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Lucy McCrudden
Founder, First Director/ CEO
lucy@dancemama.org

aka Dance Mama, is a London-based dance entrepreneur, advocate and TEDx Speaker. She is Founder of dancemama.org - a community and platform profiling significant parents in dance and the arts. Lucy has dove-tailed her own work with holding key positions in learning and participation over the last 20 years. These include: Dance Artist in Residence for DanceXchange (2004), Manager for London Contemporary Dance School, The Place, Centre for Advanced Training (2005-11), Expert Panel member of the DFE Music and Dance Scheme representing the National Dance CATs (2007-2010), Vice-Chair of Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Arts Grants Panel (2006-2009), Learning & Participation Manager, Rambert (2014-16), Chair of the Board of Trustees Dance Woking (2014-16) , Head of Learning and Participation, Rambert (2016-18), Project Manager, Chance to Dance, Royal Opera House (2019-2020) and Lecturer and Mentor, DDP, ISTD (2021-). 

 

As an independent specialist she has taught over 19,000 people across the UK and has engaged with a wide variety of dance and arts organisations in many other capacities; consultant, management, choreography, and presenting/public speaking. She is Ambassador for the Parents in Performing Arts Campaign and Secretariat to the Scientific Advisory Board of the Active Pregnancy Foundation. She has an Honourable Mention as a Nominee of the inaugural AWA Dance Woman in Dance Award 2021. 2022 sees her commence her PhD at Christ Church Canterbury University researching pre and postnatal professional dancers, becoming a Nominee for AWA Woman in Dance Leadership Award and delivering her TEDx talk at TEDx Frensham, and shortlisted for One Dance UK's Change Maker Award 2022.

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Fern Potter
First Director

Fern's expertise is in fundraising and development, having raised millions for various arts organisations, over more than 20 years. She has worked in senior development roles for a number of organisations including (most recently), Birmingham Royal Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Dance UK, Dance Umbrella, Ballet Boyz, Barbican, and was founding Director of Essexdance.

She has also worked in the corporate sector as Business Development Manager with Tom Peters Company (UK).

Fern is a skilled facilitator and mentor, with an entrepreneurial flair in leveraging funds from statutory sources and private funders. She is passionate about sharing her expertise with others through freelance training and consulting and currently mentors for the Chartered Institute of Fundraisers’ RAISE programme, Mercury Creatives and Heritage Compass programme. She is a regular trainer for Arts Funding and Philanthropy programme, and lecturer in fundraising for City, University of London’s MA Culture, Policy, and Management. She also consults on change management and Board development.

Along being Chair of Viviana Durante Company, Fern sits on the Creative Estuary Commissioning Group and Southend Creative and Culture Network. She holds a MA in Arts Management from City University and is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraisers.

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Joce Giles
First Director

Joce is Director of Learning & Engagement at Sadler's Wells, overseeing the organisation's extensive work with children and young people, local communities as well as talent development programmes including the National Youth Dance Company and Young Associates. Prior to joining Sadler's Wells, Joce was Director of Creative Projects at Rambert, where he worked as part of the senior management team for 9 years. Previously a professional dancer with Scottish Ballet, Joce is passionate about supporting parents who work in dance and the performing arts. Joce has 2 children: Max, 10 and Jack, 3.

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Lise Smith
Director

 

Trained at Trinity Laban, Lise has over 20 years' experience of producing professional touring theatre and participatory projects at all scales with clients including Akademi South Asian Dance, Kate Flatt Projects, VOXED Dance and Kamala Devam Company. Lise recently worked with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance as Company Manager from 2019-2022. She is currently Operations Manager at Russell Maliphant Dance Company, joining RMDC for the UK tour of Vortex in 2022. 

 

Lise also enjoys supporting emerging and mid-career artists with touring and organisational development. She produced the dance films Story of a Night Pianist with Bricolage Dance UK, and An Evening With Taglioni with Jess + Morgs Films. 

 

Lise previously worked as a teacher and animateur for organisations including Greenwich Dance Agency, Barnet School Sports Partnership, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and Artis Education. As a Dance Mama she performed onstage while seven months pregnant with daughter Scarlett, who is now 7 years ol Lise still performs on occasion - most recently at Greenwich World Festival 2017, Notting Hill Carnival 2018, and with Stage and the City in 2022. 

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Balbir Singh
Director

Artistic Director of his own company, Balbir Singh Dance Company is originally from Punjab, India. He moved with his parents to the UK as a child, growing up in Bradford, West Yorkshire, where he still lives.

Balbir Singh studied dance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) after a stint in Law School. Balbir’s restlessness found expression in sport; particularly long-distance running, swimming and cycling, coupled with a passion for literature, language and an inherent urge to move.  On graduating from NSCD, another chance encounter led Balbir to discover Kathak, the classical North Indian Dance form, which until that point had been a closed book for the young contemporary-trained dancer.

Balbir’s discovery of Kathak immediately felt like coming home – though not for the expected reasons. In fact, it was not Kathak’s cultural provenance, but its precise and mathematical use of numerically defined rhythms that entranced him. Balbir had always had a tendency, sometimes bordering on an obsession, with numbers and letters. Here, at last, was an outlet for his seemingly limitless capacity for finding patterns in the shapes and numbers of everyday life.

Balbir delved further into Kathak choreography as a way of making sense of the myriad thoughts and ideas spontaneously suggesting themselves to him. Ancient as the Kathak tradition is, the art form is nothing if not dynamic. Throughout his career, Balbir has been encouraged by his guru, leading Kathak pioneer and powerhouse Padmashri Guru Pratap Pawar MBE to explore new ways of combining  Kathak and contemporary sensibilities to express his emerging artistic vision. The result is a distinguished body of work that combines Balbir’s artistic interests with his love of collaboration.

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Kimberley Hayes
Director

Following a life-long love of ballet, Kimberley studied Arts & Event Management at London Metropolitan University before starting her career in Stage Management. She has worked with English National Ballet as Assistant Stage Manager and the Stage Manager for ENB2’s national tour of My First Sleeping Beauty and My First Cinderella. Her career highlight was Stage Managing Itzik Galili’s And the Earth Shall Bear Again for English National Ballet’s performances as part of Dance GB in 2012. 

 

Kimberley also worked with Dance Woking and was a Project Manager for Entertaining Dementia, a project with The Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre to deliver a carefully selected programme to give those living with Dementia easy access to the arts.

 

Kimberley was made redundant on maternity leave in 2014 and was determined to pursue a career in Law to understand more about how she could safeguard and advocate for mothers in similar positions. She is currently working as a Paralegal and is a Parent Governor for Chawton CE Primary School. 

RESEARCH ADVISORY GROUP

Dance Mama has its own Research Advisory Group, including the brightest minds in dance science, sports and exercise science and medicine to support our work as we strive to deliver the highest quality in all our endeavour.

We are privileged to say that this group includes:

Edel Quin, MSc

Erin Sanchez MSc

Laura Godfrey-Isaacs

Rachael Kuik

Dr Nicky Keay

Martin Lanfear 

Helen Laws

Dr Marlize de Vivo

Niamh Morrin MSc

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