats of that period.

    As to his after comp. career, he was always in demand as a lecturer in the UK and world wide ( the 1st to travel to Japan for e.g.)

    He was a fairly regular lecturer at the Court ballroom in Balham ( Len Colyers place ), and was frequently at the tea dances , with Nellie ,at the Hammersmith Palais on Tues afternoons, along with several other of his contempories. She would occasionally get in the " excuse me " dance, and I had the priviledge of dancing a Q/step with her , on one of those occasions.

    Heres an interesting fact.. he was never invited to judge the " British " ...
  5. pruthe

    pruthe Member

    Len Scrivener is one of the icons mentioned in the book, "Ballroom Icons". Some pictures and known history of Scrivener in book. Book may be available for purchase.

    Websites (remove spaces in w w w):

    w w

    w w

    A picture of Len and Nellie is here:

    w w

    Good luck with your research.
  6. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I was given a copy of his book as a present for passing my adjudicator's. I really like it.
  7. btfgus

    btfgus Member

    One of my teachers in Australia told me the story of his first visit to London and his first lesson with Len.

    After the usual strain of qualifying questions, it was decided they would work on the waltz. Len was in his immaculate suit with a flower in his lapel, and put on the record. My teacher began to dance to the track whilst Len gazed out the window not looking at them once. The track played out and they were instructed to dance to the next track.

    Len continued to look out the window not paying them any visual attention. The pupils were rather annoyed by this stage. Turned out he could hear the quality of their movement, the way their feet would strike the floor.

  8. elgin47

    elgin47 New Member

    Thank you all for the wonderfull information (and the link to their picture!)
    I lost my password and it took me ages to recover it :-0
    My aunt seems to recall that he had a dance school - Is that possible at all?
    I found out that he published a book back in 1983. Was that the last thing he did? I am afraid she can not even recall when he and Nellie passed away... :-(
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    When I googled, all I found was a book called The Complete Ballroom Dancer, edited by him. Published in 1957. The National Library of Australia has a copy of a 1965 printing,so,apparently,there were multiple editions.

    The book was published at a London press so, if you're in the UK, it might be worth your while to contact a couple used book sellers. You never know.
  10. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    He made contributions to news letters and sundry publications. The only book he compiled (lecture notes and his thoughts and theories ) " Just One Idea ". is out of print .
    I have had a "dog " eared copy for many yrs..
  11. pruthe

    pruthe Member

    In the Ballroom Icons book, it states Len Scrivener died on Feb. 17, 1977. No mention of Nellie Dugan's date of death. The book has 3 pages of text on history of Len and Nellie and one page of pictures, which shows 4 unique pictures. It said he met Nellie in 1936 and they competed in late 40s/early 50s in UK.
  12. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    That's the one I have, as well.
  13. monboosey

    monboosey New Member

    Hi there

    Hello what a small world Nellie Duggan was my auntie, my mums sister. I was brought up in the Borough near London Bridge and they lived around the corner. We moved to Forest Hill SE London and Nell and Len followed us and brought an apartment just arround the corner. Len passed away in the 70's he had heart trouble and had operation and died shortly afterwards. Nell lived on til she was 92 although was was 8 years older than Len. They used to teach at the Manor Ballroom and had dancers who were at the top competitions and all over the world. They always had their dinner at my parents house on a Sunday and always at Christmas. They travelled the world and I always had a special dress or present from their travels. I have lots of pictures of them at their best.
    Sania, j_alexandra and Linda Forskitt like this.
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh my goodness! :-D

    Thanks for sharing your memories, monboosey. And welcome to DF! :)
  15. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    One of my " mentors".. he was a regular lecturer at the Court ballroom in Balham . Also loved his Dems at the Palais in Hammersmith; I quote him to this day .
  16. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    Wow! How awesome! :D Welcome, monboosey!
  17. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    wonderful sharing, monboosey!

    i just read "just one idea" for the first time and sooooo enjoyed it. in fact, i have it here right next to me in my office... :)
  18. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Have you realised how controversial some of his ideas were ?, and, he was NEVER invited to Judge the " British " . His "presence " on a dance floor was quite remarkable .
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Where'd you get it? Library?
  20. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i can imagine, tangotime. i *really* felt drawn to him as a teacher, felt i would have liked & respected him immensely if i'd known him. and those peeps are always the controversial ones. ;)

    so much of what he shared in the book were conveyed to me as part of what i've been taught, either overtly or indirectly, so his legacy is living on, truly, through those pros who received that wisdom themselves along the way.

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