Anne Walker, founder of U.K.-based International Dance Supplies Ltd., has received the prestigious MBE (Member of Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth. Walker, who as a dance teacher started making leotards for her students 35 years ago, today heads a dancewear company with a staff of 60. In 2009, IDS launched a line of dance accessories in the U.S.


Walker attributes her business success to her background in the studio. “We understand how a dance teacher works,” she says, and she considers it her mission to help U.K. dance educators be more successful. “Dance teachers don’t think of themselves as professionals who should have a good quality of living.”


To that end, IDS will offer the first independent conference for dance teachers in London at The Royal Ballet School, August 21–24.