FRONTLINEdance is an artist led company based in Stoke-on-Trent, placing disabled people and those with long-term health conditions at the core of our organisation as leaders, dancers, artists, and audiences.

In 2019 we produced our first City-Wide Arts Festival (FAF) that had audiences access needs at the centre, and that showcased the work of disabled artists of all art forms.

As makers we explore how we can create exciting, relevant and thought-provoking contemporary dance with d/DEAF, visually impaired, disabled, hospital patients, and neurodivergent audiences. We co-create across ages, backgrounds, and experiences, naturally integrating people together, reducing isolation, improving physical, mental and social health and well-being.

We continue to support emerging disabled artists and we offer consultation and support around inclusion, access and programming disabled artists both locally and nationally.

Our tried and tested methodology means we specialise in delivering accessible and fully inclusive dance sessions.

For over 55’s with neurological and other long-term health conditions such as Parkinson’s and MS we do this via our Moving Together Programme; inclusive meaningful dance, movement, and creativity sessions that improves the health and well-being of those who take part. It’s comprehensive, varied, evidenced based and enjoyable. Over the last 5 years this specially devised programme moved into Haywood Community Hospital, to all its inpatients, where our work on the Stroke, Neurology, Elderly Care and Parkinson’s (outpatient unit) developed thanks to a grant from the Haywood Foundation. Work here is currently on hold due to Covid.

FRONTLINEdance is due to start three new Moving Together groups – one for Stroke survivors, another for those who have had a Cancer diagnosis and another for those with Parkinson’s.

Our Breakthrou’dance Programme; YOUTH, ADULT & ADVANCE provides physical, social, and mental health outcomes, freedom, expression, enjoyment, and friendships.

Transcend is another programme where we offer weekly training to d/DEAF, neurodivergent and disabled people, and Moving Stories is our over 55’s contemporary dance company that meets at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery to create new work to perform site specifically.

For disabled children and young people we currently deliver sessions for Aiming High, Action For Children, and the Staffordshire Downs Syndrome Association.

Those who take part in our programmes unite in describing them as a ‘life-line’; that they find a sense of themselves, notice physical improvement, feel they are important, welcome, and valued. They share increased motivation, engagement, adherence, and tolerance to exercise, emphasise the importance of the social interaction, and increased energy and mood.

FRONTLINEdance also does one-off bespoke projects and performances, and welcomes commissions.

From the beginning, we’ve been choreographing our own work, making FRONTLINEdance one of the first integrated dance companies in the UK to do so.

FRONTLINEdance was co-founded by Rachael Lines and Michael King in 2000, and officially became a not-for-profit company Ltd by guarantee (no shareholders) in 2001.

Meet the team

Artistic Team - Past and Present

Rachael Lines Artistic Director

In 2001, Rachael set up FRONTLINEdance with Michael King and has since created, devised, fund-raised...

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Mike King Co-founder

Mike King co-founded FRONTLINEdance alongside Rachael. He started dancing in the Yorkshire Dales back in...

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Katie Albon Associate Dance Artist

Katie is a dance artist based in Birmingham. She graduated with a First Class BA...

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Charlotte Arnold Associate Dance Artist

Originally from Suffolk, Charlotte is a freelance dance artist based in Leeds, blending performing, teaching,...

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Maiya Leeke Associate Dance Artist

Maiya is a semi-verbal, neuro-disabled Contemporary Dance Artist. Her practice has been informed by her...

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Kayleigh Price Associate Dance Artist

Originally from Manchester, Kayleigh trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Verve ’14....

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Vicci Riley Associate Dance Artist

Vicci is a performer, dance maker and creative facilitator. She trained at Trinity Laban and...

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Helen Yeomans Associate Dance artist

Helen started dancing at the age of 3 doing ballet, jazz and tap but around...

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Dr Melanie Brierley Associate Dance Artist

With her practice embedded in the arts in community health, Melanie works as a dance...

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David Jowett Emerging Artist

David started Breakthrou’ in 2005. He is now part of the aDvANCE group and has...

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Matt Byatt Support Worker & Emerging Artist

Matt describes himself as a disabled Performer who has hidden disabilities, who has been interested...

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Greg Hall Composer and multi-instrumentalist

Greg is a composer and multi-instrumentalist who works in theatre, film, multi-media and band projects....

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Junction 15 Film makers

Junction 15 are an Emmy award winning video production company with experienced and talented filmmakers...

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Kevin Jewell Past Performer

Kevin is a PGCE trained Secondary Dance teacher, workshop leader, performer and choreographer.  Since performing...

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Paul Henshall Past Performer

Paul trained at Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre and works in Theatre, Radio and TV....

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Welly O'Brien Past Performer

Working in Integrated dance for over 17 years, Welly has performed and taught both Nationally...

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Mary Prestidge Past Performer

Mary’s professional dance career has spanned 5 decades. Originally an Olympic gymnast in the 1960’s,...

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Dave Toole OBE (1964-2020) Past Performer

Sadly, Dave passed away in October 2020. He was a dance legend, and FRONTLINEdance were...

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Suzanne Frohlick Administrator

Suzanne studied at Brian Rogers ‘Performers’ Dance College, from the age of 16. She then...

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Rosemary Smith Treasurer

Rosemary has worked as an accountant since leaving university but has specialised in the medical...

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Janet Jowett Director, Secretary

Janet Jowett has been involved with FRONTLINEdance for the last 12 years as a parent...

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Andrew Riley Director

Andrew Riley is a pragmatic and experienced business consultant, adviser, and trainer. He delivers in...

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Sophie Alder Director

Sophie has over 20 years of professional experience as a dancer and teacher working across...

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Yael Owen-McKenna Chair, Director

Yaël Owen-McKenna trained at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance and her work invites...

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Rachel Piekarczyk Vice Chair, Director

Rachel Piekarczyk, is an academic dance practitioner specialising in dance facilitation, embodied learning and reflective...

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Mark Lewis Member

FRONTLINEdance welcomed Mark to join our voluntary board as a member in July 2021, as...

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Patsy Corcoran Member

In Patsy’s advocacy role she has worked in partnership with FRONTLINEdance and seen first-hand the...

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Laura Cantliff Member

Laura is a dance artist, disability advocate and prolific coffee drinker currently based in Devon....

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Eleanor Babb Member

Eleanor has over ten years’ experience managing hospital arts programmes including participatory work with service...

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