Our facilitators have extensive experience of working with young people and adults with learning difficulties as well as having highly successful careers as professional dancers, choreographers and teachers. Our team of dance professionals, musicians and volunteers have been key to the popularity and success of Magpie Dance.
Alison is a freelance dance artist who joined Magpie in 1997 and is currently the Director and Choreographic Mentor of the Adult Group. She is also the Lead Facilitator for Magpie’s weekly community classes and Facilitator for Magpie’s outreach programme which currently includes a project with Oxleas NHS Trust, offering workshops to patients with challenging behaviour along with their support staff.
She has been involved in Magpie’s training programme since its inception as an assessor for the in-house IDPT – Inclusive Dance Practice Training (2009 – 2013) and workshop leader for various Professional Development events in collaboration with Trinity Laban, Greenwich Dance Agency and Canterbury Christchurch University. In addition to her work at Magpie, Alison ran her own dance school for ten years and has taught a variety of dance styles in settings ranging from nursery schools to Adult Education. She currently offers multicultural dance workshops for key stages 1 and 2 in schools across London and the South East.
Natasha has worked with Magpie Dance since 2003. She is the Youth Group Director, a Community class facilitator and Magpie’s Training coordinator. She also wrote the ground breaking ‘Inclusive Dance Practice Training’ (IDPT) programme in 2010 and mentored dancers on the course.
Natasha has a BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre from Trinity Laban and a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education. She has been working as a freelance dance practitioner since 2000. The majority of Natasha’s work has been focused on her specialism of inclusive and disability dance practice. Natasha has taught a number of inclusive dance projects as a freelance teacher for councils, organisations and schools, including numerous inset training days for special school teachers and dance practitioners. She was also on the Education team for Candoco Dance Company.
Natasha set up her own inclusive dance education company 3ddance in 2008. She was dance tutor at The Orpheus Centre in Godstone and in 2015 became an Associate Artist for a new inclusive dance company; Rounded Rhythm
Natasha has held a number of positions including head of dance, in schools and colleges in the South East. In these posts Natasha has taught GCSE, A Level and BTEC dance. She also taught professional level contemporary technique classes in Brighton for a number of years. Natasha worked as Brighton and Hove Council’s Youth Dance Development Officer (maternity cover) and alongside her teaching she has performed in a range of projects/ shows (2000-2008).
Melissa is a visual artist with a background in contemporary dance. Trained as a ballerina in Australia and France, she went on to dance at a soloist level in Germany before furthering her studies in London at the Trinity Laban Dance Conservatoire.
Melissa works as an independent artist, across multiple disciplines and has been involved with Magpie Dance since 2006 assisting the Adult group and delivering creative movement workshops and choreographic projects.
Sophie completed a Dance Studies degree at Chichester University where she discovered a passion for inclusive dance. In 2008, she took the Inclusive Dance Practice Training with Magpie and learnt so much watching how the facilitators work and how dancers respond in sessions; she has been with Magpie ever since!
Nikki has always been passionate about dance, getting the opportunity to study contemporary dance at GCSE and then at A-level. She then studied BA (Hons) in Primary Education and during her degree, first started working with Magpie as a volunteer, in their Youth Group in 2010. Following this, she applied for their Inclusive Dance Training Programme (IDPT) and completed a years training with them across their Community, Youth and Adult classes. She has then worked as an Assistant Facilitator for Magpie and been involved in various projects including Community Classes, Schools projects, University projects and NHS projects. She currently assists in the Youth Group and is involved with ongoing NHS projects.
Erica holds a BA in Dance and Anthropology from Connecticut College (USA). She began her career as a professional dancer in New York City-based Heidi Latsky Dance Company with disabled and non-disabled dancers, and was a ballet and modern teacher at a community dance organisation in New York State. She moved to London in 2013 to complete an MA in Dance Anthropology from the University of Roehampton. While completing her degree, Erica began volunteering with Magpie Dance, and joined the Technique Group, Senior Youth Group, and Junior Youth Group as an assistant facilitator in 2014.
Annie has worked with Magpie since 2006 first as volunteer then a trainee, finally becoming a facilitator. Annie has been an Assistant Facilitator since 2012 and is currently working with the Wednesday Youth Group as well as being the Lead Facilitator for the Mapgie Juniors.
Annie has been working as a freelance dance practitioner since 2011, Annie teaches contemporary and creative classes and Zumba as well as working on inclusive dance projects in Sussex where she lives and Kent.
Annie completed a degree in Dance and Culture at the University of Surrey in 2009 and also completed a one year internship in Trinity Laban’s Learning and Participation department (Dance) in 2013. Annie’s professional experience includes assisting, co-leading and leading inclusive dance sessions and CPD sessions as part of the department’s outreach work and classes at Trinity Laban. In addition Annie was the Dance School Co-ordinator (Maternity cover) at The Royal Academy of Dance in 2014.
Eliza moved to London in 2010 to complete a year’s training with Springs Dance Company as part of their Apprenticeship Scheme, before then going on to train at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, gaining a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance.
After completing her training, Eliza began volunteering with Magpie in the Youth Group Seniors, before becoming an Assistant Facilitator in the Friday Greenwich class in January 2016.
Eliza also works for Springs Dance Company as Company Administrator, as well as teaching on their education programme, taking dance workshops to primary and secondary schools across the UK.
Collette has just graduated from Reynolds performing arts. She has been a Magpie Dance volunteer for 2 years and has loved every minute of it and learnt so much. Collette cannot wait to continue her progression with Magpie!
Katharine graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2015, with a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Dance. She is a freelance dance artist, teaching and assisting with contemporary and creative classes in a variety of community settings. Alongside this, she is studying for a specialist diploma in Choreological Studies at Laban. Katharine has a particular passion for inclusive practice, having previously assisted with inclusive dance classes in both Newcastle and London and is really excited to be working with Magpie.