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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. 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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Pia Zicchi

Projects Assistant

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 Assistant

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.


Laura Harvey

Guest 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 - Baby and I - 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. 

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Research Advisory Group

In our commitment to furthering progress in evidence-based dance-science research, Dance Mama has its own Research Advisory Group. The group assists Dance Mama in delivering high-quality experiences and is comprised of a wonderful group of renowned specialists in their own fields. Some of which have contributed their stories to Dance Mama (links): 

Verity Blackman 

Helen Laws

Niamh Morrin PhD

Prof. Emma Redding

Erin Sanchez MSc

Dr Marlize de Vivo

Dr Edel Quin


Sally Bailey-Gates
Voluntary Marketing Support

As Dance Mama continues to grow, we have invited Sally Bailey-Gates to bring her support skills to the team to enable the rest of us a little more time to focus on what we do best!

With her BA Hons degree in Communication Studies and over 16 years’ of marketing experience for many clients in different sectors, Sally helps to ensure our Dance Mama community remains inspired, informed and supported.  

As a self-confessed yoga fanatic, cancer survivor and mother of two girls, Sally is acutely aware of the importance of maintaining strength and a mind-body connection in the face of rehabilitation and change.


Karen Palmer

Voluntary 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 is currently studying MSc Dance Science at Trinity Laban with aspirations to further her career in this area.


Ana Ramos

Voluntary Dance Science Researcher

Ana graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration. She developed a career as a Marketing Manager in other industries, and later became a freelance marketer in order to include her lifelong passion for dance. She has collaborated as Marketing Adviser for the Mexican Society of Teachers of Dance, as well as developed and executed marketing campaigns for ballet schools such as Victoria Academy of Ballet in Canada, and for the dance performances of the Festival Koinzidenz 2018 in Hamburg, Germany.

Ana is also a ballet teacher with 17 years of experience, and a former professional dancer. She has taught internationally across Mexico, Japan and the UK.

An aspiring dance researcher, she is currently studying an MSc in Dance Science at Trinity Laban, so that in the future, she can blend her knowledge and passion for dance with her marketing skills, to contribute in the dissemination of science in way that can be engaging and practical for different populations. 


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

Martin Lanfear 

Helen Laws

Dr Marlize de Vivo

Niamh Morrin MSc