Sally Atkinson: Finance Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Ferrao: Artistic Director – email@example.com
Laura Graham: Interim Chief Executive – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Stoyle: Marketing Coordinator – email@example.com
David Ward: Fundraising and Development Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura-Ann Whitlock: Operations Coordinator – email@example.com
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 joined the company as a volunteer in 1997 and has never left! She leads on Magpie Dance’s Adult and Health programmes.
Formally the Adult Group Director, Alison has collaborated with: Retina Dance Company (‘9 Windows’ Ballroom Blitz at Southbank Centre); Phew! Arts Company (‘We Can Get There from Here’ Bromley Arts Festival); Krazy Kat Theatre Company (various workshops); New Adventures (‘Edward Scissorhands’ Big Dance 2012); Ad Hoc Dance Co (‘Every Body Talking – Anyone Listening?’ which launched the very first Liberty Festival in Trafalgar Square).; StopGap and most recently Complicite (‘Gimme A Break’ for Big Dance 2016). She worked as choreographer alongside physical theatre director, Danny Scott to create ‘Beyond the Mask’ which premiered at Brighton Street Festival and formed part of the line-up for the first Xposure Festival held by Sadler’s Wells (2002).
She currently leads both Adult Groups and following on from Magpie Dance’s ground-breaking Choreographic Mentor Scheme (an initiative led by former Youth Group Director, David Nurse), Alison mentors dancers wishing to create their own work for public performance. She is one of the lead facilitators for the Community Classes and has delivered multiple workshops for Magpie Dance in organisations ranging from schools and summer play schemes through to hospitals and social settings (e.g., Youth Clubs and Mencap’s Gateway Social Clubs). 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 Agency, Canterbury Christchurch University and Kent University.
Alison heads the unique Oxleas NHS Trust partnership. Working alongside health care professionals, Alison drives a highly impactful programme engaging people with learning disabilities who also have: severe challenging behaviour and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder; complex health needs and/or dementia; complex challenging behaviours/mental health needs/neuro developmental needs and/or offending behaviours.
Alison was part of the presentation team representing Magpie Dance at the first National Arts in Health Conference & Showcase for health decision-makers at the Royal Festival Hall in London (2016). This event was hosted by AESOP (Arts Enterprise with a Social Purpose), in association with the NHS Alliance and College of Medicine.
In addition to her work at Magpie, 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, teaching ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and creative dance to children and adults (for both mainstream and those with learning and/or physical disabilities), producing shows with often two and sometimes three generations of the same family dancing alongside one another!
She has delivered workshops for 3D dance at the East Sussex Inclusive Sports Festival, held at University of Brighton for trainee PE teachers and 120 students from local special schools.
She instigated a 3-month pilot programme for Bexley Moorings Project (a charity which supports vulnerable young people, aged 8 – 17, in the London Borough of Bexley) with the aim of empowerment through dance and has taught a variety of dance styles, drama and gymnastics in settings ranging from nursery and primary schools through to adult education. She currently delivers multicultural dance and drum workshops for key stages 1 and 2 across London and the South East.
Alison was thrilled to be appointed Co-Artistic Director for Magpie Dance in August 2017.
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. When the role of General Manager came vacant with Magpie Dance, Laura decided a new challenge and direction would enhance her career, and after 11 years of success in this role, she is delighted to step into the role as Interim Chief Executive; 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 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 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 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