Helen Yeomans

Helen started dancing at the age of 3 doing ballet, jazz and tap but around the age of 12 found a real love of Contemporary dance and went on to graduate in 1997 from The Laban Centre for Movement and Dance (now Trinity Laban) with a degree in Dance Theatre with a special interest in education.

Over the last twenty plus years Helen has performed in theatre and site-specific performances with several companies including ‘Attic’ in Plymouth and Micha Purucker’s ‘Dance Energy’ in Germany, taught dance workshops in education and community settings for people 6 months to 100 years old, worked as a Community & Education Officer and qualified as a Body Control Pilates Instructor.

After re locating from the South to Staffordshire 15 years ago Helen has continued to work as a community dance artist and alongside her work in schools has been enjoying leading community dance classes for the over 60’s and has become involved with Arts for Health, teaching movement sessions for older adults with depression and/or dementia in a hospital setting.  Helen has also loved performing as a community dancer in 3 of ReStoke’s site specific performances, Palace (disused church), Expedition (promenade through streets) and Voyagers (disused swimming pool).

Helen became involved with FRONTLINEdance a couple of years ago and began leading some sessions for adult’s with neurological conditions.  She also performed in, ‘Nest’ a short dance film by Welly O’Brien and Kate Marsh which was commissioned by FRONTLINEdance as part of the FAF festival.

Helen is excited to be involved with FRONTLINEdance and is looking forward to sharing ideas and having a fresh focus to help inform the next 20 years as a Community Dance Artist!

When not dancing Helen is kept busy with her two children, loves running and also making clothes.  Over the recent pandemic whilst not being able to work fully Helen has been volunteering, collecting shopping and prescriptions for those isolating and helping at a vaccination centre.

Vicci Riley

Vicci is a performer, dance maker and creative facilitator. She trained at Trinity Laban and her MA enquired into the body of knowledge practiced for performance improvisation. Her performance and facilitation work spans 20 years and encompasses diverse settings and people.

Community work in diverse settings has always been part of Vicci’s practice and this ranges from working with visually impaired, deaf and disabled people, young and older people. She led two sessions a week for mental health service users (one young person’s and one older person’s) for over three years funded by Mersey Care. She has ran classes and made work with community groups at Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI) including the youth dance company, the over 50’s and have volunteered there in the weekly Dance for Parkinsons. Vicci has an OCN in Leading Dance with Older People and has worked in hospitals, nursing homes and with dementia groups for over 15 years.

Vicci’s work draws from improvisation, contact improvisation and somatic movement practices. She has an on-going interest in cross art form practice. Vicci makes performance work that aims to open the process and perception of experience through embodied movement, text, and visual elements.

Currently Vicci is working with artists at One September in the development of new performance projects, delivering sessions for mixed ability groups, people with dementia and creating activity boxes with Age Exchange to reach isolated people at home. She is also engaged in a Screendance programme mentored by Katrina McPherson, and leading a weekly movement session with secondary school children on the autistic spectrum (Movema).

Charlotte Arnold

Originally from Suffolk, Charlotte is a freelance dance artist based in Leeds, blending performing, teaching, creating and writing into her practice. She regularly teaches from children to adults as well as directs her own dance theatre company ACCA and edits a digital magazine, Artychoke. You can find her on Instagram here: @charr_arnold / @accacollab / @artychokezine and visit her website here: www.charlottearnold.co.uk

Katie Albon

Katie is a dance artist based in Birmingham. She graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) from Trinity Laban in 2013 and then went on to tour with MAPdance (University of Chichester) in 2014. Katie is currently a company dancer and rehearsal director for Springs Dance Company’ London. She has also worked with Autin Dance Theatre, Ascension Dance, Here We Are Dance and Caldonia Walton as part of Birmingham Dance Networks’ ‘Choreomatch’. Katie has enjoyed teaching and facilitating in a range of settings with organisations such as Birmingham DanceXchange, Open Theatre and Springs Dance Company and is passionate about bringing people joy through movement.
Katie is thrilled to be working with FRONTLINEdance.

Maiya Leeke

Maiya is a semi-verbal, neuro-disabled Contemporary Dance Artist. Her practice has been informed by her training and professional development with Candoco Dance Company; current mentorship with Joel Brown (Candoco Dance Company member); and Charlotte Darbyshire (Artistic Director of Candoco Dance Company) whilst training in National Youth Dance Company, working with Alesandra Seutin (Artistic Director of Vocab Dance). She is currently completing the Seedbed Inclusive Teacher Training with Stopgap Dance Company; and continues to train with Hawk Dance Theatre.

She both performs and teaches for Joss Arnott Dance performing in ‘DANCE:CONNECTS – PULSE! 2.0’ (2020) and leading digital outreach, accessible repertoire workshops (2020/21).  She has also performed for Mimbre Acrobats in ‘The Sofa Dance’ (2020), currently streaming on BBC iPlayer; and ‘Look Mum, No Hands!’ (2019) a Daryl Beeton Productions collaboration with Mimbre Acrobats again.

As an advocate for inclusive practice, Maiya takes great pride in her current role at Mind the Gap, Bradford, as an Associate Artist in Dance, leading on the full-time Performance Academy course specifically for learning disabled artists aged 18-30. She has a range of teaching experience with both disabled and non-disabled participants. This includes working in therapeutic settings such as Clifton Hospital on the Wonder-Full Therapeutic Arts project with Ludus Dance (2018); and currently at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Lancashire leading chair-based movement sessions for a range of neuro-disabled patients.

She continues to develop her own practice and distinctive style of movement combining the use of the floor and her wheelchair whilst also drawing from her in depth musical background as a Grade 8 Jazz Saxophonist.

David Jowett

David started Breakthrou’ in 2005. He is now part of the aDvANCE group and has been part of a number of performances with the group. He has also worked on developing his skills as a workshop assistant and leader, and has assisted our Artistic Director in a variety of workshops over the years

David also has two work placements that he goes to every week. He works at a veterinary practice, and at Olton Abbey, where he works in the kitchen and helps with activities

David’s latest role with FRONTLINEdance is as an emerging dance artist – part of a new commission received from Dance Hub Birmingham. He feels that this is a good opportunity to continue to develop his dancing and work alongside new people. He would also like to work on his own choreography

In his spare time Dave is a huge football fan and loves both playing himself and watching his favourite team, Leicester, play

Matt Byatt

Matt describes himself as a disabled Performer who has hidden disabilities, who has been interested in the performing arts from a young age. He studied Performing Arts at SOT College, gaining a BTEC National Diploma, then at Stafford College gaining a HND in Performing Arts and Theatre. Matt has danced with and is still a member of FRONTLINEdance’s Breakthrou’dance, which he joined in 2002 at the age of 19. Over the years he has been involved as a community performer in the companies professional productions including ‘IGNITE’, ‘A game of Two Arfs’, and ‘Seeing Me’ where he was also an emerging dance artist. ‘Seeing Me’ gave Matt the opportunity to observe how Rachael makes work and how the dancers and community co-create the work. He enjoyed and learnt a great deal dancing alongside the new performance team, experiencing dancing outdoors in lots of different locations, and the time to focus on his own choreographic ideas and methods.

Matt has enjoyed developing his dance and choreography skills in our Breakthrou’ aDvANCE group, focusing particularly on his own dance technique and workshop leading/assisting skills, and volunteering for a range of FRONTLINEdance participatory programmes. The latter resulted in permitted work employment with FRONTLINEdance as a Support Worker for our Transcend Programme from January 2020 to the present, and a sessional support worker.  

Matt has been a valuable, significant and important volunteer in our community participation classes for disabled children and adults for a number of years. Matt also sat on FRONTLINEdance board to feedback participants experiences of our participatory programme and ensure the participants voices were heard.

When Matt isn’t dancing, he volunteers at Masque Theatre Company and works as a simulated patient at University Hospital of North Midlands, with Keele University. Here he uses ‘role play’ as a patient with a learning disability to help the medical students know what is important and to help them build rapport, trust and how to approach someone with learning difficulties. Matt is also a member of Reach Advocacy, supported by Assist -Community Research work. This has seen him completing various tasks; research with Staffs University, a radio presenter of Six Town Radios, and an events/festival based evaluator. Volunteering for Reach ensures that his voice, and other disabled people’s voices are heard in Stoke-on-Trent. 

Kayleigh Price

Originally from Manchester, Kayleigh trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Verve ’14. Being a freelance dance artist Kayleigh has worked with many people such as ACE Dance and Music, Southpaw Dance Company, Chhaya Collective, FRONTLINEdance, Eleesha Drennan, Tangled Dance, Tino Sighal, to name a few, and is the rehearsal director for Company Nil.  She is a choreographer and Artistic Director of Company K making autobiographical work using her own experiences as a neurodiverse woman to demonstrate shared commonalities with her works ‘The Left one out’, ‘Familiar’ and ‘ROOM’ in collaboration with Company Nil. Kayleigh is also a guest lecturer and has taught at the Leeds Beckett University, NSCD, Swindon Dance, professional class for The Place, Pro Dance Leeds, Trip Space and company class for Rachel Clarke Dance Company, company Nil and FRONTLINEdance.

Kayleigh joined FRONTLINEdance team of self-employed dance artists, as a lead performer for its Birmingham Dance Hub commission, ‘Seeing Me’ in May 2019, where she enjoyed working and collaborating with new artists and communities that she hasn’t worked with before. She created a new work on our #FAF2019 residency participants at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, and delivered online summer dance sessions for our community groups during lockdown.

Rosemary Smith

Rosemary has worked as an accountant since leaving university but has specialised in the medical profession for the last 20 years, opening her own company in 2009. She now has clients throughout the UK and is the only person who gives directions by GP surgeries rather than pubs.

In her spare time she enjoys walking and cycling, but her favourite pastime is looking after her two granddaughters. That is the perfect excuse to be as silly as she wants.

Rosemary was first introduced to Frontline by her stepdaughter, who has Down’s Syndrome, and who attends Thursday’s Breakthrou’ classes as a highlight of her week and especially working on the performances. It has been a delight to become more involved and she looks forward to her weeks when she watches the classes and marvels at the way the groups work together bringing them out with so much confidence.

Mike King

Mike King co-founded FRONTLINEdance alongside Rachael. He started dancing in the Yorkshire Dales back in the early 80’s but chose a career as an Outdoor Pursuits instructor and cave explorer. A climbing accident meant a big change. Now a wheelchair user, Mike re-evaluated his values and priorities. After a year of doing this, Mike attended a summer school with Candoco in which he loved, and shortly afterwards secured a Grant from Arts Council England for work shadowing the company. He later joined Candoco’s education team as an assistant.

During the summer residency Mike also met Rachael and shortly afterwards FRONTLINEdance began. During this time, Mike also enrolled on a PGCE at Aberystwyth to start a teaching career.

He later worked as a performer with Blue Eyed Soul on Frankenstein, directed by Liam Steel (formally DV8), Ariel projects with the Flying Piglets in New Zealand, an inclusive performance project with Scottish Dance Theatre, directed a show for Half Moon Young People’s Theatre and created a duet with Michal Popper.

Graeae Theatre in conjunction with London Metropolitan University offered Mike a place on their Missing Piece Project – an acting course with a mini- tour at the end. This led to a TIE piece with Graeae around East-End of London Schools. When that tour finished he combined working as a drama teacher in a secondary school and work with FRONTLINEdance.

Mike is currently a full time Drama teacher in a mainstream State Secondary in Kent delivering GCSE and A Level. When not working, Mike can usually be found on, in, or around water; Canoeing /Fishing / Swimming / Sailing.

Mike believes that FRONTLINEdance gave him the foundation – confidence / knowledge/ professional work ethic /artistic integrity to allow him to re-invent myself (find his true calling as a teacher).