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.
Rachel has a BA (Hons) in performing arts from University College Suffolk, she has performed in various amateur dramatics productions and performed on stage as an actress, singer/dancer and extra, as well as working in music videos, adverts and TV shows. Rachel also has various SEN qualifications including Autistic spectrum disorders-inclusive, Behaviour management-practical strategies and Social & behavioural learning. Rachel has also worked as an assistant at Trinity Laban and worked one-to-one with dancers.
Rachel began as a volunteer with Magpie Dance and after completing her training now also works as an assistant facilitator in many of our sessions.
Heather moved to London at the age of 18 after being accepted on the BA (Hons) Ballet Education degree at the Royal Academy of Dance, which she completed in 2017. In her second year she completed her community dance-teaching placement with Magpie Dance and joined as a volunteer afterwards. In her third year she completed her sector-specific full year teaching placement with Magpie Dance working with the Senior Youth Group on Saturdays as well as the technique class.
Alongside working with Magpie Dance, Heather also is a freelance ballet teacher, who holds registered teacher status with the Royal Academy of Dance.
Lydia graduated with BA(hons) from the University of Surrey where she studied Dance and Culture in 2012. She then went on to complete her MA in Dance Performance at Chichester University. During that time she collaborated with choreographers such as Yael Flexer, Jorge Crecis and Gary Clarke while touring with Mapdance around the UK.
Lydia moved to London in 2014 and worked as a freelance dance artist with Greenwich Dance Agency, teaching dance and leading workshops in schools across South East London. She has also facilitated dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease and Dementia.
Lydia started volunteering with Magpie in 2016 and completed her training as an assistant facilitator while working on the Orion Project. Since then, she has worked with a number of different Magpie groups.
Lydia has also completed her training as a Level 3 Mat Pilates teacher and since then has completed her pre/post-natal Pilates and Pilates for orthopaedic conditions qualification. She is currently training for her Reformer qualification with APPI.
Ella is a contemporary dance artist based in London. Ella trained on the CAT scheme at The Place and graduated from Laban in 2016. She founded ella&co in 2017 through which she creates, performs and teaches with an emphasis on play and inclusivity. Her socially engaged choreographic work has been supported by Arts Council England, The Point and Big Ideas. A GradLab commissioned Choreographer, Ella has shown her work in a variety of professional and community settings. Having recently created a work with a group of refugee women in South East London.
Ella also performs for a range of companies and contexts, including Springs Dance Company and Bicycle Ballet.
Ella teaches in a variety of different contexts and loves connecting people through dance- teaching with Springs, Sadler’s Wells, DanceWest and Danielle Teale for dancing with Parkinsons. Ella began volunteering with Magpie Dance whilst still at Laban. She has been assisting in a range of classes with Magpie since 2016 and has worked on the Oxleas programme since 2018.
Amy is a professional performer, choreographer, creative director and teacher who graduated from LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts). Since graduating Amy has worked with choreographers and companies such as; Masters of Movement performing and choreographing for the ‘World of Dance Tour’ in LA, Litzer Bixler , EEE-Motion Company on dance theatre projects: ‘The morning after’….. and ‘It’s a love thing’, ‘Bodies in Urban Space’ choreographed by Willi Dorner, Hinged Dance Company, on three productions ‘The Soloist’, ’Rainman’ and ‘Prisoner 466’, for which she helped assist, Motionhouse Dance Theatre in ‘The Voyage’ as part of the Birmingham Olympic Festival , ‘5IVE’ choreographed by Genevieve Say and later Cique Bijou, dancing for the Boxettes, Rosie Whitney-Fish in‘Eric and Electrodes’, ‘Up and Under’ and ‘A vintage Holiday’, Exzeb Dance Company in their award winning ‘Artism II’ (International FITC Best Digital Instillation), Monix Arts in ‘Survival of the Fittest performed at Edinburgh Festival and MOHO Dance for ‘Emerge Dance Festival’. She has recently worked again with choreographer Willi Dorner for Metropolis – Copenhagen International Dance Theatre and on a separate new project ‘Stratford Living’ in association with East London Dance.
Amy is co-founder / choreographer of Co_Motion Dance where they had their first piece debut at Emerge Festival and Resolution! and is currently working on a physical theatre piece ‘Deeds not Words’, Amy is also a guest choreographer/director for University of Cumbria creating original dance theatre pieces such as ‘IMPACT’ and ‘COMING HOME’ for their 2nd year tour. This year, She continues to teach and choreograph for JASSPA as well as being Lead Artist for East London Dance project ‘ON THE MOVE’, teaching for Illuminate Freedom (working with visually impaired/blind students).
Hazel moved to London in 2011 after she was awarded a scholarship in the form of a Dance and Drama Award (DaDa) in order to study at Millennium Performing Arts. She graduated from MPA with a HNDiploma in Dance and Musical Theatre and has since worked for various companies as a professional dancer and musical theatre performer. Hazel secured her first job with PHA Pantomimes whilst in her 3rd year at MPA and has since spent her time performing on cruise ships, in hotels, at world famous attractions, at corporate events and on TV. Hazel is very grateful that she has had the opportunity to travel the world whilst performing and has worked with Dreamworks, BBC, ITV, Carnival Corporation, Merlin Entertainment, Sky Sports, and Bourne Leisure. Currently, Hazel is touring the UK with Ultimate Artistes tributes as a backing dancer for “Latina Diva Show” and “Ibiza Vibe” alongside her teaching work.
Hazel has a real passion for teaching dance and drama and teaches for a variety of companies. She teaches weekly parent and baby classes, nursery classes, at stage schools and after school clubs and with Magpie Dance. Hazel has always had an interest in inclusive dance but wanted to ensure she had the correct knowledge, skills and training to enable her to work with children and adults of all abilities. She recently studied with Natasha on Magpies IDPT programme and gained a distinction on completing the course. Hazel is delighted to be assisting Magpie dance classes on a weekly basis in Bromley and Sidcup and volunteers when she can for various shows, camps and events.
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 Dance 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.
Georgia holds a BA (Hons) in Ballet Education from the Royal Academy of Dance, where she studied to become a dance teacher. She was first introduced to Magpie dance on her dance-teaching placement in her second year at university and is now an assistant facilitator. Georgia has always aspired to educate and make a difference in students lives, and is extremely passionate about doing so through her career in dance teaching. She was nominated last year by Magpie Dance for a One Dance UK award for ‘Rising star teacher 2018’ and felt overwhelmingly proud to represent Magpie Dance at the awards ceremony.
As well as working as a freelance Dance teacher, Georgia is also a founder of her company ‘GPCreatives’ offering bespoke creative dance workshops in schools, she aims to inspire a new generation of students on the opportunities creative dance brings. She says “My aim is to help students realise their creative potential through the art of dance”.
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 Dance.
Annie has worked with Magpie Dance since 2006 first as volunteer then a trainee, finally becoming a facilitator. Annie has been a facilitator since 2012, working with a range of Magpie Dance groups.
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.
Nikki has always had a passion for working alongside people with learning disabilities, volunteering in SEN schools from 2005 – 2007. Whilst studying for her degree in Primary Education (QTS) in 2008, she worked in temporary posts within the disability sector (mainly 1:1 and Teaching Assistant roles), having training in epilepsy, gastrostomy and tracheotomy to fulfill those roles. Around this time, she started volunteering at Magpie Dance and subsequently undertook their Inclusive Dance Practitioner Training (IDPT).
After graduating in 2011, Nikki taught in a primary school in South East London, completing her NQT year and has continued to work with Magpie Dance in assistant and co-leading roles, getting involved in various projects including youth and NHS projects. Magpie Dance has been a place where her passion for teaching and working alongside people with learning disabilities has been able to be realised.