Yael Owen-McKenna

Chair, Director

Yaël Owen-McKenna trained at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance and her work invites all people to dance from where they are. This may be through drawing on their own experiences, coming from different context and places and, through their leadership and participation in democratic and co-created contexts.

Yaël’s current work is as Programme Director for Live Well & Dance with Parkinson’s at People Dancing and Development Director to Coventry Dance CIC, a strategic dance organisation with and for the dance communities of Coventry. In May 2020 she was part-time Course Director for BA (Hons) Dance at Coventry University.

Yaël has worked as a Relationship Manager at Arts Council England (Birmingham) with a portfolio including Dance and Disability. This is where she met Rachael and FRONTLINEdance for the first time, though she had heard about FRONTLINEdance before, hoped that she would work again with Rachael and the Company.  Yaël has also held Senior Leadership roles as Head/Deputy Head of Service at Coventry Music Education Hub and Arts Service, developing several socially engaged initiatives designed to enable children and young people to experience creative dance and music making.

Currently, Yaël is also Project Manager for ‘Say Man Take Heart’ a programme of Movement, Poetry and Creative Writing with people who are users of the UK/USA Criminal Justice System. Developed through an artist residency in the USA, the project has most recently worked with participants in HMP Stafford. The project will further develop its international links in 2020/21.

Yaël has undertaken post graduate research in disability dance. This is in the context of Special School programmes with dancers experiencing Severe, Profound and Multiple Learning Challenges; ‘Unique Bodies a Unique Dance’, this work is ongoing.

FRONTLINEdance welcomes Yaël  to the board at a time she feels able to take on the challenge as voluntary Chair and Director. She has a great deal to offer to the board and is committed to the development and support of people within their roles in this capacity. Yaël will advocate for FRONTLINEdance and through the mechanism of the board, as a collective, help to steer Rachael and the Company through an exciting (and challenging) next phase, securing the company and it’s work for the future.

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