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MEET THE SIDEKICK DANCE TEAM
Simon Coopey

Simon Coopey

Simon is Founder and Chairman of SideKick Dance. He is currently lead teacher at the Leicester Royal Infirmary for the Children’s Hospital School. Simon trained as a dancer in his younger days as part of the Leicestershire school’s ballet scheme. This led to performance opportunities with the Royal Ballet and at the Edinburgh festival. Simon is a highly experienced PE and SEN teacher with qualifications to masters level. He is passionate about the power of dance for allowing people with additional needs to grow and express themselves. Simon has been a leading influence in the development of dance in special schools over the last decade, giving hundreds of young people the opportunity to perform at Curve each year as part of the special school’s showcases.

Charlotte Tomlinson

Charlotte Tomlinson

Charlotte is the Artistic Director and Dance Leader of SideKick Dance. Charlotte has a BA (Hons) Degree in Dance and an MSc in Dance Science as well as a PGCE. She is co-author of Safe Dance Practice: An applied dance science perspective (Quin, Rafferty & Tomlinson: 2015) She is a registered course provider and quality reviewer for Safe in Dance International (SiDI), a dance lecturer, and a community dance practitioner. In 2017 Charlotte won the National One Dance UK teacher award for Inspirational Community Dance Practitioner.

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Kirsty Clarke Sidekick Dance

Kirsty Clarke

Dance Leader for SideKick Dance. Kirsty graduated with a Foundation Degree in Professional Studies Dance in 2013 and has been working with SideKick ever since. She is both a performer and a community dance practitioner. This year Kirsty completed her Level 2 in British Sign Language.

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Sue Mangham Sidekick Dance

Sue Mangham

Sue is treasurer and volunteer dance leader for Sidekick. Sue is a highly experienced professional with over 30 years experience of working with people with additional needs. She is someone who goes above and beyond to make sure young people access the very best in sporting and dance opportunities. Sue has been a winner of a Leicestershire and Rutland sports award for her dedication to young people and giving them experiences in sporting and special events.

Lauren Martin

Lauren Russell

Dancer and volunteer

Lauren trained as a dancer at Rochelle in Hinckley (Leicestershire) from the ages of 7-18. Due to health issues Lauren then had to stop dancing for a few years but joined SideKick in 2016. She found dancing again liberating! She has had to learn what she can do in (and out of) her chair and her confidence dancing with wheels has grown tremendously.

As well as dancing with SideKick, Lauren has now trained with StopGap Dance Company and has attended further CPD with Northern Ballet’s In Motion, and she has found learning from other disabled dancers an incredible experience. She has also been cast as a leading role in Curve’s 2018 community production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.

Lauren is a primary school teacher with full PGCE and she has a BSc in Psychology. She has always had an interest in working in SEND and is now aiming to make dance and PE more inclusive in primary schools.

Amber Sheppards

Amber Sheppards

Amber is a volunteer dance artist with both Sidekicks Adult and Youth group’s. She has been with Sidekick since January 2017 and is fantastic support for our dancers. Amber is currently completing her BA (Hons) Degree in Dance at Leicester College and is studying for her Healthy Dance Practice Certification with Safe in Dance International.

Bryle Marcos

Bryle Marcos

Bryle is a volunteer dance artist with both Sidekicks Adult and Youth groups. He has been with us since January 2017 and has completed a Foundation Degree in Professional Practice: Dance at Leicester College. He is a wonderful member of the team and is huge support for all our dancers.

Jemma Robinson

Jemma Robinson

Jemma is a volunteer dance artist with SideKick Youth. She began dancing at a young age in various dance styles and joined the adult company of Bloom Dance at age 17, for whom she became a community dance teacher in various schools. Jemma has been involved with the Special Schools of Leicester performances at Curve since they began in 2018.

Sarah Baines

Sarah Baines

Sarah is a volunteer with our SideKick Dance adult company. She is a learning disability nurse, currently working as a nurse specialist for children with Autism and ADHD. Sarah presents at conferences in relation to Autism and associated difficulties such as self harm and sleep, as well as working with other professionals nationally to continue developing services for children with autism and ADHD. She is passionate about creating positive experiences and interaction for people with additional needs.

Louise Katerega

Louise Katerega (committee member)

Louise is the Creative Director Foot in Hand and Associate Artist (Diversity) at People Dancing: The Foundation for Community Dance. Louise has over 20 years experience working nationally and internationally in dance working with disabled people as performer, choreographer, teacher and adviser.

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Ruth Bates (committee member)

Ruth is a Dance and Drama Graduate from the University of Roehampton. She has worked in arts and dance management for 25 years. She has a wide level of experience in different development roles in a variety of settings and organisations, from dance conservatoire settings: (Royal Ballet School and Central School of Ballet) and dance and arts in community settings: (Dance4, The Brindley Arts Centre, Blaby District Council). Ruth set up and ran the Dance Development programme for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (2008-2011) supporting the development of training for local dance artists as well as programmes for early years and young people including the now firmly established Mass Movement. Ruth is currently the Development Manager for People Dancing and has lead workshops in fundraising and development for dance artists as well as been a guest lecturer and speaker for De Montfort University, Leicester College and Dance UK. Ruth also works independently as a lecturer, fundraiser, mentor and coach and has worked recently with Moving Together, Arcane Dance Company, Rutland Youth Dance and Addict Dance Academy. Ruth is also trustee of the Aakash Odedra Dance Company.

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