Here you will find everything you need to know about the CAT Team. Have a look at what they do, what they have done, and get inspired!
CAT OFFICE / SUPPORT TEAM
CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TRAINING MANAGER
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.Read more about Tom
CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TRAINING COORDINATOR
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.Read more about Daisy
CAT SUPPORT TEAM
Laura started her dance training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance Centre for Advanced Training (CAT). After completing three years Laura plunged into the wonderful world of musical theatre, training at the Urdang Academy. After graduating with a diploma in Musical Theatre and Dance, Laura performed in the UK tour of Teechers by John Godber, appeared in Off West Production’sThe Fix and Billy Liar, where she became dance captain and rehearsal director. Laura has also worked with Phoenix Dance Theatre, Rambert and completed a one-year course as part of the Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Overture 2019/2020. Laura is associated with DanceEast as a freelance dance artist and continues to work professionally within community organisations.
CAT SUPPORT TEAM
Born and raised in Suffolk, Elin spent most of her childhood and teenage years dancing. Thanks to the training she received as a CAT student at DanceEast, she continued developing as an artist at Rambert School whilst having the opportunity to work with some incredible people. After graduation, Elin began her MA at LCDS and worked in Copenhagen with Danish Dance Theatre, touring a production internationally. Elin then returned full circle and worked at DanceEast as a Kickstart Company member.
CONTEMPORARY & CREATIVE TUTOR
Originally from Italy, Luca is a London-based dance artist and academic with over ten years of international experience in performance, education, and choreography.Read more
Lucy is an Independent Dance Artist BA (HONS) & PG dip Cert, Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist (MA, RDMP) and Clinical Supervisor (SAP Cert) who specialises 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 worked in Community Dance Practice, where she has developed her practice for 20 years.Read more about Lucy
HIP HOP TUTOR
Paris is a movement artist specialising in Popping. She’s an original member of powerhouse popping crew Fiya House and has recently become an Associate Artist at DanceEast of which she will begin to collaborate, build and create her own performance works. Paris’ work is heavily influenced by social sciences, political activism and her relationship to nature. She is working on her first solo piece called Rewiring of which she premiered at Resolution 2022 and has expanded in her residency with Choreodrome 2022 at The Place. Not only is she creating professional works but she also dominates the battle scene in the HipHop community having represented and won for the UK globally.
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.Read more about Kate
Xenoula trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, graduating in 1999. She has since danced, choreographed and taught with various companies and dance agencies in London including Tavaziva Dance, East London Dance, Random Dance, The Place, London Studio Centre and DanceEast.
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!Read more about Nicky
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.Read more about Stuart
Megan graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2010. Since then she has performed and taught across the UK and Europe. She has performed and worked with Ffin Dance, where she was also rehearsal director, James Cousins Company, Pell Ensemble, Scarlett Mackmin, Madeby Katie Green, Moxie Brawl, Amir Hosseinpour, Jonathan Lunn, Peut Etre Theatre and Michael Keegan Dolan.
BALLET & FaST TUTOR
Julian Lewis graduated from Trinity Laban in 2013 and has since performed across the UK & Europe with EDGE Dance Company, Bowie Live and Ffin Dance among other companies and projects. Julian has also worked as a rehearsal director, is the co-director of Traceworks Dance, and has developed his teaching practice working for a range of schools and conservatoires throughout his career.Read more about Julian
CONTEMPORARY, HEALTH & FaST TUTOR
Sarah works with professional artists, students and community dancers, teaching and choreographing regionally and nationally, both as an independent choreographer and for international companies.Read more about Sarah
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.Read more about James
Oliver Robert Russell
CONTEMPORARY & FaST TUTOR
CONTEMPORARY, CREATIVE, HEALTH & FaST TUTOR
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.
Massimo Solazzo started learning ballet at the age of 5 and been in the industry for nearly 30 years. He secured a prestigious three-year scholarship at London’s Bird College of Performing Arts and became a registered RAD teacher.
Massimo has performed in musical and ballet performances across the UK and Europe. He became an RAD CBTS Tutor and Mentor, conducting training worldwide, including Italy, China, and Switzerland. He gained certification in Horton Pedagogy and Contemporary Dance Teaching from the Ailey School in New York and took on the role of Director of Education and Curriculum Designer at the Duncan Dance Academy in China. He has trained students at RAD schools in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Malaysia. Massimo was nominated as an Examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance.
HIP HOP TUTOR
Victoria Shulungu is a versatile dance performer, rehearsal director, teacher and producer. Victoria has a unique ability to support a creative process through her empathy, technical ability and attention to musical and rhythmical detail.Read more
CONTEMPORARY & FaST TUTOR
Belgian born Laura Vanhulle moved to the UK in 2006, to complete her BA(hons) degree at Northern School of Contemporary Dance and was selected to undertake an apprenticeship with Ace Dance and Music, Shobana Jeyasingh(Counterpoint) and Motionhouse (The Voyage).
Read more about Laura
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.Read more about Andrew
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.Read more about Simon
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.Read more about Calvin
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 TyeRead more about Gary
CAT HEALTH TEAM
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.Read more about Rachel
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.Read more about Judy
Jonathan is a Physiotherapy Extended Scope Practitioner and specializes in musculoskeletal disorders. Jonathan qualified with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy from Brunel University.Read more about Jonathon
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.Read more about Chris
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.Read more about Natasha
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.Read more about Charlotte
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 HarleyRead more about Amelia
CAT GUEST TUTORS / PREVIOUS TUTORS
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.Read more about Laura
CONTEMPORARY AND CREATIVE TUTOR
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.Read more about Katie
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.Read more about George
CONTEMPORARY & CREATIVE TUTOR
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).Read more about Sarah
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.Read more about Tom
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.Read more about Nathan
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.Read more about Rosy
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).Read more about Emily