Man Accused Of Abusing Minors Held Position Protecting Minors

In a shocking revelation, a celebrated ballroom dancer and former child safeguarding officer is set to face imprisonment due to multiple sexual offenses committed against a minor. The individual in question, Richard Still, was formerly the primary safeguarding officer for the British Dance Council (BDC), the governing organization for ballroom dancing in the UK.

Still, 38, a father of a single child, has confessed to encouraging a minor to send him explicit content and engaging in sexual activities with her. The disclosure took place during a court hearing at Reading Crown Court. At the time of the offenses, Still served as the Acting Safeguard Officer while also operating a dance school in Berkshire.

Still’s appointment to the BDC was in May 2022, and his criminal actions started two months later, in July 2022. The authorities apprehended him in March 2023. As a safeguarding officer, Still’s primary responsibility was to investigate allegations of abuse made by students against their teachers and ensure the students’ safety.

In light of these disturbing revelations, officials from the BDC are revisiting all the cases Still was a part of. The president of the BDC, Christopher Hawkins, confirmed that Still’s licenses were promptly suspended after the accusations surfaced. He further stated that the BDC has worked closely with law enforcement agencies and social services.

Still, a former amateur dance champion has pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual misconduct involving an underage girl, whose identity is being withheld for legal reasons. His dance school in Reading, Berkshire, has since shut down, and he is currently employed as a handyman.

As a part of his bail conditions, Still must reside at his shared home with his dance teacher’s wife and is prohibited from being around children unless another adult is present.

In a public statement on the BDC’s Facebook page, President Hawkins reassured concerned parents and children of the council’s swift action upon understanding the severity of the situation. He also reviewed any matters Still managed during his tenure as the Safeguarding Lead.

Still’s appointment as the Acting Safeguarding Officer was done without consulting the BDC’s Board of Directors, as revealed by Hawkins. Upon becoming aware of the allegations, he reassured the dance community that the BDC had taken immediate action to suspend Still’s licenses as a precautionary measure and continues to work closely with the police and social services.

Still, a resident of Earley, near Reading, Berkshire, was a competitor in international dance tournaments before establishing the Vibex Dance Studio near his residence. The studio has since gone out of business, and all the studio’s signs and branding have been taken down from the Woodley building. He is no longer listed as the company’s director.
Still is scheduled for sentencing at Reading Crown Court on December 19th.