© Tim Garrod

The Newman Dance Academy:

Sussex Dance Network are delighted to be partnering with Cardinal Newman Catholic School and Sixth Form College on developing The Newman Dance Academy. The Academy is an intensive weekly programme that offers young people professional dance technique and training alongside their academic A-Level and BTEC studies. Sussex Dance Network is programming and connecting local artists with the programme, providing teaching and choreographic opportunities.

Artists working on the programme

AMY MORVELL: Creating a new work on The Newman Dance Academy

Amy Morvell dance image credit Dougie Evans

Amy Morvell is a contemporary dance artist based in the South of England and was an Associate Artist of The Point 19/20. In 2017 Amy set up her company Morvell Dance produced by Lîla Dance. As part of the company’s apprentice scheme, Lîla Dance supported Amy to successfully receive Arts Council Funding and create her production Turtle Dove. The work has since been toured to theatre venues across the south of England and internationally to Abundance International Dance Festival -Sweden.

Amy’s work is often inspired by the stories of others and how these stories shape their experiences of living, loving and aging. In 2019 as part of the Sussex Dance Trail (Sussex Dance Network) Amy created her work Nice to Meet You. The work went on to be performed at Eastleigh Unwrapped Festival (The Point). Alongside dancing in her own work, Amy also dances professionally for companies; Lîla Dance in The Hotel Experience and rehearsal direct their outdoor work My BitElla&co (Ella Fleetwood) in #NoFilter, Wessex Company in PRANA (Laila Delalio & Hannah Martin-Reilly) & Katie Dale Everett Dance’s Empa. 

Headshot of Ellie Bishop Williams.

ELLIE BISHOP WILLIAMS: Street, contemporary and commerical technique workshops x 2

Ellie has always been an active member of the local dance community and over the past 5 years has successfully realised her vision of creating a safe space for young female dancers to develop and express themselves through dance theatre. Ellie’s unique ability to empower teenage girls is key to the success of Project Female. Her teaching style is positive and encouraging whilst ensuring the dancers achieve their full potential.

What is unique about Project Female is the way that Ellie uses contemporary/hip-hop dance fusion to portray socially relevant subject matter using an iconic artistic style which results in pieces of dance theatre which authentically reflect young women.

MANA: Spiritual, healing lifeforce and possession of power

MANA Dance Company was founded in July 2019 by female performers and choreographers Colette Kite and Georgia Marshall. The company aims to make contemporary dance more accessible so that dance can be a shared experience with communities coming together to express and reflect upon current issues. As young women who have already established themselves as strong, determined, and resilient; they create current work that illuminates the issues facing women, self-expression, identity, and the spirit of community. MANA provides an opportunity to inspire strength, resilience, creativity, and movement for change. The emerging duo explores this by incorporating audience participation, live music with rhythmic patterns and ritualistic/everyday movements.
Headshot of MANA's Colette Kite.Headshot of MANA's Georgia Marshall.

MANA’s debut work IN-STINCT was commissioned at ADMIST, hosted by Callous Affection Dance, July 2019. Since the premier, MANA has performed around the UK at a variety of festivals, community dance and theatre venues including LEAP (Liverpool Fringe Festival) and I.D. Night with 2faced Dance Company. The company’s second work is a dance film LONG LIVE . This has been programmed as part of South East Dance’s ‘2020 Visions’.

Their style has evolved from Turkish folk dance fused with a variety of contemporary and street dance styles. Each style has individual values and influences which blend in dynamic, grounded and physical movement. Colette and Georgia trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance (2017-2020) developing their technique and worked with a variety of choreographers. MANA has a range of relationships such as the mentoring of Ceyda Tanc and Sussex Dance Network. MANA has developed working relationships with schools, colleges, youth groups and charities; teaching resilience workshops for young women and technique classes for the community.

Headshot of Yanaëlle Thiran.YANAELLE THIRAN: Contemporary

Yanaëlle Thiran is Belgian dance artist currently based in Eastbourne. Since graduating from London Contemporary Dance School in 2015, she trained further at Art Factory International (Italy), graduated as a dance teacher from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and completed an MA in choreography at the University of Chichester. Yanaëlle teaches contemporary dance and choreography workshops for organisations such as The Place, Sadler’s Wells and DanceWest. A co-founder of Company Concentric, she performs at British and international dance festivals. She also hosts and coordinates the company’s online classes and events.

THEO CANHAM-SPENCE: Movement PsychotherapyHeadshot of Theo Canham-Spence.

Theo Canham-Spence trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, graduating in Ballet and Contemporary Dance and is currently exploring the fields of Somatics and Movement Psychotherapy. Theo’s research interest currently focuses on the relationship between creative reflection and movement exploration. He has been dancing alongside Robyn as her solo support dancer since October 2018 performing on stages such as Alexandra Palace, Madison Square Garden and Roskilde Festival.

Photogrpah of Ester Natzijl on pointe.

ESTER NATZIJL: Multi-disciplinary performances

Ester Natzijl is a dancer, performer, puppeteer, theatre-maker and teacher. Following her training in Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance at the Royal Conservatoire of Music and Dance in The Hague, she worked with several contemporary companies, including the Netherlands Dance Theatre and Introdance, touring all over the world. She received additional training in theatre and mime, gained her MA in Theatre Science from the University of Amsterdam and simultaneously created different multi-disciplinary acts and dance theatre performances.


BETTY MAGUIRE: Contemporary

Headshot of Betty Maguire.

Betty Maguire is an Independent Dance Artist based in Brighton. Betty trained at Northern School Of Contemporary Dance, graduating with first-class honors in July 2020. Since leaving training she has worked as a choreographer for GradLab with The Point. Betty is interested in performing and creating politically engaged dance theatre that empowers individuals and challenges social norms.

Headshot of Madison Burgess.

Originally from Canada, Madison Burgess is a dance artist, choreographer and teacher currently based in the South of England. Since graduating from York University’s BFA Dance program in 2016, and completing her MA in Performance at the University of Chichester in 2021, Madison has had the privilege of teaching many dancers across the globe, as well as dancing professionally and credited as “some of the inspiring talent flourishing in the Canadian dance community” – David Silverberg, Now Magazine. In Toronto, Madison has danced in original works and collaborated with choreographers including Susan Lee, Suzanne Liska, Jasmyn Fyffe, Carol Anderson, Victoria Gubiani, Krista Newey, Emily Rapley, Robyn Bedford, Kiera Shaw and Yanaëlle Thiran. During her time as a company member of Mapdance she performed in works choreographed by Gary Clarke, Ceyda Tanc, Jose Agudo and Noa Shadur. Currently, Madison is dancing with Lîla Dance Company understudying for their upcoming tour of The Hotel Experience, as well as working on a new project choreographed by Abigail Mortimer. Madison is also in the process of completing her Pilates Certification.

JOEL O’DONOGHUE : Flying LowHeadshot of Joel O'Donoghue.

Joel has worked as a performer for a range of internationally recognised companies and artist such as Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal, Luca Silvistrini’s Protein, Hagit Yakira, Ben Wright’s BGROUP, and Phillip Glass. He has also studied under and worked for capoeira master Ponciano Almeida. These different experiences have influenced his practice as both a performer and choreographer. Joel has performed his own works at a variety of established venues including Sadler’s Wells (Lilian Baylis Studio), The Place, and Tripspace. He was also commissioned to create a dance film for Ballet Boyz in 2020, which was premiered earlier this year. Joel’s movement practice stems from release technique and improvisation fused with aspects of capoeira, flying low/passing through, and physical theatre.

In 2017 Joel was awarded a Distinction in Performance Design and Practice diploma at Central Saint Martins, UAL. He is interested in incorporating design into his work, and exploring how different settings and lighting states can inform and change a performance. He is particularly interested in how this applies in site-specific settings. He has recently worked with visual artist Candida Powell-Williams, lighting designer Joshua Gadsby and sound designer Ben Grant on a range of projects both in theatres and more unconventional performance settings.

Headshot of Corrie McKenzie.CORRIE MCKENZIE: Contemporary and Improvisation 

Originally from Edinburgh, Corrie graduated from The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance in 2018. During her training, she toured work internationally and nationally with the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland. In 2018/19 she started her Post Graduate training with MapDance, working with the likes of Jose Agudo, Liz Aggis, Anthony Missen and Didy Veldman. In 2019 Corrie was a company dancer for Harry Parr, performing in Resolutions Festival 2020. Corrie joined Flexer and Sandiland as an apprentice artist in 2019 and has worked on two of their recent R&D projects, including ‘Acting Our Age’ and ‘Imagining Otherwise’. Corrie is currently a company dancer for Sababa Co. and is also in R&D with Nikki Watson in collaboration with Ashley Peevor for ‘The Lost Opera’. Other artists Corrie has worked with are Theo Clinkard, Tamsyn Russell and Thomas Small.