Staff Profiles

Sally Atkinson: Finance Manager – sallyatkinson@magpiedance.org.uk

Sarah Cobley: Fundraising Consultant sarahcobley@magpiedance.org.uk 

Alison Ferrao: Artistic Director – alisonferrao@magpiedance.org.uk

Laura Graham: Executive Director – lauragraham@magpiedance.org.uk

Rachel Stoyle: Marketing Consultant – rachelstoyle@magpiedance.org.uk

David Ward: Fundraising and Development Manager – davidward@magpiedance.org.uk 

Laura-Ann Whitlock: Operations Coordinator – l.whitlock@magpiedance.org.uk


 

Sally Atkinson

Sally Atkinson

Finance Manager

Email: sallyatkinson@magpiedance.org.uk

Sally Atkinson joined Magpie Dance as Finance Manager in January 2011. She is ACCA qualified with a wealth of Financial experience having previously worked for 10 years at BDO Stoy Hayward and prior to that at a number of other smaller accountancy firms. Sally works part time and shares her time between the office and homeworking. In 2015, Sally was awarded a Financial Leadership Award by Sayer Vincent under the category, ‘Best Small Charity’.

Alison Ferrao

Alison Ferrao

Artistic Director

Email: alisonferrao@magpiedance.org.uk

Alison joined the company as a volunteer in 1997 and has never left! In 2019 she was thrilled to become Artistic Director having watched the organisation grow from just two classes per week to currently delivering 22 different programmes catering for all ages and abilities. She has been involved in all facets of the company’s activities working as a facilitator, choreographer, outreach workshop leader and heads the unique Oxleas NHS partnership. This programme was presented at the first National Arts in Health Conference & Showcase for health decision-makers at the Royal Festival Hall in London (2016) hosted by AESOP (Arts Enterprise with a Social Purpose), in association with the NHS Alliance and College of Medicine.

She currently leads both MAC sessions (Magpie Adult Choreographer) as a mentor to dancers wishing to create their own work for public performance. She has been an assessor for Magpie Dance’s IDPT (Inclusive Dance Practice Training) since its inception and has led CPD workshops at Trinity Laban, Greenwich Dance, Canterbury Christchurch University, Kent University, BalletBoyz and is currently working with Royal Opera House to improve accessibility for dancers with learning disabilities. Whilst with Magpie Dance, she has collaborated with numerous arts organisations including New Adventures, Complicité and StopGap and has seen Magpie dancers perform at Unlimited Festival and Ballroom Blitz (South Bank Centre), Liberty Festival (Trafalgar Square), Xposure Festival and =dance (Sadler’s Wells) Street Festivals (Brighton, Bromley and Wandsworth) Big Dance and Dance Umbrella festivals (across South East).

In addition to her work at Magpie Dance, Alison was a dancer for various projects and performances, most notably in the corps de ballet with the Bolshoi Ballet Company (‘Sleeping Beauty’, London Coliseum).  She ran her own dance school (with around two hundred students) for ten years, producing shows with often two and sometimes three generations of the same family dancing alongside one another! She has taught a range of dance styles, drama and gymnastics in settings ranging from nursery and primary schools through to adult education and delivered multicultural dance and drum workshops for key stages 1 and 2 across London and the South East.

Alison has been shortlisted as a finalist for the upcoming awards: Visionary Director (Young Entertainers Academy Awards) and Inspirational Community Dance Practitioner (One Dance UK)

Laura Graham

Laura Graham

Executive Director

Email: lauragraham@magpiedance.org.uk

Previously Laura has worked as Trinity Laban’s Arts Marketing and Press Manager which encompassed marketing and press for Transitions Dance Company, marketing Laban Theatre and press for Trinity Laban generally and its award winning building.  Prior to this, Laura worked as the Press Officer (dealing with talent management) at the New Wimbledon Theatre & Studio and at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, which is run by leading theatre producer, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG).  Through her original training in the Performing Arts, Laura decided to move into Arts marketing and PR which she found extremely rewarding.  Following this, Laura decided upon a new challenge and direction to enhance her career; she joined the Magpie Dance team as General Manager. After 11 years of success in this role, she is delighted to step into a co-leadership role as Executive Director; she finds Magpie Dance not only rewarding to work for, but is excited by the way it is evolving and is proud to be part of it.

Laura was delighted to be nominated and shortlisted to the final 3, in One Dance UK’s national prestigious awards (Nov 2018) for the ‘Dance Advocacy Award’.

 

Rachel Stoyle

Rachel Stoyle

Marketing Consultant

Email: rachelstoyle@magpiedance.org.uk

Rachel comes to us from the Royal College of Nursing. Having graduated with an honors degree in advertising and marketing and communications, there was only one path in Rachel’s mind when she was job hunting, to put these skills to use where they would bring added value to the third sector.

With a background in a number social and membership organisations, including a national youth charity that is merged as part of The Prince’s Trust and a short term contract at MCCH supporting people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and autism; Rachel is looking forward to being hands on in this role ensuring Magpie Dance can continue growing.

David Ward

David Ward

Fundraising and Development Manager

Email: davidward@magpiedance.org.uk 

David is a freelance arts professional based in Leeds.

Following his graduation with a BA and Masters in English from the University of Cambridge, he returned to his native Yorkshire initially to join Opera North’s fundraising team. He has since held senior fundraising positions with the Royal Northern College of Music, Northern Ballet and the Leeds International Piano Competition.

David is the co-founder and current Artistic Director of Northern Opera Group, a Trustee of the Opera and Music Theatre Forum, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

He is delighted to be working for Magpie Dance, having previously been closely involved with Northern Ballet’s learning disabled dance projects and knowing how important dance and the arts are to his four cousins, all of whom have Down’s Syndrome.

Laura-Ann Whitlock

Laura-Ann Whitlock

Operations Coordinator

Email: l.whitlock@magpiedance.org.uk

Laura-Ann joined Magpie Dance’s office team in November 2017 as the Operations Coordinator. Laura-Ann graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) in Dance Studies from Roehampton University, during which time she was Artistic Director for the ‘This Is Dance’ festival held at Roehampton University. Before joining Magpie Dance Laura-Ann was the Operations Assistant at the UK’s leading staging and infrastructure company Star Events Ltd. Laura-Ann loves working with both the staff and the dancers at Magpie Dance and is delighted to be part of the team.

Photo Credit: Tim Mason

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