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CAT Team

Here you will find everything you need to know about the CAT teaching team and the wonderful musicians. Have a look at what they do, what they have done, and get inspired!

Lucy Blazheva


Lucy is an Independent Dance Artist and Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist (MA, RDMP), specialising in contemporary release technique, improvisation and somatic practices.

After undergraduate and post-graduate training at Trinity Laban, where she studied Theatre Studies and Community Dance in Education, Lucy went on to work within Community Dance Practice, where she has developed her practice for over a decade.

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Tom Bowes


Tom studied BA (Hons) Dance Studies at the University of Roehampton and MA Dance Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance (Transitions Dance Company). Tom’s previous roles include Projects Manager in Learning & Participation at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London, Learning & Participation Coordinator and CAT Tutor at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, and Company Director of Fylde Coast Youth Dance Company in Blackpool.

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Daisy Wyatt


Born in Norwich, Daisy’s early years of training began at Anglia Region Theatre School (ARTS), studying many forms of dance such as ballet and contemporary. Daisy found a strong connection with Contemporary Dance and studied at The University of Lincoln graduating with a First Class Honours. 

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Andrew Burke


A lifelong resident of Ipswich, Andrew studied at the Royal Academy of Music as a composer and pianist. Having retired from full-time employment in 2014 music is no longer a ‘spare time’ activity, involving conducting, playing and arranging music, and – when the mood takes him (which it doesn’t much these days) – composing.  Locally he is involved principally with the Ipswich Operatic Society and Trianon Music Group. Until 2021 he was the Musical Director for the Ipswich Gilbert & Sullivan Society, having originally started playing the piano for them in 1986.

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Katie Cambridge


Katie trained at London Contemporary Dance School and graduated in 2009. Katie joined Tavaziva Dance in 2009. She danced toured and taught for the company for over five years.

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Rachel Canavan


Rachel Canavan graduated with a first class degree from Brighton University in Dance & Visual Art in 2003. In 2011, Rachel was funded by the Private Physiotherapy Education Foundation to train with the Mark Morris Dance Company in New York in Dance for Parkinson’s to extend her research following her Masters degree.

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Judy Difiore


Originally from Ipswich, Judy trained at the Linda Shipton School of Dancing and Laine Theatre Arts before cruising the world as a dancer on the prestigious cruise liner Queen Elizabeth 2. Combining her performance skills with a love of fitness, Judy went on to train as a fitness instructor and became a teacher trainer and assessor.

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Simon Doling


From an early age, Simon has performed, released records and toured internationally. He has also worked as a sound engineer, producer, artist manager and event promoter.

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Kate Durrant


Kate trained at London Studio Centre, gaining a BA Hons in Theatre Dance. During her time there she was a member of Intoto Dance Company, working with choreographers such as Rafael Bonachela, Jonzi D, Vivienne Newport and Michael Popper. Through her performance career Kate has worked with the Royal Opera House, Foot In Hand Dance Company, Ruff Cut Dance Theatre, Turbulance Dance Company, Base Dance Company, Sol Dans Company and Helix Dance.

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George Frampton


George began her training at the DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) before graduating from London Contemporary Dance School. Throughout her freelance career she has performed in contemporary, TV, commercial, and hip hop theatre work.

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Jonathan George


Jonathan is a Physiotherapy Extended Scope Practitioner and specializes in musculoskeletal disorders. Jonathan qualified with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy from Brunel University.

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Nicky Gibbs


Nicky studied at the Northern Ballet School and then went onto further study at London Contemporary Dance School. She has performed with numerous companies covering a wide range of dance styles including Ballet, Contemporary, Flamenco, Physical Theatre and even Circus!

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Stuart Goodwin


Upon completion of his training at London Contemporary Dance School, Stuart danced in several international tours of Matthew Bourne‘s Swan Lake as part of New Adventures company. He then shifted focus to more choreographic and teaching practices.

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Sarah Golding


Sarah began her dance training at the Miskin Theatre before attending Trinity Laban and receiving a BA and MA in dance performance (Transitions Dance Company).

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Calvin Goymer


Calvin started playing for the Suffolk County Council Ballet Scholarship Scheme with DanceEast in 2001. He was subsequently invited to play for a variety of additional classes such as Adult Tap, Adult Ballet and the Ballet Enrichment classes.

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Chris Hinton-Lewis


Chris completed his professional training at English National Ballet School, where he regularly performed with the company. As a professional ballet, Chis was Principal Dancer at Northern Ballet. Whilst performing with the company, he worked closely with a number of different choreographers including David Nixon, Christopher Hampson, Cathy Marston, Val Caniparoli and Mark Godden.

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Shakira Holder


Born in Ipswich, Shakira’s early years of dance are grounded in both Ballet and Hip Hop; joining DanceEast’s Suffolk Youth Dance Company in 2010 for 3 years. Shakira began to pursue an interest in Contemporary Dance and danced with National Youth Dance Company under Guest Artistic Director Akram Khan 2013/14.

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Tom Hobden


Tom Hobden is a choreographer, educator, dance education consultant, mentor and co-artistic director of UNIT and has successfully been working in dance industry since 2002. He is regarded as a national leader in community dance practice and most known for his exceptional intergenerational performances and is ability to work with anyone.

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Nathan Johnston


Originally from Middlesbrough in the North East of England Nathan Johnston graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2010. After first graduating he went on to work with Punchdrunk in ‘The Duchess of Malfi’, in collaboration with English National Opera. In 2014, he began his circus career with Upswing Aerial as a hand-to-hand base, and is now an Associate Artist.

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Natasha King


Natasha developed her love for ballet and contemporary when growing up in the United Arab Emirates and Barbados. She moved to the USA where she obtained honours in both her BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and BSc in Psychology, whilst also performing with the Towson Dance Company.

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Gary Leach


Gary Leach is a drummer, percussionist and teacher with a range of styles from swing to Afro-beat; pop to jazz.  He specialises in drumming for dance and has worked with DanceEast and The Royal Ballet School’s regional dance programmes since 2008.

Photo credit: Jerry Tye 

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Sarah Lewis


Sarah works with professional artists, students and community dancers, teaching and choreographing regionally and nationally, both as an independent choreographer and for international companies.

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Charlotte Long


Charlotte graduated from the University of Worcester in 2014 with an honours degree in Sports Therapy which entites her to a full membership under The Society of Sports Therapist. Since that time, Charlotte has worked in the private sector taking a special interest in musculoskeletal disorders. She has been the lead Sports Therapist at both Leiston Football Club & Felixstowe & Walton Football Club.

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Rosy May


Rosy is a choreographer, content creator and activist who focuses on celebrating her Caribbean heritage through her work. Her main passion is promoting enjoyment and individuality through her vibrant dancing. Rosy regularly posts dance content on youtube and social media, and her largest project to date is a Caribbean dance led narrative called The Islands, which was filmed at DanceEast. Before calling herself an activist, Rosy trained on the DanceEast CAT in 2011 and graduated from Performers College in 2018.

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James Muller


Raised in Ipswich, James started dancing at the Linda Shipton school of Dance and went on to train full-time at the Royal Ballet School, graduating from Central School of Ballet in 2006 with a BA (hons) degree in Professional Dance. After joining Northern Ballet that same year he went on to work with Peter Schaufuss Ballet in Denmark and Theatre Ulm in Germany.

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Amelia Wilkinson

Amelia originally trained as a dancer at The Royal Ballet School and is now a physiotherapist, dance science educator and Pilates instructor.

Photo credit: Al Harley

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Emily Mitchel

Emily trained on the classical course at Tring Park. Graduating in 2000, she went on to perform with numerous dance companies both in the UK and internationally.  Following this Emily spent several years at English National Ballet in production and tour management, producing the acclaimed My First Ballet tours in conjunction with English National Ballet School (ENB).

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Jack Richardson

My first experience with dance started at a local dance school in a town called Colchester. I soon joined DanceEast, a centre for advanced training in 2011. After six years of training on the CAT scheme, I joined Northern School of Contemporary Dance where I graduated with a First-Class Honours degree, joining Verve 2020/2021 soon after. Outside of training, I have had the opportunity to work with Douglas Thorpe as an artist as well as perform in New Adventures: Romeo and Juliet.

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Katie Shepherd

Katie trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and upon graduating toured with Postgraduate company Edge 2012 at The Place. She continued her performance work with various companies and artists including Tony Adigun, Southpaw Dance Company and Cirque Bijou. Katie has taught extensively across the UK & Europe and has always loved being a part of the DanceEast CAT team throughout her career.

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Laura Biggs

Passionate about creating new theatre and film, Laura Williamson Biggs trained at London Contemporary Dance School (2002 – 2005), The Pit Theatre in New York and DanceEast in Suffolk. She started out on the Suffolk Scholarship Scheme; the beginning of the CAT programme at Dance East as we know it now. Laura has been a contemporary dancer and Movement Director for her entire professional career. 

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Laura van Hulle

Laura Vanhulle, Originally from Belgium, started competing with Acro and Rhythmic Gymnastics from a young age.   Following her formal dance training at Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD), Laura went on to do a post-graduate apprenticeship with ACE dance and music and continued with the company as a professional dance artist.

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