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Who we are

Our Delivery Teams include a range of professionals including Dancers, Social Workers, Personal Advisors to name a few. Our Delivery Teams include excellent teachers who hold a wealth of dance knowledge and expertise with which they teach and inspire our young people. We continue to recruit teachers who will bring dynamism and inspirational energy to our company, covering expertise in a wide range of genres; from Hip hop, to Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Bollywood, Vogue, Break, Barre and many more. Here are some of our Creative Leads and Social Work leads for our 12-month programmes in each region!

BETH VECCHIONE

Director of Strategy
Regional Lead

Beth qualified as a Social Worker in 2017 and has since been working with children and families. Beth is currently practicing as a Senior Practitioner with children in care.

Beth is passionate about improving the wellbeing and lives of children and families. Beth has danced since a child and aspires to ensure every young person has a platform to creatively express themselves whilst building meaningful relationships.

Beth strongly believes in the therapeutic benefits that dance can bring to a young person.

AMELIA CHANNON

Artistic Director
London Lead

Amelia is a qualified social worker, working with children and families for the last five years. Amelia also has a dance background; dancing from an early age, she trained in ballet.

More recently, she has continued dancing other styles for pleasure, along with teaching. Care to Dance combines her love for dance with her drive for promoting children’s wellbeing.

She is a true believer that dance is a powerful means of allowing children to express their inner feelings, thoughts and experiences.

GABRIELLE HIGGINS

North East Director

Gabrielle is an empowerment-focused Social Worker dedicated to creating a safe, positive, and caring environment for every young person at dance. She has always loved dance. Care to Dance combines the two things she is most passionate about; dancing and supporting young people.

JESUS ARENAS VALENCIA

Director

Hello everyone, my name is Jesus and I have worked as Social Pedagogue for Hackney Virtual School for 6 years.

I believe that dance can enable our children in care to experience a safe space to express themselves and build confidence.

I am very excited to be joining the Board of Directors to support more care-experienced young people across the country.

CARL MORETON

Director

Carl founded My Future Self Matters in May 2020, with one sole purpose 'enabling young people to create a better future for themselves'.

Having experienced a childhood of bereavement, domestic violence and growing up in the care system, Carl has first-hand experience of a number of struggles young people face. Luckily, Carl also experienced the benefits of having certain adults in his childhood who truly wanted to see him happier, who dedicated so much of their time and attention to supporting him at a time he really needed it.

NAFISAH BABA

Director

Nafisah is a professional contemporary dancer and is currently freelancing with Trinity Laban Youth Company. Nafisah has also taught in our Stratford programme and has extensive experience in the dance industry, including having danced for Zoonation!

In 2017, Nafisah won BBC Young Dancer and since then, has gone on to work with various dance companies and choreographers around the world. She has featured in many music videos such as with Moss Kena, La Roux and more recently Ellie Golding. Nafisah also appears in Beyonce's movie 'Black is King' alongside Netflix series 'Queen Charlotte; A Bridgerton Story'.

Creative and Social Work Leads:

JEMMA WADE

Leicester
Safeguarding & Support Lead

Jemma is a Personal Advisor for Leicestershire County Council Social services, she supports Young People to be self-sufficient in their community and helps them to build on their independent skills. Jemma is passionate about communicating with Young People of all ages and looks to encourage their voice in all aspects of their lives - especially throughout their care journey.

Jemma has got involved in Care to Dance to empower Young People to share their individuality, build on self-esteem and gain a sense of belonging within the dance setting.

JAYNA PATEL

Leicester
Creative Lead

Jayna is a freelance dancer and choreographer based in the Midlands. Her dance journey started over 15 years ago and within that time, she has performed at various events across the world, including: performing for Her Majesty The Queen at her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, performing at Wembley Stadium when India’s Prime Minister came to visit the UK in 2015, visiting Paris to perform at a royal corporate event in 2017 and even travelling to Madrid to perform at the IIFA film awards with various Bollywood actors and actresses on stage in 2016. Jayna has choreographed dances to a range of styles including Hiphop, Contemporary, Afro, Bollywood, Bellydance, Dancehall and many more.

Jayna has experience in both an educational and community setting as she loves the idea of being able to help people learn more about dance. As well as working at a University to teach hiphop to aspiring professionals, she also visits primary schools twice a week to engage with and teach children from different year groups.Jayna is extremely excited to work with Care To Dance as she believes that her passion will align with ours to spread the joy of movement, dance and creativity to young people within Leicestershire.

AMANDA FECHTER

Oxfordshire
Safeguarding & Support Lead

Amanda is a qualified Social Worker currently practicing supporting Children and Families in the long term safeguarding team. Amanda also has a background in art and languages and has worked with children and young people in different countries such as Brazil, Germany and Spain. Amanda is passionate about social justice and equality and truly believes that all children should have spaces to creatively express their emotions, identity and experiences.

ELISE BOOKER

Oxfordshire
Creative Lead

Elise has been teaching dance for over 8 years and opened her own dance school for children in Oxfordshire which she shares "has been a dream come true". In addition to teaching dance, Elise also works as a Social Value Advisor which allows her to act on her passions for people & communities, making a difference.⁠ Elise wanted to get involved with Care to Dance as she believes that dance should be accessible for everyone. Elise felt inspired by our mission and vision of creating a world where all care experienced young people have the chance to enjoy the benefits of dance and feel a sense of belonging in a safe and supportive community.

"I want all the young people in our Care to Dance programme to leave the studio feeling accomplished, special, and happy. Dance allows us to feel all of these."

BELLA BLYTH

Oxfordshire
Creative Lead

Bella is a dance teacher that specialises in contemporary and improvisational styles of dance. After training in Dance and Choreography at Falmouth University Bella went on to work as a dance teacher, yoga teacher, choreographer and stage manager for companies such as Lavrak Circus, Wildworks, Mandala Theatre Company, Body Politic and T(art) Productions. They have worked in community practices for many years teaching for organisations like Mind and Crisis and continue to develop their community dance and yoga practice. Bella is also the co-founder of Pro Dance Oxford, a professional network offering training and support to professional and emerging dance artists in Oxford.

DEE GYASI-SONUKAN


Professional Dancer

Dee Is a professional Dancer Living in London. She graduated University with two science degrees but quickly changed career paths to pursue her love for dance. Dee’s credits include Stormzy, The Brits and Pepsi and working at Care to Dance, she hopes that she can inspire young people to pursue what they love despite the hurdles and challenges they might face.

AMANDA PEFKOU


Movement Artist

Amanda Pefkou is a movement artist and maker who is moved beyond the physical through embodied storytelling. Her work questions, deconstructs and reimagines social perceptions and creative forms. Her movement is informed by the language and essence of KRUMP, street dance styles, contemporary and dances of her heritage, through the mediums of body awareness, visualisation and sound translation. It has manifested in realms of multi-disciplinary collaboration with live sound and visual arts, KRUMP and Hip Hop dance theatre, battles and movement direction. Pillars in her performance journey include working with Far From The Norm, Rachel Kay, Boy Blue and Becky Namgauds with highlights such as Edinburgh Fringe, Breakin Convention, Shubbak Festival and V&A Museum Lates. Her most recent work 'RE;MEMBER' has been presented at Lilian Baylis Theatre, The Place and Northern School of Contemporary Dance. When teaching, she encourages authentic self-expression through creative movement.

ANIAS HOUILLET


Professional Dancer/Teacher

Anaïs is a professional dancer/teacher from London. The dance styles Anaïs specializes in are commercial, jazz funk, Hiphop and heels. Anaïs trained and graduated from Addict Dance Academy in 2017. Since then, Anaïs has been following her passion as a performer working professionally in the industry doing music videos, performing as a backup dancer for artists, such as: Stormzy, Enny, Big Narstie, Shakka and many more. As well as this, Anaïs choreograph for Artists and enjoys working on her own creative projects with other dancers. Anaïs has taught at Care to Dance for over a year. “I believe that it really is about the young people, and allowing them to express themselves through dance with complete freedom, and being able to witness and experience that has been incredibly heartwarming.”

ROSE TRUSTMAN

London
Safeguarding & Support Lead

Rose is a Safeguarding and Support Lead in London. Rose's background is mainly in theatre and she trained as an actor at drama school, having performed on stage across the UK and London. Whilst Rose mostly acted, she has also always danced since a young age and passionately believes that creative arts is the best way to express ourselves whilst also having a break from life. Rose later trained as a children and families Social Worker through the Frontline programme as she wanted to do more to help families in need. Rose's goal is to combine her performing arts background with her experience as a Social Worker to bring out the best in our young performers!

“It's a joy to be part of the Care to Dance family and I'm excited to see everyone's talents again soon!”

ELLY BURROWS

Brighton & Hove
Safeguarding and Support Lead

Elly Burrows is our Brighton & Hove Social Work Lead. Elly started dancing aged two and trained in various forms of dance throughout her childhood and adolescence. Elly believes in the power of dance as expression as well as enhancing confidence and self esteem, something that is so important to all children.

Elly is passionate about working with Looked After young people and supporting them to get involved in creative programmes.

ELLA TURNER

Brighton & Hove
Creative Lead

Ella is a professional dancer whose heart loves to teach. Her training for the arts started at a young age and she has completed all of her major exams in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Singing and Acting. Her credits include 'Made in Chelsea' as a classical dancer, 'ARTE' Sisco Entertainment. She also movement directed an advert for BMW Lifestyle. Ella and her cocreator founded Company Skubbe in 2023 - a narrative dance company that explores female stories and their sell out show: 'Figures' was a huge success at Brightom Fringe last year.

Supporting students through dance classes and providing a fun, safe studio space is essential for their dance progression. Ella loves working at Care2Dance because the staff and students are kind and caring.

MATILDA ROWLAND

Nottinghamshire
Creative Lead

Matilda started dancing at the age of three, and after learning many dance styles including, Jazz, Ballet, Acrobatics and more, she found her passion for Contemporary dance at university. Matilda graduated with a first-class BA honours degree in dance in 2021 and a MA in dance and choreography, in 2022, from the University of Derby, based at professional dance house, Déda.

Since graduating, Matilda has set up 'East Lab Dance Company' in which Matilda choreographs, produces, and performs children's dance theatre productions for library and community spaces. Matilda also has a passion for leading dance to a variety of age groups and abilities, teaching for companies such as Erewash School Sport Partnership, Dancing Digits, Kerry Ledger School of Dance, SHEWILLFYE and more.

Matilda also works part time at Déda as Dance Participation Coordinator/ Practitioner, bringing dance to the local communities in Derby City. Matilda is excited to be working with Care to Dance, as she believes in giving everyone the opportunity to dance and be creative.

EMMA HODGSON

Nottinghamshire
Safeguarding & Support Lead

Emma qualified as a Social Worker in 2021 and has been working with children and families since. Emma is currently working in a fieldwork team and is passionate about supporting children to provide them a safe space to express themselves.

CHAD STEWART

Stockton
Creative Lead

Chad has taught Street dance and hip hop since 2019 to both children and adults for Care to Dance and Dance City in Newcastle. His aim is for all the learners to leave his class happy and re-energised with a feeling of achievement from learning and developing their dance ability.

Chad has supported young people at Care to Dance for over 4 years and shares that he “has had the privilege of seeing dance make a difference to the young people”

ALEXA ROBINSON

Stockton
Social Work Lead

Alexa has worked with children and families for the last 8 years. She spent 4 years supporting care experienced young people who live in residential childcare and then went on to become a Family Group Conference Facilitator.

Alexa is passionate about supporting care experienced young people to achieve positive outcomes. To continue this work Alexa joined the Frontline social work program and will complete the professional qualification at the end of summer 2024. Alexa is not a dancer but always has a go at joining in with the class. She has been amazed to see how dance can be used to give young people a way to express themselves and can take them away from the stresses of everyday life.

Our Delivery Team

 
 

We have a delivery team of dance teachers who, alongside their dance expertise, also hold a holistic range of experience and qualifications. This includes Social Work, Dance Movement Therapy, Youth Work, Mentoring/Coaching, to name a few. We believe it is vital for our mission that the delivery team is trauma-informed and has a range of relevant experience to be able to cultivate a safe and meaningful environment where they can holistically support the young people within.

Our teachers offer a range of dance genres- from hip hop, contemporary, lyrical, commercial, bollywood, cheerleading and many more. This gives the young people a broad and diverse introduction to the world of dance.

We have a network of regional leads and dance specialists throughout the UK who we work with on individual projects to give you the local expertise you require.
We are proud to be members of Rambert Grades, the national and international benchmark for creative contemporary dance learning and practice.
Care to Dance was highly commended for the CYP Now Arts and Culture Award in November 2023. This award is for the initiative that has done the most to inspire children and young people in cultural activities, especially amongst disadvantaged groups and where collaboration is shown between public services, the cultural sector and children and young people.