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Lucy McCrudden

aka Dance Mama, is a London-based dance entrepreneur, advocate and TEDx Speaker. She is Founder of - 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, the same year she Dance Mama Live achieved ACE funding, and founded a UK network and co-founded an International network for people who work with the parent in dance population. Lucy commenced her PhD at Christ Church Canterbury University in 2022 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 winner of the One Dance UK's Change Maker Award 2022.

2023 sees Dance Mama Live return for a second season, Back On The Road, with 10 national partners, set to help many more parents in dance. Her efforts have earned another nomination in the One Dance UK Award 2023. 

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Pia Zicchi
Projects Officer

Pia graduated from the University of Surrey with First Class Honours in Dance and Culture. She has previously worked within the Learning and Participation teams of established dance organisations, Rambert and Akademi South Asian Dance UK, and has experience in both administration and practical event delivery. In addition to her expertise specifically in the performing arts sector, Pia has also worked for The WOW Foundation under the directorship of Jude Kelly, founder of Women of the World Festivals. Here, at the forefront of advocating for gender equality, she had the opportunity to engage with world-renowned artists, authors, activists, and work with schools and community groups. Pia is passionate about advocacy, inclusivity, diversity and accessibility in regards to creative arts, as well as looking at these from a gender-based perspective and raising important questions of equality. 


Katie Mason
Projects Officer

Katie Mason holds a BA Hons degree in Dance from the University of Chichester and a Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning from Trinity Laban a passion for how the wellbeing of individuals can be improved through dance. Since 2013, Katie has been a freelance dance practitioner (teaching and choreographing) across the UK, South Africa and New York working for companies including Dance for All, Alvin Ailey, Rambert, English National Ballet and Step into Dance for the Royal Academy of Dance. This has involved leading workshops in a variety of contexts such as schools, day centres, theatres, community centres and hospitals, all of which has provided the opportunity for Katie to work with a widely diverse age group from 2-99 year olds.

A key specialism is in leading classes, workshops and talks on working with older adults and those with specific health conditions. Across 2015-2017, Katie worked with Rambert as their Elders Programme Coordinator developing specialist classes for older adults in London and this culminated in her organising a very successful Dance and Health Symposium to celebrate and raise awareness for the health benefits of Dance.


Katie runs her own independent over 60s classes in London and is also proud to lead the ENBEldersCo, a performance group for older adults with English National Ballet. Throughout the Covid Pandemic, Katie has taken her teaching online, this lead her to being appointed as the lead Dance Artist for the We Are Undefeatable Campaign; a national campaign (featured on BBC National News) to keep people with long term health conditions active.


Katie is also a qualified Fitness instructor and alongside her freelance dance teaching, is the Studio Manager at F45 Ealing, a global franchise brand that focuses on fitness classes.

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Katie Paling
Marketing Consultant

Katie is a senior marketing and communications professional with specialist skills in strategic research and planning, audience segmentation, content creation, distribution and evaluation. With experience of line management and team leadership, she inspires a targeted creative approach to income generation, engagement and ROI.


She have created and managed traditional and digital campaigns across the creative industries including: immersive digital art, mainstream large scale events, visual art exhibitions (gallery and museum settings), live streams, podcasts, on demand video, dance theatre & education, theatre, music, and fashion retail.

She too is a parent. 


Karen Palmer
Dance Science Researcher

Karen has danced since the age of 4 years old and has been involved in the dance industry most of her life. After training at Northern Ballet School achieving qualifications in both performance and teaching, Karen went on to dance professionally in Italy and Germany where she gained invaluable performance experience. Since then she taught ballet, tap and modern in both the public and private sector for a number of years adding to her qualifications along the way.

Karen undertook a BA (hons) degree in Dance Education with the Royal Academy of Dance which led to the development of Access Dance, a Social Enterprise committed to providing young people with access to high quality dance activities and performance experiences they might not otherwise have. She has also collaborated with other dance organisations producing charity dance projects that link both dance and science together, specifically raising awareness for Cancer and MND research.

Building on her existing experience and qualifications, Karen recently completed her MSc Dance Science at Trinity Laban with aspirations to further her career in this area.

She is a member of our Research Advisory Group and a mother of 4. 

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Caroline Lofthouse
Dance Artist
Class Programme

Caroline is an Independent Dance Artist and Yoga teacher, with over 20 years of industry experience as a performer, educator / facilitator and choreographer. Caroline has a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance and an MA in Dance Training and Education, from London Contemporary Dance School and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Current performance work includes You’re On Mute for Candoco Dance Company, London Fashion Week and Glyndebourne Opera.


Caroline is a Candoco Teaching Artist and is an advocate for inclusive practice and age inclusive practice, challenging industry and social perceptions of who can dance and what dance can be. She is also a mum of two!


Caroline says: I’m really excited to be delivering these classes for Dance Mama! As a working mum of two, navigating the challenges of maintaining and developing a career in dance whilst bringing up a young family, I feel passionately about the ways in which I might support other women / parents.

Insta / Twitter – @cazlofty

FB – Caroline Lofthouse and Yoga with Caroline

Photo: Camilla Greenwell


Laura Harvey
Lead Artist
Dance & Health

Laura began her career at Rambert teaching on the Dance for Health programme, developing the youth dance programme and touring nationally as animateur. She was Artistic Director for ten years for Quicksilver, Rambert’s youth dance company, teaching weekly classes and making work for performance. Laura has taught a range of people from young children to adults and specialises in contemporary dance, dance fitness, ballet and creative practice. 

In 2007 she joined English National Ballet as Learning & Participation Officer: National & International and went on to become Creative Associate choreographing and directing their flagship programmes including Swanning Around at the Royal Albert Hall and Shanghai Expo, Dance Journeys at the Barbican and Sadler’s Wells and at various locations across London including Westfield, Horse Guards Parade and Kings Cross St Pancras. She was movement director for Disney for the premiere of Saving Mr Banks and has worked for Ballet Boyz, Richard Alston Dance Company and Sadler’s Wells amongst others. 

Laura is currently Head of Creative Programmes at English National Ballet leading on their Dance for Health programme including their National Dance for Parkinson’s programme, Dance for Dementia and EldersCo dance strand. She has taught Dance for Dementia at both Rambert and English National Ballet and has led on a number of training days for artists around the country. Laura has a BA in Dance & Arts and Cultural Management and an MA in European Dance Theatre Practice. She continues to work as a dance artist alongside her role at ENB championing and advocating for all people to access and engage in dance at the highest possible level. 

Laura is a Mum to two energetic boys, age 6 and 2 and enjoys an active, outdoor lifestyle!

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Lucy Balfour
Guest Artist
Class Programme

Lucy has performed and toured internationally as a leading dancer with the world renowned contemporary dance company Rambert. Lucy trained at the International Ballet Academy in Christchurch, then spent ten years with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, before joining Rambert in 2013.

Career highlights include performing roles in Javier De Frutos' Milagros and Banderillero, Jorma Elo's Plan To A, David Dawson's A Million Kisses To My Skin, Queen Of The Willis in Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg's Giselle, Christopher Bruce's Rooster and Ghost Dances, the Cunningham Events, and Itzik Galili's A Linha Curva. She was assistant rehearsal director on Kym Brandstrup's Life Is A Dream in 2018.

In New Zealand she starred in a docco/reality T.V series "The Secret Life Of Dancers" which ran for 3 seasons.

She has recently given inspiring talks to graduates of Rambert Dance School and English National Ballet School and is currently teaching pregnant and postnatal professional dance classes for Dance Mama as well as teaching ballet at London Contemporary Dance School.

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Niamh Morrin 
Guest Blogger

Niamh is passionate about women feeling strong and confident during both pregnancy and the postnatal period. She is a Sport and Exercise Scientist and a Pre and Postnatal Exercise Specialist, and runs her own business - SOMA - based in Hertfordshire.

For the last 13 years she has worked with young, inspiring and talented adolescent dancers at the Centre for Advanced Training (Trinity Laban, London), rehabilitating and prescribing exercise programmes to improve dance technique, strengthen the musculoskeletal system and alleviate pain. She is fascinated by how the body works, how dysfunction can cause significant pain and how the right training and exercise prescription can make it better. 

Niamh is a parent of tow children. 



balletLORENT and Dance Mama have partnered together to support parents in dance, linking together via balletLORENTs fresh and friendly retelling of Rapunzel using an inclusive family cast which has included Dance Mama Live Guest Artist, Lizzie Klotz who's own workshop with DanceCity is available to access via our Silver Membership). 

In this mighty production a red headed Rapunzel becomes entrapped in the tower because her hair grows so long, meaning her beauty stays hidden from the outside world. A possessive Witch and her pet Creatures are Rapunzel’s only company until a Prince comes along, drawn by the sound of her sweet song… 

Full of fight, passion and longing, this beloved must-see fairytale brings together a collection of world-class collaborators; former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, award-winning composer Murray Gold (Doctor Who; Gentlemen Jack; It’s A Sin), and Michele Clapton, award-winning Costume Designer (Game of Thrones; The Crown; Mamma Mia). The score is performed by Northern Sinfonia. Full of colour and emotion, this spellbinding retelling is narrated by leading British actor Lesley Sharp (The Full Monty; Scott and Bailey; Three Girls) and is choreographed and directed by Liv Lorent MBE. 

Ages: 5+

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