© 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. 

ELLIE BISHOP WILLIAMS: Street, contemporary and commerical technique workshop

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.

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.


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 Psychotherapy

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 focusses 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.

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.