Dance Teacher Advocacy Group

April Brown

Lecturer in Dance (Middlesex University) London

April is a Dance Artist and Choreographer passionate about arts education and creative learning. April’s work spans across teaching, advocacy, partnerships, and engagement; devising projects that partner the University and the local community (Museums, Libraries, Arts Centres, Primary Schools and Youth Groups). April teaches Choreography, Performance and Dance Pedagogy, she is Admissions Tutor and Partnerships Coordinator for the Dance department. April is committed to using her platform at Middlesex University to develop engagement in dance and increase young people’s access to quality arts encounters. April works with UK schools and dance providers to advocate for creative careers, working to empower young people to take their aspirations in dance further. April designs and delivers creative learning programmes within and beyond formal education contexts. Her Teaching Artist programme targets the need to develop undergraduate students’ skills in creative dance leadership. April has been awarded the One Middlesex Staff Award: Contribution to Community and Society (2020) for this area of her work.

April holds a Masters in Professional Practice, where she specialised in the Pedagogy of Dance Artists, with a focus on Dance delivery in UK Primary Schools. April also holds a PGCHE and BA (Hons) in Dance Studies and has a Fellowship (FHEA) with the Higher Education Academy.

Alison Clinton

Northampton School for Boys - Midlands

Starting at the school in 2004, she developed the dance department from scratch, starting with a few classes in Key Stage 3 and finishing with a full timetable for dance from KS3 to KS4 by 2017, seeing the introduction of A-Level Dance in 2019. The GCSE dance results were ranked highly by ALPs in 2017-2019, placing NSB in the top 5% of all schools in the country for GCSE Dance progress and attainment for boys. The extra-curricular programme at NSB offers opportunities for beginners to elite dancers. The street dancers have secured British and World titles and the contemporary groups have represented the East Midlands at U.Dance. The elite group has danced on the main stage at Move It, performed for HRH Prince Charles at The Royal Albert Hall, performed a curtain raiser for the Richard Alston Dance Company and competed in CYD? Events. Dancers have taken part in events such as Young Creatives, Matthew Bourne projects, The Oxygen Convention in New York and television competitions such as BGT and Taking the Next Step. Students have gone on to train in dance at leading conservatoires and CDMT accredited dance schools. Past student success includes Skanes Dansteatre, National Dance Company Wales, MTV Awards, The Greatest Dancer, The Voice, X-Factor, music videos, West-End shows such as Aladdin and Tina Turner the musical. Alison was recently nominated for Outstanding Secondary Teaching at the One Dance UK Awards.

Jade Hunt

Horizon Community College - North East

Jade Hunt is Head of Dance at Horizon Community College in Barnsley having discovered a passion for teaching dance whilst at University and choosing to pursue this as a specialism.
Jade has worked to build a real community of dance at the college and is now proud that her dance students have represented Barnsley and South Yorkshire at local and national platforms including U.Dance.
Jade has worked closely with the South Yorkshire Dance Hub and its education group over a number of years and continues to strive to increase the offer of dance to young people in the region, she also regularly contributes to dance teacher networks online to help provide resources and guidance.
Jade was also shortlisted for Outstanding secondary dance teaching at the One Dance UK awards this year.

Louise Jaggard

East Midlands / Leicestershire

Louise has delivered dance and PE for nearly 20 years and has taught extensively across a number of settings including community groups, dance organisations and in further education. She established JumpStart into Primary School Dance in 2010 to inspire primary-aged children both within and outside of the curriculum. As part of this work, she writes and produces a range of online ‘Dance Class in a Box’ resources to support delivery in primary schools. JumpStart also offers a Monday night contemporary youth company which includes the Arts Award (discover and explore) for 5-10 year olds and the Dance Leaders qualification for older children.

Louise is also the dance coach for South Charnwood’s School Sport and Physical Activity Network, a role which involves teaching curriculum sessions within primary schools, delivering teacher INSET and running the annual Jump2it! Dance Festival at Loughborough Town Hall.

She is co-author of ‘Making a Move’, an e-book featuring 30 easy to deliver creative dance lessons – enabling collaboration without contact.

Louise sees dance as an agent for positive change and harnesses the power of creativity to empower children and teachers alike.

Yvette Jarvis

St. Angela's Ursuline School - London

Yvette has been teaching PE and Dance for over 20 years and is currently Head of Department at a school in Newham. She trained at London Contemporary Dance School and De Montford University.

Yvette has successfully taught GCSE and A level Dance as well as GCSE PE and A Level PE. She is a Specialist Leader of Education and has undertaken a variety of outreach work and has delivered CPD sessions in Dance and PE for NQT’s, GCSE and trainee teachers. She is also an examiner and moderator and was an executive board member for the National Dance Teachers Association.

Yvette is a dance specialist who is committed to ensuring that Dance has a high profile both within and outside of the school curriculum and is passionate about developing young people’s cultural capital.

Louisa Keohane

Carr Manor School and freelance – North East

Louisa Keohane graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) with first class honours back in 2005 and went on to work as the last apprentice dancer with Phoenix Dance Theatre under Darshan Singh Bhuller. She toured the USA, performed at Holland Dance Festival and toured the UK with Phoenix Dance Theatre’s triple bill including Forest (under Bob Cohen) and Bhuller’s Planted Seeds. Louisa has also had the privilege to have worked with artists such as Jan de Schinkel, Liv Lorent, Arthur Pita and Kiera Martin. Louisa teaches at both high school and primary school levels at Carr Manor Community School in Leeds, and has done so for 12 years. She began the dance department at the school and has developed this to form a number of diverse dance groups that perform both inside school and in the wider community. Louisa has partnered with Phoenix Dance Theatre and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance on a long-term basis to aid all dancers to have the opportunity to access high quality dance training and dance opportunities. Louisa is passionate about raising the profile of boys dance, and has created a junior and senior boys company that performs city wide. As well as her work in schools, she additionally teaches adult Contemporary Classes at NSCD and for the Junior Academy students at Phoenix Dance Theatre on a regular basis.

Geoff Lake

LeAF Studio - South West

From a young age Geoff had a desire to teach and it was whilst attending education that he developed a love and passion for Performing Arts, when he first experienced a dance lesson. From here, the dream became a journey of becoming a teacher and Geoff attended the University of Wolverhampton to study for his Cert Ed teaching qualification. Geoff begun teaching in 2010 in Bournemouth and in September 2013 joined LeAF Studio School teaching Performing Arts. In recent years Geoff, along with his colleague, took hundreds of students from their school to the Rock Challenge competition where, over the years, they have obtained many placings in the event, including being crowned Southern Premier Champions four times. More recently, at the National Final in 2018, the LeAF Studio team won the National Champions title. In November 2018, Geoff was shortlisted for the One Dance UK Secondary Teaching Award and won the category overall. Geoff relishes the development of the Dance curriculum at LeAF Studio and is delighted to be invited to be part of the One Dance UK Secondary Advocacy Programme and further support the development of Dance nationally in schools.

Verity Merryweather

Teacher of Dance and Specialist Leader of Education (Cambridgeshire), Parkside Community College, Cambridge.

Verity has taught Dance (Key Stage 3, 4 and 5) at the Cambridge Academic Partnership (Parkside Federation) for the last 12 years. She has previously been Assistant Director of Create and Lead Teacher (Create) within the cluster. She is currently a Specialist Leader of Education for Cambridgeshire specialising in Teaching and Learning (Dance and Performing Arts).
Verity is a Principal Examiner for International Baccalaureate (Composition and Analysis SL), a National Standards Verifier / Team Leader and GCSE Examiner. Verity holds an MA in Teaching and Learning and a Cambridge International Certificate in Teaching and Learning. She has been a mentee on the National Dance Teacher Association ‘Dance Teaching Mentoring’ programme, and has been mentored by Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures as part of their ‘Overture’ scheme. Verity also sat as the expert judge on the Olivier Awards Dance panel 2017 / 2018. For the past 12 years, Verity has promoted the educational ethos of ‘excellence, collaboration and innovation’, she has a passion for classroom practice and prides herself on inclusive and holistic methods that encourage creativity and high attainment. Verity is excited to be part of the One Dance UK Secondary Advocacy Programme and looks forward to continuing to promote and support dance in schools.

Hilary Morgan

Ryde Academy - Isle of Wight

Hilary Morgan Seaton teaches at Ryde Academy on the Isle of Wight and has amassed a reputation of excellence teaching dance at secondary level. Her results for progress were ranked in the top 4% in the country. She leads an elite dance team specialising in contemporary dance with many students going on to train at leading conservatoires and vocational colleges. She was selected to participate in Sir Matthew Bourne’s Re:Bourne ‘Overture’ Programme and was commissioned by New Adventures to write a resource based on their work, The Red Shoes. She has also written revision guides for teachers and students nationally for both AQA GCSE and A-level Dance. She is Keynote Educational speaker for GCSE dance and hosts CPD for a-level teachers in improving the delivery of theory lessons on a freelance basis. She was recently nominated for an award for Outstanding Secondary Teaching by One Dance UK and has also been awarded a certificate of excellence by the Pearson Teaching Awards.

Ray Oudkerk

The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology - London

Ray Oudkerk studied Dance & Philosophy at Middlesex University followed by a year at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. After completing a PGCE he went into mainstream education and has over 20 years experience of teaching Dance in secondary schools, predominantly in south London. Over the years Ray has worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher, mentored beginning dance teachers, delivered professional training courses and worked with many arts companies and professional artists. He has delivered INSET in a number of secondary school, worked within performing arts teams and delivered a range of cross-curricular work. He has focused on boys’ dance for a number of years and created a range of teaching resources.
In 2013 he completed a Masters in Teaching through the Royal Academy of Dance. His dissertation focused on the relationship between OFSTED and teaching pedagogy. Ray is currently an Assistant Principal at The BRIT School of Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon. He is passionate about arts education for all young people and enjoys arts advocacy debate and discussion. In addition, Ray is a director on the board of Rambert Dance Company, Chair of AQA GCSE Dance and a member of the Cultural Learning Alliance Strategy Group.

Amy Preedy

Our Lady & ST John Catholic College - North West

Amy has been in secondary education for 18 years. She trained at Liverpool John Moores University gaining a 2:1 degree in BA HONS Physical Education & Dance with QTS. Dance has been part of Amy’s life since the age of 3, where she studied RAD Ballet, Tap and Modern and then at A-level was introduced to the expressive world of contemporary dance. As well as teaching in secondary schools, Amy has taught as an outreach and freelance dance practitioner at Ks1 & 2 and has also taught both Ballet & Tap for local dancing schools. Previously she has been a GCSE Dance moderator for the previous specification AQA. Currently she is a Lead Practitioner on extended SLT and aspires to become an Assistant Headteacher.
Working in a borough where deprivation is high and access to the Arts can be very limited Amy has made it her mission to allow pupils to experience the Arts as a performer & choreographer as well as the visiting theatres to see live performances. In current times where Arts are under threat she feels that teachers within her secondary schools need a voice to be heard at various levels whether it be to the professional bodies or those who lead the dance companies. Understanding the time and money constraints placed on those within schools networking and attending courses can be difficult, yet she feels this needs more of a focus and be bespoke to what other dance teachers need.
Aside from her school work Amy is a wife, mother of two girls & a netball coach for a local club. She loves to interact with others and believes good communication is key to progression in any area. Dance always has been and will continue to be a major part of her life and she hopes to enrich and inspire others through her passion and dedication to this art form.

Carla Price

Associate Assistant Principal, Subject Leader of Dance, Innovation Leader and ITT Coordinator at Harris Boys’ Academy

Carla is currently an Associate Assistant Principal, 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 delivers 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.

Sean Selby

High Storrs School - North East

Sean studied at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, graduating with a BA Hons in Performance. He toured with postgraduate company Verve in 2005. He toured one season as a dancer with culture award winning Sakoba Dance Theatre, which lead to two more seasons as a rehearsal assistant and principle dancer. Sean has appeared in London’s west end including Fame the Musical, NYMT’s Bugsy Malone and West End Live 2007.
Sean then got asked to play the lead role Tyrone in Fame for the European and UK tour. Sean danced in the new production of Sleeping Beauty the Musical choreographed by Arlene Phillips for Sadler’s Wells. He also featured as a soloist for Prince Edward’s Gala at St James Palace. As a young boy he was cast as the Urchin/Sleigh Boy in the touring production of Scrooge the Musical starring Anthony Newley. His TV and Commercial credits include: dancing for Recording artists Lemar, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Gina G and Javine Hylton, backing dancer for Alexandra Burke and JLS on X Factor 2009,and backing dancer for Elton John and Will Young for New Year’s Red Piano Concert live at the O2. He appeared as a dancer in (Century Fox) Gulliver’s Travels staring Jack Black.
Sean choreographed on Coronation Streets 50th anniversary Pilot filming starring Katherine Kelly, This then lead to Sean choreographing the anniversary live performances on ITV’s This Morning and Paul O’Grady staring Kym Marsh and pop boyband Boyzone. As well as Choreographing Musicals and professional Pantomime’s, Sean has produced many dance pieces for youth dance such as working on the boys Audition panel for Billy Elliot the musical, NSCD Centre of Advanced Training scheme, FE colleges and University’s all over the UK.
Sean now works as the head of the dance department at High Storrs School in Sheffield. His role also includes being artistic Director of the Youth Dance Company High Storrs Dance Company. For two year this company has represented youth dance for Yorkshire in the prestigious youth platform festival U Dance for One Dance UK.

Becky Smithson

Hall Cross Academy - North East

Becky is a Teacher of Dance and Drama at Hall Cross Academy in Doncaster and a specialist teacher of A Level Dance, GCSE Dance and creative cross-curricular projects for KS3 and KS2. The average A Level Dance result was most recently a Grade B, and in GCSE Dance 56% of students achieved a Grade 7 or above with well above average progress scores. She mentors Initial Teacher Training students, choreographs for school productions and regularly engages professional companies.
An artist, educator and consultant with over a decade of experience, Becky is highly skilled in contemporary dance and a teacher of ballet, jazz, street and physical theatre styles as well as choreography and theoretical studies.
Becky was selected for the One Dance UK Teacher Mentoring Programme. She co-leads the South Yorkshire Dance Hub Education Group. Becky is also a leader of residential camps, co-ordinator of events and organiser of educational visits.

Katy Sterran

Coppice Performing Arts School - West Midlands

Katie Tucker

Great Barr Academy - West Midlands

Having a lifelong commitment to dance and performance, Katie began studying at age 3. After a period of study at the renowned Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City, she graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with a degree in Dance Practice and Performance, going on to complete a PGCE in Secondary Dance at the University of Exeter. Since then Katie has been the Head of Dance at Great Barr Academy in Birmingham, creating a successful standalone dance department. During her time there she has collaborated with local schools, mentored trainee and newly qualified teachers and has established a youth dance company, encouraging and supporting students who dream of a career in dance. Katie has been particularly successful in the uptake and continuing success of boys participation in Dance, something she feels passionate about. Her ongoing goals are to develop dance as a respected and celebrated choice in the curriculum, and to continue to create opportunities for young dancers.

Rachel Wilson

Inner-city Secondary Schools in Leeds - North East

Rachel has worked across a wide spectrum of dance work since graduating from Bretton Hall in 2003.In her early career she performed, choreographed and was a freelance teacher in Leeds, Bradford and Manchester. The majority of her teaching career since has been spent setting up Dance Department in Secondary Schools and colleges across Yorkshire. A key focus has always been engaging male students, ensuring dance is accessible to all and enabling students to access professional live work. She has also been heavily involved in pastoral care and worked as a Head of Year alongside the Head of Dance role. She recently set up her 5th Dance Department, this time at Coop Academy Leeds, an inner-city secondary. A school that proudly boasts of it’s unique multicultural cohort with 72 different languages spoken!

Rachel lives in North/West Leeds with her husband and 2 boys Freddie and Finn and works part time to try and balance the demands of motherhood with one of the other loves of her life-dance. She has just taken up a new position at a school which caters for children from 4-16 in Leeds. A role that will allow her to teach a wider range of subjects, key stages and a return to pastoral care also. She is delighted to be part of the One Dance UK team!

Marita Young

Acland Burghley School - London

If you are interested in joining the teacher advocacy group then drop an email to express your interest to [email protected]