Simon is Founder and Chairman of SideKick Dance. He is currently Deputy Head of Primary Education at Nether Hall Special 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 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, community dance practitioner, and dance leader for We Are Epic’s ID Advanced training company. In 2017 Charlotte won the National One Dance UK teacher award for Inspirational Community Dance Practitioner.
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. Kirsty has completed her Level 1 in British Sign Language and continues to undertake a variety of CPD opportunities.
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.
Dancer and volunteer
Lauren is a primary school teacher. She trained as a dancer at Rochelle in Hinckley (Leicestershire) from the ages of 7-18 and then joined SideKick in 2016. 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 now trains with We Are Epic and has undertaken paid dance work with Stopgap and Step Change Studios. Lauren is now co-dance leader of Sidekick’s adult class at Leicester College.
Karen is an experienced Teaching Assistant at an SEN school in Leicester where she has worked for over 15 years with children with a range of additional needs. She has completed a range of courses from Makaton to Play Interaction, right through to Supporting Learning in Classroom Behaviour. Karen joined SideKick Dance in September 2018 to provide 1-1 support for an autistic girl in our weekly youth company classes. She is loving being part of the SideKick team and we are thrilled to have her on board.
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 (committee member and advisor)
Sarah is a volunteer and advisor for SideKick Dance. 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 (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.
Ruth Bates Lee (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.