THE BEAT DANCE STUDIO has been in operation in its current form since 2004. The original founders, Leigh and Gillian Bingham, owned a number of dance studios before becoming franchisees of Fred Astaire Dance Studios South Africa. Leigh eventually became CEO of FADS South Africa, but soon became disillusioned by the old-fashioned ways that dancing was being taught around the world.
This was where their vision for The Beat first began – an opportunity to create a brand new, modern syllabus that was much more suitable to modern music styles than the antiquated ways of the past. The Beat was born, and over the course of the next decade and a half, became the largest independent social dance studio in Southern Africa.
Following the crippling effects of the Covid-19 Lockdown in South Africa, and after being unable to operate for almost 8 months, The Beat finally reopened in November 2020 under new ownership.
The Beat Enterprises (Pty) Ltd, a newly incorporated company, whose shareholders include Heinrich Odendaal, Martin Breedt, James Rushton and Hendrik van der Merwe, took over management of The Beat, and began the process of resurrecting the Studio – with the goal of continuing Leigh and Gillian’s legacy of creating a “family away from home”.
Martin, James and Hendrik have a combined 48 years’ experience in teaching social ballroom dancing and James has served as General Manager of The Beat Dance Studio for 11 years. Heinrich has 20+ years of corporate governance and entrepreneurial experience, has served on the boards of countless companies, and previously practiced as an attorney before being admitted as an Advocate of the High Court. Together, Martin, James, Heinrich and Hendrik provide a strong team to ensure The Beat Dance Studio is once again a successful and thriving community.