our team

Flamingo Chicks' Team

Black and white headshot of Katie Sparkes
KATIE SPARKES MBE

Founder and CEO

Katie is Flamingo Chicks’ CEO. She founded Flamingo Chicks in 2013 frustrated at the lack of inclusive opportunities for her daughter Poppy who has cerebral palsy.  The very first class had space for 15, yet 200 applied! Since then, 30,000 children have danced with Flamingo Chicks.

Katie brings entrepreneurial and charity changemaking expertise to Flamingo Chicks with 20 years’ experience helping organisations function ethically and responsibly.

Katie Sparkes, Founder and CEO of Flamingo Chicks has been made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2021.

She’s won numerous awards for her contribution to the global community including the Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award, a Point Of Light Award from the Prime Minister and the Independent Newspaper’s ‘Happy List’ of people who make the country a better place.

 

 

Volunteer Manager Bethan Guest
BETHAN GUEST

Head Of Community

Bethan originally joined Flamingo Chicks as a volunteer dance helper where she assisted a variety of children over several years.

Two of her passions are dancing and volunteering so the two knit well at Flamingo Chicks. Bethan grew up dancing and performing in ballet, tap and modern shows. Her love of dance continues and she attends adult ballet classes in Bristol. She is passionate about volunteering, having volunteered for Contact The Elderly, The Girl Guides and The National Trust.

Her role at Flamingo Chicks involves supporting volunteers with training and co-ordinating parents/carers activities.

Photo of Claire Mullan
CLAIRE MULLAN

Trust and Grants

Claire discovered the magic of Flamingo Chicks and transformative power of dance when she took part in the Hatching Chicks baby sling ballet programme – she found a love of dance that will stay with her and her family for life!

Claire is a communications professional, adept at creating words and visuals that tell a story, and is excited to bring the magic and sparkle of Flamingo Chicks to our supporters. 

Above all, Claire is passionate about people – in corporate roles she has pioneered marketing and HR partnership projects to highlight inclusion in the workplace, and hosted panels discussing lived experiences. 

In her personal time, she has volunteered regularly since her teenage years – for one equine charity offering riding opportunities for disabled children and adults, and another in the heart of South London, offering equine opportunities to young people living in one of the City’s most challenging areas. 

Claire is excited to spread the joy of Flamingo Chicks even further in her role! 

Dance Teacher Jayne Bennett
JAYNE BENNETT

Dance Lead

Jayne began dancing in her hometown Preston training in Ballet, Tap, National, Modern and Contemporary Dance. While studying A-level dance she performed with Limelights Theatre company and Preston Opera productions. Jayne took a full-time place at the Royal Academy of Dance where she achieved a first class degree in Ballet Education as well as being awarded the Iris Truscott scholarship. Jayne is a Registered Teacher and was awarded Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance, as well as Associate status. Following her degree she went on to complete further teacher training with the Imperial Society for Teachers of Dance (ISTD) gaining DDE qualifications in Imperial Ballet and Modern Theatre. She is an Arts Award Advisor, a scheme run by Trinity College, and is a member of The RAD London & Middlesex regional committee.

Upon graduating Jayne performed with VIBE gallery resident dance company before moving onto perform with Carpe Diem Dance Company and Co.Motion Dance. Performing highlights include soloist performance in collaboration between designer Paulina Palian and international painter Ewa Bathelier, as well as casting for the Snow Queen in full length ballet the Nutcracker.

Dance Teacher Rhiannon Kearns
RHIANNON KEARNS

Head Of Performance

Rhiannon is Flamingo Chicks’ Head of Performance. She is an actor, theatre-maker and project manager who is passionate about inclusivity and accessibility in the arts, having worked in a variety of inclusive settings and roles over the last 6 years. Rhiannon specialises in inclusive performance, and since graduating from ALRA in 2015, she has worked as both a performer and an inclusive practitioner, facilitating creative projects with disabled and non-disabled young people. Rhiannon is passionate about raising the bar in the creative industries by removing barriers to inclusion. Rhiannon manages our Agents of Change programme and firmly believes that our group of young activists have the power and passion to change the world! She is also a licensed Makaton tutor. 

Team Member Becky Stothart
BECKY STOTHART

Programme Manager

Becky has worked in the public or charity sector since 2006, originally specializing in evaluating the impact of funding in the arts. As an experienced project manager, she has a specific interest in the creative sector and inclusivity.

Becky has managed youth music programmes and events across the South West, often working with hard to reach communities. More recently, she has managed intergenerational projects connecting young people with isolated care home residents. Breaking down barriers, and reducing the stigmas that exist in society is a key part of her work. She is passionate about the importance of creative activities as a means to connect, and that everyone should be given the opportunity to take part in high quality arts provision.

Abbey Beckley
ABBY BECKLEY

Diversity Lead

Abby has more than 15 years experience in marketing management and marketing training.

She spent the last four years working in intercultural learning and development and is accredited to deliver coaching that raises cross-cultural awareness, helping people from different parts of the world to be able to work together harmoniously.

Abby has had an association with Flamingo Chicks since the beginning and actually attended the very first performance! She is pleased and proud to be part of an organisation that celebrates diversity and is totally committed to inclusiveness.

RACHEL FELLOWS

Community Coordinator

Rachel is Flamingo Chicks’ Community Coordinator, supporting the Head of Community and our CEO. With a diverse background in HR, facilities management, governance, and safeguarding, alongside lived experience of cancer, Rachel is passionate about being part of an organisation so committed to inclusion and diversity.

In her previous roles in Homelessness and Adoption, Rachel saw firsthand the benefits of building communities that support and nurture their members. She also volunteers at her children’s school and has huge appreciation for others who give their own time to support the work of charities such as Flamingo Chicks.

DAVINIA HARPER

Team Dance Co-ordinator

Davinia is Flamingo Chicks’ Admin Coordinator, supporting the Head of Dance. Having spent the last 20 years in administrative and PA roles as well as running her own business, Davinia is excited to be putting her experience to such an amazing cause.
In her previous role as a salon owner, Davinia would regularly organise children’s birthday parties and seeing their pure excitement was so fulfilling. She is excited to be working for an organisation that aims to bring joy into a child’s life every day through fun and dance. Since having her daughter, Davinia has noticed a lack of diverse classes available and is passionate at being part of the change for more inclusivity.
YUHANG LAN

Team Intern

Yuhang is an undergraduate student majoring in Education Studies at the University of Bristol. Yuhang spent four years studying classical dance, street dance, modern dance, and jazz dance at the same time, specialising in classical Chinese dance, and conducting research into its underlying cultural values. Her academic and professional mission is to investigate the underlying emotions, culture, and philosophy of dance, as she is profoundly fascinated by the relationship between dance and contemporary society. She is optimistic that dance therapy will emerge as the next major development in the dance industry, and she has been, and will continue researching in this field.

SHUHAN JIANG

Team Intern

Shuhan Jiang, known as Nancy, is currently a second-year BA Education Studies student at UCL, where her academic journey is deeply rooted in understanding the intricacies of education. Her passion lies in creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment, especially for children with disabilities.

MENGYOU XU

Team Intern

Mengyou Xu (Yolanda) is an international student from China, currently in her second year studying BA Education Studies at University College London (UCL). At the Institute Of Education at UCL, her main study modules include educational theory, educational psychology, educational sociology, and educational technology in depth. Through these courses, she has gained a deep understanding of all aspects of education, such as students ‘learning processes, teachers’ teaching strategies, the relationship between schools and communities, and the application of educational technology in the classroom.

At the same time, she also had the opportunity to take part in some practical projects, such as volunteering activities and educational internships, which enabled her to apply what she learned to real-life scenarios.

She has studied dance for fifteen years, including various types of dance forms. Moreover, she has some performance experience, such as singing and drama. In her free time, she enjoys reading all kinds of books. She is also passionate about photography and writing, which let her see the world in a whole new light.

Her career plan is to continue her higher education and, in the future, study for a PhD in Education Studies and hopefully stay at the university to teach.

Team Member Quintin Hunte
QUINTIN HUNTE

Salesforce Administrator

Quintin Hunte is a Senior Business Analyst and Project Manager for a global technology services company.  He also has a background in Customer Experience management for a number of automotive brands.
His role at Flamingo Chicks involves managing the CRM system, a role he also fulfils for another charity, and he’s delighted to be a member of the Flamingo Chicks team.
Team Member Dal
DAL

Website and IT Support

Dal is a Web Developer who enjoys building visually pleasing web applications. Dal has volunteered for a charity in the past specialising in Domiciliary Care and rebuilt their WordPress website.

Dal’s role at Flamingo Chicks involves managing the WordPress site for the charity, he is very grateful for the role and eager to get involved with the management of the website and help make it fit for purpose for 2024 and beyond. and make it a place that helps promote the charity’s ethos while being an accessible and easy site to navigate in showcasing what the charity is about and does.

Teachers

ALLIE KITSON

Dance Teacher

Allie is a Bristol-based dance artist, she started off her Flamingo Chicks journey by volunteering with us before leaving to attend Plymouth Conservatoire to study Dance Theatre. She Graduated in 2019. Throughout her degree, she undertook training in Ballet, Yoga, a range of Contemporary techniques, as well as a term of training in African dance. As well as that, she also undertook many workshops with professional artists and companies, such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Heather Walrond Company, Adam Benjamin, Vincent Dance Theatre, and Dane Hurst. Before going to university, she also undertook training for many years in Modern, Jazz, Ballet, and Contemporary. Her main focus is on community dance and she has previously worked with adults with Dementia as well as adults and children with a range of additional needs.

Dance Teacher Amy Young
AMY YOUNG

Dance Teacher

Amy Young is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer. At 18 years of age she earned a Dance and Drama Award to attend the SLP College of performing arts in Leeds. After working hard for three years she achieved a Trinity National Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre with Distinction.

Proficient in all aspects and styles of dance, Amy has performed with many different dance companies within the UK and overseas.

As well as performing Amy is currently teaching in dance schools, primary and senior schools and also holds private dance classes.

Amy is also a qualified Zumba instructor.

ANDREW SMITH

Dance Teacher

Andrew’s interest in performing arts started in his early teens with the involvement of amateur dramatic societies and school performances. He thrived on the freedom of expressing himself through the medium of performance which lead him to take a more serious view on dance as an art from before leaving.

Andrew completed his A levels under the direction of Sue Lewis, Artistic Direct of FFIN Dance, before moving to Scotland to complete a degree in contemporary dance performance at The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance. Whilst studying at SSCD Andrew had the privilege to work with Janis Claxton, Tommy Small, Errol White to name a just a few. His training culminated with a national tour with Space Cadets, The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance’s student dance company.

Andrew has also performed work with FFIN Dance,  National Dance Company Wales as well as a tour with company Plunge.

Andrew is company director for Magnetar Events which he has set up in hopes to make a difference. He believes in providing a supportive, friendly and encouraging environment for performers of all ages and abilities to thrive. It is his aim to defy the limitations and preconceptions that society has set, encouraging young people to express and perform showing that everyone who is given the right encouragement and support can reach their true potential.

Andrew also teaches for performing arts schools around South Wales which include Universal Academy of the Arts and TDM to name a few. He is very proud to be a member of the Flamingo Chicks flock too!

Dance Teacher Charlotte Perkins
CHARLOTTE PERKINS

Dance Teacher

Charlotte is a professional dancer, choreographer and dance teacher, working in and around Cardiff. She completed her vocational dance training at the University of South Wales, specialising in contemporary dance, and graduating with a First Class BA (Hons) degree. Charlotte is a great advocate for dance in Wales, having been chosen as a One Dance UK Ambassador and Dance Consortium Future Leader for 2018/19. She also has vast experience of delivering dance classes and workshops to a range of students in a variety of styles.

Since graduating, Charlotte has been developing a piece of contemporary dance that is designed to be accessible for audiences with a visual impairment. Charlotte is very excited to be delivering inclusive dance classes with Flamingo Chicks, as she loves sharing her passion for dance with others, and inspiring the next generation of young creative minds.

Dance Teacher Ella Fleetwood
ELLA FLEETWOOD

Dance Teacher

Ella is an independent dance artist and maker based in East London. Ella graduated from Trinity Laban with a First Class degree in 2016. Since graduating, Ella has enjoyed performing with Casson & Friends, Made by Katie Green, Luminelle, Springs Dance Company and Kimberley Harvey in collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital. Ella regularly performs at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital with Eek & Wild, a company she co-founded.

Ella creates her own choreographic work through her company, ella&co, connecting people through her socially engaged choreographic practice. Ella teaches in a range of community settings, with inclusivity and play at the heart of her teaching practice. Ella is a lead dance artist for The Place, Sadler’s Wells and Magpie Dance for people with learning disabilities. With her work at Magpie, Ella has led choreographic collaborations with the Royal Opera House and Arts for the Disabled Association Hong Kong.

Dance Teacher Emily Dart
EMILY DART

Dance Teacher

Emily is a qualified ballet teacher living in Caerphilly, South Wales. She trained professionally at the Royal Academy of Dance London, graduating with a BA(Hons) Ballet Education. During this time Emily taught in a variety of settings including with the inspiring Candoco dance on their groundbreaking Foundation Course in dance for Disabled Students, the first of it’s kind in the UK.

She has delivered GCSE dance in schools across Port Talbot as well as teaching classical ballet and modern jazz across Dublin, Bristol and Cardiff. Emily is passionate about providing enjoyable and encouraging dance lessons, empowering young people and giving them the confidence to grow.

Dance Teacher Georgia Poole. Georgia has long blonde hair and is smiling.
GEORGIA POOLE

Dance Teacher

Georgia is a community dance practitioner and aspiring choreographer and creator. Georgia graduated from The Royal Academy of Dance in 2018 with ambitions to work in the community in her local area in Kent. As well as working as a freelance dance teacher, Georgia is a founder of her company ‘GPCreatives’ offering bespoke creative dance workshops in schools, she aims to inspire a new generation of students on the opportunities creative dance brings. She says “My aim is to help students realise their creative potential through the art of dance”. Georgia is incredibly passionate about encouraging a fun learning environment and is very excited to begin working for Flamingo Chicks, and to meet a new flock of fantastic dancers.

A photo of Joanna. She has long dark hair and is smiling at the camera.
JOANNA HARKER

Dance Teacher

Joanna has danced since the age of two. After completing her dance teaching qualifications at the Deborah Capon Dance College, she taught for two years across Yorkshire before teaching in Dubai for two years. She currently teaches many style of dance across Yorkshire, her youngest student being 11 months, her oldest being 72! Joanna is very passionate about teaching dance and loves seeing the difference it has on both physical and mental wellbeing for all ages and abilities.

Joanna is very excited to be working with Flamingo Chicks and to help spread their amazing work across Yorkshire.

A black and white headshot of Lauren. She is fair skinned, has dark hair tied up, is wearing a black v-neck top, and is smiling.
LAUREN HAITH

Dance Teacher

Lauren first started dancing at two-and-a-half years old where her enthusiasm for dance quickly grew from a hobby into a vocation. Lauren studied a variety of dance disciplines including Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary.

Lauren’s passion for teaching dance was kindled at the age of 13 when she was selected to become an assistant in classes at her dance school. These early teaching experiences fuelled her passion and led to her decision to attend The Royal Academy of Dance where she received a degree with honours in ballet education.

Lauren has gained a wide range of teaching experience across a number of sectors and dance schools, teaching students from a wide demographic and adapting to suit students of all abilities and needs. 

This experience led Lauren to open her own dance school – Lauren Haith School of Dance – in 2018. The school is founded on Lauren’s passion is to provide inclusive dance classes and nurture a love of dance for all students.

Lauren is always looking to evolve her teaching practice and continues to gain new skills and experience to deliver the most inclusive and engaging classes she can.

Dance Teacher Matt Lackford
MATT LACKFORD

Dance Teacher

Matt started dancing in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire with an interest in musical theatre and acting. He undertook a performing arts course at college in Leeds, with a keen focus in dance. Following this, Matt completed his professional training at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance in 2010.

After Graduating Matt joined EDge 11, the postgraduate performance company of London Contemporary Dance School and studying repertory from Jeremy James. Matt has performed professionally in the UK and Internationally with Jorge Crecis, John Ross, Caroline Bowditch, Dam Van Huynh and Nuno Silva.

Matt has a keen interest and passion for teaching and has worked for London Contemporary Dance School, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Samuel Rhodes Special School, Middlesex University and Birkbeck University. He has a wide range of experience working with people of many ages and levels of experience, such as young people in pre-professional training, disabled people, dance students, adults and professional dancers. His teaching practice is centred on inclusivity and empowerment, enabling people of any background and experience to reach their full potential.

A black and white headshot of Rochelle. She is Black, has long braids, is wearing a headband and a sweatshirt, and she's smiling at the camera.
ROCHELLE WEEKES-BROWN

Dance Teacher

Graduating with a 1st class degree in Diverse Dance Styles, Rochelle quickly began developing her career within her dream line of work. As a dance choreographer & dance teacher, Rochelle has choreographed routines for projects as well as teaching urban and contemporary to disabled and non-disabled students. Rochelle’s ethos behind her passion is to make dance accessible for all bodies. She currently teaches street dance to primary school students and infuses an encouragement of self love into every session. Combining the creativity of both teacher and student, Rochelle seeks to build something interactive and challenging for each student.

A photo of Sam Stephen
SAM STEPHEN

Dance Teacher

Sam began his professional training in contemporary dance and classical ballet at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, Dundee, and went on to complete studies in Musical Theatre at TTC, Essex.

Since graduating Sam has worked around the world performing. But, parallel to a performing career he has worked as a consultant in development and producing roles in creative learning, education and health and wellbeing. Sam’s specialty is in learning and development for children and adults who have severe or complex needs, adverse childhood experiences and trauma. Sam achieves this by using a combination of creative arts in his practice such as Music, Singing, Dance and Drama. Sam is also a Makaton Tutor.

At the heart of his work, and a clear thread throughout, is his energy – inspired by the passion of performing he’s had from a young age, and his purpose of creating a space for everyone to flourish and have fun!

Dance teacher Sarah Stone
SARAH STONE

Dance Teacher

Sarah is passionate about the physical and mental health benefits dance can have on people’s lives and therefore strives to make dance as inclusive and accessible as possible, regardless of age, ability or background.

After completing her degree in Contemporary Dance at Bath Spa University in July 2017, Sarah has built a portfolio career working as a performer and dance teacher in a variety of settings. Her aim is to share dance with as many people as possible, whether that’s as an audience member appreciating dance, or as a participator themselves. Sarah is vice-principal of a dance school in Bristol, and teaches dance, yoga and mindfulness at a range of primary schools in Bristol and Bath. She enjoys working with a range of children and is inspired daily by their creativity and energy.

Black and white photo of dance teacher - Sophie Cottle. She is smiling and looking up towards the camera.
SOPHIE COTTLE

Dance Teacher

Graduating from The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts with a First Class Honours Degree in Acting, Sophie has been working as a freelance theatre artist and facilitator ever since. An experienced movement director and puppeteer, Sophie uses a devised approach in running classes and workshops. 

Working mainly from a physical and explorative perspective; Sophie’s core focus is always on confidence building. This means helping a student go beyond what they believe to be possible; so that they surprise themselves and others around them. Advocating an inclusive safe space for discovery and play, whilst also helping people hone their craft through technique and practice.

VICTORIA FELTHAM

Dance Teacher

Victoria started attending ballet lessons when she was three years old. She went on to take other dance classes as she got older, such as; tap, modern, breakdance, contemporary, hip hop and commercial streetdance. She also has a passion for drama and acting and started going for graded examinations with LAMDA where she eventually received her acting diploma. She has a BA Hons degree in creative arts; Dance and Drama, from Bath Spa University and then trained with the Streetdance Teacher Training Company. She completed a Speech and Drama teaching diploma with New Era Academy and is a licensed Zumba instructor.

She later travelled with a children’s theatre company and can also be seen projected as an Edwardian woman in the Titanic museum in Belfast. She is now a founding member of a local children’s theatre company called the Page Park Performers.

A black and white headshot of Zoe. She is White, her dark hair is in a bun, she is wearing a dark turtle neck top, and is smiling
ZOE ELLIOTT

Dance Teacher

Zoe is a freelance dance artist, based in South-East London. After graduating from London Studio Centre in 2014, Zoe has pursued her passion for bringing dance to every corner of our community, involving people of all ages, abilities, and cultures. 

Over the past 8 years she has taught in a range of schools, museums, galleries, and care services. She has worked extensively with children and adults with additional needs and enjoys using dance to allow people to grow and reach their personal goals.

BETH WHITEHEAD

Dance Teacher

Beth is a community dance artist based in Manchester. From a young age she has trained in a variety of styles, including Ballet, Jazz, and Modern, but took a particular shine to Contemporary Dance, which she went onto study at Kingston University London. While completing her degree she worked as a facilitator in hospital settings for adults and children with acquired brain injuries. Through this work, she was able to use movement as a form of mental and physical therapy and became captivated by the power dance could hold in people’s lives. Since graduating, Beth has worked in a local Primary School where she delivers dance classes for KS1 and KS2 children with a focus on building self-esteem and creativity through the joy of movement. Beth hopes to continue using her passion for dance as a tool to ignite positive change for people and their communities.

ALICE MILLS

Dance Teacher

Alice graduated from the Performance Preparation Academy (Guildford, Surrey) in 2018 where she spent 3 years studying Musical Theatre. Along side her performing career, Alice has always had such a passion for teaching and has taught ages ranging from 2yrs to young adults in a variety of disciplines, including singing, drama, dance and musical theatre. In the last year Alice has had the privilege of working at some incredible SEND schools and has loved creating an inclusive environment for her students to creatively thrive in! Alice is thrilled to be joining the Flamingo Chicks team and can’t wait to spread a little joy, creativity and kindness through the form dance!

ERICA FLINT

Dance Teacher

Erica (she/they) is a London-based actor-musician, theatre-maker and teacher. Since 2017, she has acted in, and professionally facilitated inclusive, accessible theatre, with a range of experience in Makaton and sensory work. Since graduating from Rose Bruford, they have started writing and directing their own accessible work. Erica has danced from a young age and is trained in ballet, modern, tap, jazz and contemporary. Flamingo Chicks offers a wonderful chance to combine her passion for accessible arts and having a boogey!
NON GRIFFITHS

Dance Teacher

Non is a registered Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance based in Cardiff, South Wales. Completing all Vocational RAD grades, Non achieved a high level of classical ballet training at her local ballet school, The Mandy and Shirley Morris School of Dance. An associate of the RAD, Non completed her professional teaching qualification (Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies) during the Covid-19 pandemic, officially graduating in September 2022. Since then, she has also trained as a Silver Swans Licensee. Non is now a teacher with Mandy and Shirley Morris, and is assistant ballet coach to the Welsh Rhythmic and Artistic Gymnastics foundation and senior squads. Additionally, Non has been fortunate enough to coach ballet for the Wales Synchronised Ice Skating Academy.

Non’s other achievements include securing a ‘New York City Dance and Performance Award’ for her role in Sarah Michelson’s ‘Dover Beach’, later touring America and Europe to appear as a soloist in another of Michelson’s creations, ‘Devotion’. Non also has a BA in History from the University of Exeter, graduating with a 2:1 in 2018. Whilst at university she was the ballet coach for the Dance Society, leading weekly sessions for beginner and advance students. Non won several awards at various inter-university dance competitions for her choreography and was recognised for her involvement in leading the winning team. Non is also a fluent welsh speaker and advocate for promoting the language, and completes all her dance training and teaching alongside working at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Patrons

PEACHES GOLDING OBE CStJ

Patron

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol, Mrs Peaches Golding OBE CStJ, joins Flamingo Chicks as our latest Patron.

Peaches’ interests include mental health, widening access to opportunities for those most disadvantaged in society, education, social justice, volunteering, and poverty.

She was awarded the OBE in 2009 for services to minority ethnic people in the South West and CStJ for services to humanity in 2020. In 2010, Peaches was awarded an honorary MBA and, in 2017, was awarded an honorary Doctorate of the University by the University of the West of England. She was appointed Honorary Captain Royal Naval Reserve in June 2020.

 

MARK SMITH

Patron

Mark Smith is the Founder and Artistic Director of Deaf Men Dancing. Mark was nominated as Best Choreographer in the Off-West End Awards and the Broadway World UK Awards for Ace of Clubs, Call Me Madam & Iolanthe and Live Theatre & British Theatre Awards for Tommy and The Last Five Years. He’s a Dance Teacher, Workshop Leader, Movement Director & Choreographer.

 

Credits include: THE COLOR PURPLE (Curve, Leicester & Birmingham Hippodrome); THE LAST FIVE YEARS (Wales Millennium Centre & Tour); IOLANTHE (Wiltons Music Hall & UK Tour); TOMMY (Ramps on the Moon UK Tour); REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL (Graeae Theatre UK Tour); THE THREEPENNY OPERA (UK Tour); MY SILENT WORLD (Commissioned by Michael Nunn & Billy Trevvit, Artistic Directors of Ballet Boyz, a short film for Ch4 Random Acts); SHOES (Sadler’s Wells); ORFEO ED EURIDICE (Longborough Festival); TWELFTH NIGHT (Guildford School of Acting); NO ONE IN THE WORLD (London School of Musical Theatre); WEST SIDE STORY (Music Theatre Project); LET US TELL YOU A STORY (Deaf Men Dancing commissioned by Exceptional & Extraordinary); TIME (Deaf Man Dancing – Laban Theatre, Greenwich); GROOMED TO PERFECTION (Theatre Royal Brighton); CORAZON A CORAZON (Deaf Men Dancing – Without Walls); CABARET & LEGALLY BLONDE (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts); HEAR! HEAR! (Deaf Men Dancing – Sadlers Wells); THE SOUNDMEN (Incloodu Festival), MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND (Carnival UK/3 Pins Productions); ECHOES IN THE NIGHT (Carnival UK/3 Pins Productions); THE WHO’S TOMMY (Greenwich Theatre); ACE OF CLUBS & THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE (The Union Theatre); AS YOU LIKE IT (Oxford Shakespeare Company); ALIVE! (Deaf Men Dancing – Outdoor UK Festivals); TEN & EMBRACE (Deaf Men Dancing – Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival); THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM SPELLING BEE (Arts Educational School); FABLES AND FAIRYTALES (Bridlington Spa Theatre); WHEELS ON BROADWAY (Graeae Theatre); NATIONAL ENGLISH BALLET THEATRE (Choreography Lab 2017); ALADDIN (Lyric Hammersmith); SEQUINS AND SNOWBALLS  (Graeae Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Hall); CAROUSEL (Royal Academy of Music); BLOOD WEDDING (Dundee Rep Ensemble), 101 DALMATIONS, THE MEETING & A MARVELOUS YEAR FOR PLUMS (Chichester Festival Theatre); PETER PAN, JUST SO, MARRY ME A LITTLE & STARTING HERE, STARTING NOW (Chichester University); DIE FLEDERMAUS (Den Norske Opera & Ballet); THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE & NOAH (Chichester Festival Youth Theatre); DUCKIE (Southbank Centre); THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (National Youth Music Theatre); THE RUFF TUFF CREAM PUFF ESTATE AGENCY (Belgrade Theatre as part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021); THE RHYTHMICS (Southwark Playhouse) CHANNEL 4’s THE PARALYMPIC HOMECOMING (DMD+ at Wembley Arena); PARALYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY (LONDON 2012);

Artistic Director at the English National Ballet and Flamingo Chicks Patron Tamara Rojo
TAMARA ROJO CBE

Patron

Tamara Rojo is the Artistic Director of San Francisco Ballet.  Formerly she was English National Ballet’s Artistic Director and Lead Principle, and a former Principle Dancer at the Royal Ballet. A distinguished ballerina, Tamara has performed some of  Ballet’s most famous roles: from Juliet in Romeo & Juliet to Clara in The Nutcracker.  Her performances as Clara broke all box office records at the London Coliseum and The Times named her “Dance Revelation of the Year.”

Tamara has been repeatedly recognised for her artistic excellence, receiving awards including the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production; Spain’s three highest Honours: The Prince of Asturias Award, the Gold Medal of Fine Arts and Encomienda de Número de Isabel la Católica. In January 2016 Tamara was awarded a CBE for her services to ballet in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours.

Passionate about promoting Ballet and the Arts, Tamara is a member of the Board of Creative England and Creative Industries Federation, the Anglo-Spanish Society, a Patron of the Ipswich-based DanceEast Academy, Adviser to Spain’s Superior Council of Artistic Studies and a proud Patron of Flamingo Chicks.

 

Businesswoman and Flamingo Chicks Patron Rosaleen Moriarty Simmonds
ROSALEEN MORIATY-SIMMONDS OBE

Patron

Rosaleen (Rosie) Moriarty-Simmonds OBE is an acclaimed businesswoman, author, artist and Disability Rights campaigner. Born in 1960, Rosie’s impairment is four-limbed Phocomelia caused by the drug Thalidomide.

After graduating with a BSc. (Hons) Degree in Psychology from Cardiff University, Rosie joined the Civil Service before forming the RMS Disability Issues Consultancy out of a genuine desire to deliver first-class training in the field of Disability Equality and Disability Issues. A passionate advocate for absolute equality for Disabled People, Rosie works to promote the Social Model of Disability throughout, working with local, regional, national and international educational, public, private, charity and community groups to champion equality and diversity.

Married, with one son, Rosie has a particular interest in radio, television and the arts.  She is a Trustee Board Member for the National Theatre Wales and a Proud Patron of Flamingo Chicks.

 

A picture of actor and Flamingo Chicks patronJoe Sims
JOE SIMS

Patron

Joe Sims is a Bristol-born stage, screen and radio actor best known for his stand-out role as Nige Carter in the acclaimed drama Broadchurch and as Vincent Tabak in The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jefferies.

In 2012, he won an Offie (People’s favorite male performance) for his performance as in “As We Forgive Them” at the Arcola Theatre in London.” Joe was nominated for both Best Actor at the 2018 at the BBC Audio Drama Awards for his portrayal of Charlie Hammond in Oliver Park: Easter Riots and for Best Supporting Actor at the 2017 BBC Audio Drama Awards for his portrayal of a suicidal boxer in Al Smith’s award winning drama Lifelines.

Joe founded and runs fund raising group 500 Reasons where he and 499 friends put in a pound each week and decide a worthy individual, family or group to give £500 to each week. At time of writing they’ve been running for 100 weeks and given away over £50,000. As Patron of Flamingo Chicks, Joe has inspired so many of our Flock – including leading a drama workshop for our Agents of Change!

Gymnast and Flamingo Chicks patron Claudia Fragapane
CLAUDIA FRAGAPANE

Patron

Claudia Fragapane is an Olympic gymnast and World, European and Commonwealth Championship medallist. After her masterful performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning four Gold Medals, she became the most successful English female gymnast at the Games in 80 years!

A strong all-around gymnast, Claudia excels particularly on floor and vault. Having made history at the 2014 Commonwealth Games for Team England, Claudia has been a regular at major championships since. Claudia is also a Strictly Star, making it to the semi-final of Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 with her partner, AJ Pritchard.

Born in Bristol, she continues to train in the City and, as Patron of Flamingo Chicks, has paid very special visits to some of our classes!

 

Trustees

Chair of Trustees Claire Bridges
CLAIRE BRIDGES

Chair of Trustees

Claire is a qualified solicitor and, having trained and worked in private practice, has spent the last eleven years working ‘in-house’ in the health and social care sector. Claire currently works at the pharmaceutical company, Roche, which has its headquarters in Switzerland. As an in-house lawyer, Claire enjoys the variety of her role, the challenge that brings and the fact that it gives her the opportunity to work with people from all across the business, both in the UK and around the world.

Claire lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three young children. Claire is a fan of musical theatre and also enjoys singing with a local amateur choir.

ZARA BARTELS

Trustee

Zara spent her childhood in a ballet studio and made her childhood dreams come true – being a successful professional dancer. Raised in Trinidad, Zara came to London via studying and dancing in New York, to be the Dance Captain for The Lion King in the West End. After 10 years as The Lion King’s Dance Captain, she retired from the stage, and turned her hand to operations – building and scaling start-ups in music and health tech. She continues her operator skills as the Senior Business Improvement Manager at Bates Wells, the leading Charity and Social Enterprise law firm in the UK. She has experience in scaling a breadth of business operations and is passionate about doing and living the necessary work to contribute to a world where the ethnic global majority can be at peace.

ANNABELLE TURNER

Trustee

Annabelle is a Personal Injury Solicitor specialising in catastrophic injury claims. She has a passion for looking after her clients’ needs and putting them in the best position to recover, as far as they are able to, from their injuries. Annabelle also has personal experience of the claims process, having suffered a serious injury following a road traffic accident. She is a passionate dancer and has previously volunteered with the Flamingo Chicks.

Trustee Owen Masters
OWEN MASTERS

Trustee

Owen is an Assistant Editor of the ITV Breakfast Show Good Morning Britain, having worked at the channel for more than fifteen years. He is also head of the newly formed ITV Daytime Academy. He previously held senior positions at the BBC and before that Sky News.

In addition, Owen works with Relate as a relationship counsellor, and is a member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.

 

Trustee Rob Hart
ROB HART

Trustee

Rob is Diversity & CSR Manager at Penningtons Manches Cooper. Rob has a proven track record of linking community engagement and charity partnerships with tangible business benefits. He has a passion for aligning this activity with a business’s social purpose, meaning community engagement becomes a means for the business to achieve its purpose beyond their products and services. In addition, he has experience of delivering impactful Inclusion programmes for FTSE100 businesses. Outside of work, Rob has been a School Governor at an Infants School in Aldershot and was a competitive dancer whilst at the University of Exeter.

Trustee Andrew Sanders
ANDREW SANDERS

Trustee

Director of a successful Regional SME, Andrew previously held a number of senior roles within Lloyds Banking Group over a 30 year career. He has a broad range of experience including Sales, HR, Finance with a strong commercial background.

ABU SIDHANEE

Trustee

Abu was born and raised in London and is a Children’s Physiotherapist by background. He has been qualified as a physiotherapist for over 20 years and has spent most of his career working with children and families in a multitude of settings across London.

Abu is passionate about the positive role that inclusive sport, activity and exercise play in children’s development and well-being. He holds football coaching qualifications and has previously coached disabled children. Abu holds two Special Interest Group lead positions at a global level, with the aim of developing rehabilitation and physical medicine initiatives for children with cancer globally, including those in resource limited settings.

Abu currently works as a Children’s Physiotherapist in the private hospital sector and also as a senior Physiotherapy lecturer at a London University.

NICOLE BRENNAN

Trustee

“Nicole is a passionate Disability and Inclusion advocate that has used her lived experience of limb difference to consult well known companies to create products that support and represent the disability community. As a young girl she always dreamt of becoming a ballerina but the lack of representation of people with disabilities in the dance world meant that her and her family did not pursue it.

Nicole spent much of her young life hiding her limb difference and avoiding situations that highlighted it until she had her eldest son. He was the catalyst that motivated Nicole to start taking actions toward self acceptance and also encouraging others with limb difference to do the same. Over the last 6 years Nicole has created a worldwide online community centred on empowering those with limb difference to challenge the world around them, become a D&I consultant for household brands and joined Koalaa Soft Prosthetics as their Brand Marketing Manager. She has helped to create prosthetics and events that knock down the barriers that stop individuals with limb difference from taking part in activities like surfing, yoga and tennis.

Nicole is very excited to have joined the board of Trustees to support children and their families who have the same dream that she did at 5 of becoming a ballerina and showing them that barriers are there to be knocked down!”

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