Expert Panel: Children and Young People’s Dance

Expert Panel: Children and Young People’s Dance

One Dance UK is advised by our Expert Panel: Children and Young People’s Dance, which supports our on-going work, providing as many opportunities as possible for young people to dance.

The Panel, formed on April 1 2016, was created as a direct result of One Dance UK’s status as the Subject Association for Dance and its role in providing projects and events for children and young people, as well as training and support for teachers.

Mel Knott, a senior dance educationalist, has been appointed Executive Chair of the Panel and has been closely involved in recruiting members, to ensure that the relevant disciplines are represented in the Panel’s future activities.

The Panel’s role will be to advise and support One Dance UK in its work with, for and by CYP and as the Subject Association for Dance. Members will provide advice and recommendations regarding strategy and policy direction for the organisation, including projects and programmes of work, partnerships and responding to government initiatives.



Mel Knott


Mel Knott has been working in dance education since 1989 as a teacher, manager, trainer and choreographer.  She is based in Leicestershire and currently delivers dance in primary and secondary schools, at post-16, in Higher Education and within the youth and community dance sector.  Mel also leads the Curve Young Dance Company, a youth group for talented young dancers living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, with whom she has created a number of dance pieces for both the stage and in site-specific environments.

Alongside her teaching, Mel leads continuing professional development for a range of national and local organisations, supporting teachers and dance artists on planning and delivering high quality dance to children and young people in schools and beyond.   Mel is also an examiner, moderator and trainer for the GCSE Dance qualification, and was an executive board member for the National Dance Teachers Association.

Prior to moving to the East Midlands, Mel was the Director of Dance at The BRIT School in London.  She has also managed a range of dance events for young people, and undertaken advisory and evaluation work for a variety of dance education projects.

Mel is passionate about teaching dance, and is inspired by working in artistic contexts which enable her to collaborate with a variety of people and places.

Sujata is a leading Kathak artist who has worked extensively in the UK and all around the world for more than 30 years. She teaches at her own Academy and is the Artistic Director of Sujata Banerjee Dance Company, which is known for its high quality Classical work as well as innovative productions.  Sujata has been actively involved in the development of dance education at grass root and at professional level. Sujata believes that dance should be an important part of a child’s development and everyone should have the chance to experience the ‘joy of moving in space’.

Having studied sports science, Sujata brings a unique approach to dance training. She lectures at different dance training schools to bring the awareness about the healthier dancer life. Sujata is a senior Examiner and also the Chair of the Classical Indian Dance Faculty of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).

Ginny is Artistic Director at the ISTD, where she is responsible for Teacher Training and Continuing Professional Development.

Until March 2015, Ginny was also Vice-Chair of the National Dance Teachers Association. In this voluntary role she contributed to the organisation of the annual conferences and dancematters publications. She also represented the NDTA on the Dance Programme Board and the Dance UK Dance Teacher Mentoring Scheme panel.

Ginny has previously worked as a teacher and manager for the Education Departments of Rambert, English National Ballet, the Royal Opera House and The Royal Ballet School – where she was responsible for establishing and leading a national programme of primary and secondary school projects. Central to Ginny’s work has been a desire to build strong connections between the state education, voluntary and professional dance sectors.

Ginny has recently completed a Masters in Education and Social Research at the Institute of Education.

Dance has been an integral part of Liz’s life since she was three years old, and has provided the catalyst for a successful career in education and the arts, spanning complementary experiences of performing as a top amateur ballroom and Latin dancer, teaching and leading Dance and Drama in secondary schools, maintaining standards as Principal Examiner and Moderator for GCSE Dance, and ensuring the provision of high quality professional training programmes as Head of Education and Training at the Council for Dance Education and Training. These experiences have given Liz a high level of understanding of the dance industry and strong credibility in the sector.

Liz has co-authored a successful student textbook, devised and delivered numerous training programmes for teachers, trainers and consultants and most recently as Lead Writer, she was responsible for the concept and creation of the new GCSE Dance specification. Liz is completely committed to the challenge of ensuring that the arts are properly valued and embedded in a successful, well-rounded education system and that they continue to support the growth and development of engaged, inspired and creative citizens of the future.

Laura is currently a freelance Dance Education Consultant based in the North-West. She currently works in a range of primary and secondary schools supporting the delivery of dance and providing CPD from EYFS through to A-level. She has previously worked in Secondary Schools as a Head of Department and Head of Performing Arts College (Dance), and as an Advanced Skills Teacher specialising in integrated dance.

Laura has also worked with a wide range of dance companies and theatres in an education officer role, including Education Projects Officer for The Royal Ballet, Dance Animateur for Rambert Dance Company and Education Officer for the Royal Festival Hall. Laura has previously been a member of the National Dance Teachers Association board, a Lead Practitioner for Youth Sports Trust, and on the dance judge panel for the Lawrence Olivier Awards.

Stephen has worked in the dance education and youth dance sectors for over 15 years.  He currently works as Lecturer in Performing Arts in a large FE college in London with responsibility for the dance programmes and as a freelance dance artist and consultant for a range of organisations including leading boys’ classes for Trinity Laban’s youth programme.  He has taught a variety of dance and performing arts courses, including GCSE, A Level, BTEC, UAL and HNC courses developing partnerships with dance companies and theatres to enrich curriculum.  He has also taught in a specialist performing arts academy, and in the West Midlands’ two youth dance companies.

Stephen has worked as a Qualification Development Writer for BTEC, led curriculum development projects in primary schools including CPD training for teachers, and was a Special Advisor to the National Dance Teachers Association. Prior to training as a teacher he worked as Dance Development Officer at The Place, Animateur for Richard Alston Dance Company, and Deputy Choreographer for Royston Maldoom’s Dance Umbrella commission Overture 2012 for 120 children and young people living in London.

Carla is currently the Subject Leader of Dance, Innovation Leader and ITT Coordinator at Harris Boys’ Academy. As a Dance specialist, having completed her PGCE in Dance at the University of Brighton, Carla has worked in a variety of contexts delivering dance education.

In addition to her teaching commitments, Carla is a network leader for dance within the Harris federation and has also delivered a wide range of CPD on delivering dance, assessment without levels and consultancy work in schools.

Carla completed her Masters in Teaching and Learning in 2013 at Reading University, which gave a theoretical underpinning to her work in education.

Carla is passionate about dance education and from mentoring to lecturing, she shares her passion for passing on knowledge and desire to support others in developing their teaching practice.

Fiona is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Service Management at the University of Brighton, with a specialism in the field of dance. She has a BEd (Hons) in Dance & Physical Education (Brighton Polytechnic) and an MA in Dance Studies (Laban Centre).

She is an executive member of the National Dance Teachers Association and sits on the National Programme Board for Dance. Fiona is a regular contributor of resource materials to the NDTA professional magazine. She has a breadth of experience in delivering CPD courses. She coordinates the school extracurricular dance programme including the staging of student performances, she is Artistic Director of the all male Kick-Start Dance Company, and creates platforms and festivals for children from the region to perform at.

Following the well-received publication A Practical Guide to Teaching Dance (2007, Leeds; Coachwise), which forms the foundation on which many secondary schools build their dance curriculum, she is currently completing A Practical Guide to Teaching Dance to Boys.

Elsa is a UK-based dance educator, living in Ipswich.  She currently works with students guiding on dance pedagogy, dance psychology and community dance practice at a range of Higher Education Institutions.  Elsa is also a quality assessor for Safe in Dance International and sits on the Education Committee for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science.

Recent roles have included working as CAT Manager at DanceEast, Programme Manager (Maternity Cover), MSc Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; Lecturer in Dance at London Contemporary Dance School, Course Leader, BA (Hons) Dance in the Community at University Campus Suffolk; and Lecturer in Dance at the University of Bedfordshire, where she convened the first international congress examining the role of dance in health settings and wrote the MSc Dance Science programme.  Elsa regularly presents her work nationally and internationally and has published work in a range of peer-reviewed journals and dance sector magazines.  Prior to this, Elsa worked as a dance artist in the community, education and professional dance sectors for a variety of leading organisations.  In 2008, Elsa gained an MSc with Distinction in Dance Science from Trinity Laban and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  She is also a graduate of the University of Surrey, BA (Hons) Dance in Society.

Jasmine trained at London Contemporary Dance School. She has worked in contemporary dance as a performer, teacher and manager. She set up the Creative Learning department of Studio Wayne McGregor in 1999 and has responsibility for developing and overseeing all learning and engagement activity.  She has managed and taught on projects with a wide variety of participants, in a diverse range of locations across the UK and internationally such as Canary Wharf tube station, Goresbrook Housing Estate and Trafalgar Square. Jasmine managed both of the company’s children’s projects, digit01 and Alpha and also performed in digit01. Jasmine was a Clore Cultural Fellow in 2009/10.