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This collection of interviews is part of our Teachers' Rehab projects (funded by ACE). We interviewed dance teaching artists who have made a significant impact to education and learning.

BOTH Dance Classes meets.../Donna Schoenherr
Donna was born in Rochester, NY receiving a superb extensive comprehensive training under full scholarship with internationally renowned dance luminaries on staff including Patricia Wilde, Anton Dolin, George Zoritch, David Gayle, Fernando Bujones, Woytek Lowski, Valentina Pereyaslavec, Leon Danielian, Miguel Lopez, Jurgen Schneider at the prestigious Botsford School. Her formative training continued in New York at the David Howard Dance Center and the Melissa Hayden School of Dance under full scholarships, training intensively with Melissa and David. After a long and successful career as a professional ballet dancer and a contemporary dancer in Europe and the US in companies such as Cleveland Ballet, Dance Express, Michael Mao Dance Co, and Dance Company Giessen, Donna went on to develop an impressive portfolio of work as a guest teacher, choreographer, rehearsal director, private mentor, and successful entrepreneur. Over the last 4 decades, she has been a frequent guest teacher at leading American and European dance schools, festivals and companies. She held a post at the Millenium Performing Arts school for 3 years in London and guest taught at other dance institutions in London. Her choreography has been commissioned and performed internationally and is used in films and advertising and her Repertory has over 12 full works in it. Her new work to Cecilia McDowall's music premiered in June 2022 in West London. After the birth of her son, in 2004 she founded what was to become Ballet4life®. Her vision was to create an inspiring organisation that would pioneer top quality dance education for adults on a vocational level. Her 1st ballet class for adults in London was offered in January 2004 to eager adult learners in a studio at Rambert Dance Company's former location in Chiswick. 18 years later, Ballet4life® is a well-established and thriving institution, with daily classes both online and in-person and has delivered dance to thousands of Londoners. Driven by decades of personal resonance, passion, and research, Donna created and founded Move into Wellbeing® in 2014. MIW attained charitable status in 2017, Registered Charity 1172264. She has directed and managed this since its inception. Donna is forever grateful to every person who supported her vision and assisted in her endeavours to make this all happen and to all involved in her inspirational organisation. MIW offers unique dance, movement and exercise classes to people living with Parkinson's and a diverse range of other mobility restrictions and wellness issues. This charity is a living legacy to her father Gerard E Schoenherr and brings joy and relief to hundreds each week with classes in over 9 venues and also online. At the Hounslow Business Award 2018, MIW was Commended in the Best Charity category, it won the 2019 Atul Pathak Community Award.
BOTH Dance Classes meets.../Amy Butler and Hannah Sampson
Amy joined Stopgap in January 2013 and is one of our senior dance artists. In 2019 Amy completed an MA in Developing Artist Practice at London Contemporary Dance School. Other qualifications includea first class honours in BA Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University and a Higher Certificate at London Contemporary Dance school. In 2011 Amy was awarded the Lisa Ullmann Travel Scholarship Fund enabling her to complete an Integral Yoga Qualification at the IYI India. Amy is rehearsal director for Akram Khan company, specifically for the pieces ‘Chotto Xenos’ and ‘Chotto Desh’. She performs the role of Choreographic Consultant for Highly Sprung Performance Company and is choreographic mentor to Christopher Pavia on his latest work ‘The Journey Between’. She has performed for Akram Khan company in the 2012 olympics, Enrique Cabrera (Aracladanza), Helene Blackburn (Cas Public), State of Emergency, Highly Sprung, Ascendance Rep., Jonathan Poole, Motionmanual and Balbir Singh. Her choreographic work includes ‘Slide with the Sun’ performed and toured by SG2, ‘Composition in Time’ for Ramallah festival in Palestine, ‘Outside Spaces, Inside Places’ for Ascendance Rep and two short works for Three Scores. Amy’s teaching experience has seen her work for Ausdance NSW and NASDA in Sydney Australia, Solodos En Danza in Costa Rica, Greenwich Dance Agency, Northern Contemporary Dance School, Laban, Phoenix Dance Theatre, RAD, Yorkshire Dance and many other international companies. Amy’s first collaboration with Stopgap was Artificial Things. Since then she has collaborated on The Enormous Room, Bill and Bobby, The Seafarers, and with Sg2 on The Awakening. Hannah has been involved with Stopgap for a number of years, firstly as an original member of Stopgap’s Youth Company and from 2010 as an Apprentice Dancer. In 2013 Hannah became the original member of Sg2 and graduated in 2016 into the main touring team. She also toured a number of countries nationally and internationally as an apprentice and touring member of the main company. Hannah danced in Chris Pavia’s choreographic works Shadowed Voices (performed at schools and conferences across UK, as well as Albania for the Albanian President in 2010), Captured by the Dark (Resolution! 2013 at the Place, London) and The Awakening (2014, Southbank London). From Sg2, Hannah had collaborated on Exhibition, The Awakening and Night at the Theatre (choreographed by Tim Casson). She was a guest artist for Stopgap in our outdoor work Tracking, SPUN Productions and Seafarers. From 2016-17, she took part in the indoor production The Enormous Room. She’s now currently collaborating with other dance artists in our recent outdoor work FROCK.
BOTH dance classes meets... / IRIE! Dance Theatre
Beverly Glean & Rosie Lehan from IRIE! Dance theatre Championing equality of styles from dances of the African diaspora Beverly and Rosie discuss the history behind the creation of IRIE! Dance theatre, first BA in Diverse Dance Styles; the role of the Moonshot Centre building within the community; the importance of equality and diversity within dance; and where dance sits in the education system. Founder, Artistic Director and CEO of IRIE! dance theatre Beverley has been working in the field of dance for over 20 years. Trained at the Laban Centre London, The Jamaica School of Dance and The Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba; she has continued her training and development in dance & culture by working alongside artists from West Africa, Europe, America, and the Caribbean. Rosie trained at Laban Centre and Dance and Middlesex University. She has worked on a diverse range of projects, including Connectingvibes Dance Company for young dancers and the Dance and Diversity project, an action-based research project to investigate the place of African and Caribbean dance. Rosie is director of Accredited Training at IRIE! dance theatre. IRIE! dance theatre is Britain’s leading dance theatre company working in the field of African & Caribbean dance fusion. Founded in 1985 by Beverley Glean with the principal aim of heightening the profile of Black dance in Britain, the company set out to create a repertory of works reflective of the African Caribbean influence on the Black British cultural experience. @iriedancetheatre
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