Indepen-dance represents the cumulative hard work of a great many people…
Bejal Desai – Administrator
Marco Esposito – Admin Assistant
Liz Boyd – Dance Artist
Katrina Caldwell – Dance Artist
Fiona Cook – Class Assistant
Sean Harrigan – Class Assistant
Lisa Malcolm – Class Assistant
Julie Spence – Dance Assistant
Justyna Atalam – Volunteer
Karen Duff – Volunteer
Lori Fulton – Volunteer
Danielle Garret – Volunteer
Talitha Gusta – Volunteer
Karen Alice Lee – Volunteer
Karen Anderson – Artistic Director
Karen trained in social work for over 13 years working in different establishments throughout Strathclyde Regional Council. For the past 16 years the focus of her work has been with people with learning disabilities, using dance, creative movement and music. She believes that these art forms offer strong benefits to people with disabilities, providing an opportunity for social integration and encouraging the individuals to achieve their full artistic potential. Karen founded Indepen-dance in 1996 on the principle of access, participation and integration. As Artistic Director she provides a practical and creative framework and her role is pivotal for the continued success and development of the company.
Claire Reda – General Manager
I have been dancing since I was little and have a passion for moving and shaking! I have a variety of B.A.T.D. dance qualifications and my further education took me down the path of community arts, in which I now hold a degree. I joined Indepen-dance whilst on placement in 2003 and have never left the company’s side. I used to be in the world of freelancing with many different councils and then fully committed to the organisation in 2005. I am very lucky to now be holding a full time position within the organisation. This allows me to work with the individuals and dancers in the company and develop new and exciting ways of dancing with any ability!
Wils McAslan – Freelance Principal Dance Worker
Hey, what can I say! I am 29 years old and have been dancing since I was 11 or 12. I have been with the company for over 4 years now. I have been to a few places with Indepen-dance – Germany, London, Milan, Belfast, just to name a few, but you can’t beat Good Old Glesga!
I love to dance, but I also love to take part in outdoor activities – bungee jumping, rock climbing and of course taking my fab wee girls to the park – woof woof! My favourite dish is spag bol and my favourite colour is pink!! If you want to know more then come along to class and find out xxxxxx.
Neil Price – Dance Artist
I was born on the island of South Uist in the Western Isles. My hair colour is like Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter films – well mostly ginger with blond highlights. I’m 28 years old and I am very charming, very handsome with freckles. I have grey/blue eyes and I lead a great life. I work on Thursdays and Fridays in Tesco near my home in Cumbernauld. I have worked there for 5 years now and have many friends there. I enjoy going to the gym and working out on the weights while listening to my iPod. I love to dance – lots of different types of dance and I have a passion for dancing.
Adam Sloan – Dance Artist
Adam was first employed by Indepen-dance as a dance apprentice in 2011 and in 2013 was delighted to become part of Indepen-dance 4, the new performance quartet. Adam loves to perform and since embarking on his dance career has appeared on stage at a number of Glasgow Theatres as well as venues in London, Paris, Derry, Aberdeen and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Since joining the company, Adam has seen not only his dance ability grow and develop, but also his confidence, his independence and his social life! “I have made lots of new friends, learned loads and become fitter and more independent. I love going to work every day. It makes me feel excited and proud”.
Emma Smith – Dance Artist
Emma joined Indepen-Dance 4 in October 2015, having just graduated with a first class BA (Hons) in Dance from Performing Arts Studio Scotland. Over the last six years she has worked as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and dance development officer.
Before joining Indepen-Dance, Emma was one of three Scottish artists to be awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fellowship in 2015. Emma is currently studying an MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Performing Arts at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alongside her diverse and exciting work performing and teaching with Indepen-Dance 4.
Hayley Earlam – Dance Artist
Hayley received training at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. After graduating, she undertook an apprenticeship with Indepen-dance, Scotland’s leading inclusive dance company providing dance for those with and without disabilities. Hayley is a company dancer with Indepen-dance4, an integrated, performance ensemble touring Scotland and beyond. With Indepen-dance4, Hayley has toured extensively with diverse works by Stop Gap, Christine Devaney (Curious Seed), Ramesh Meyyappan, George Adams, Laura Jones, Anna Newall and Marc Brew in collaboration with Scottish Ballet.
As a freelance dance artist, Hayley is interested in diverse performance roles and exploring her improvisation practice. She has had the pleasure of performing in works by Marc Brew Company, Curious Seed, Barrowland Ballet, Rosie Kay Dance Company and Retina Dance Company.
Hayley is a dance education specialist delivering on a local and national level. She delivers education for Scottish Ballet (Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland programme, youth and repertoire based activities), Rambert Dance Company (choreographic, education and tour activities), Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures (youth engagement and rehearsing young cast members) and Edinburgh International Festival (school engagement activities). She also co-runs Overdrive Dance Company, a Glasgow based dance company which aims to promote dance for boys and young men.
Hayley continues to develop her practice in performance and facilitating dance for all abilities.
Amy Stevenson – Dance Development Worker
I have recently graduated with my BA (Hons) in Dance and began freelancing with the company in May this year. Gradually I have gotten more involved by teaching for the People’s Millions project in Falkirk as well as other educational work in and around Glasgow. I began dancing at a young age and have studied a number of styles completing several advanced BAL and RAD exams. I love the work which I get to do with Indepen-dance and am keen to get our work into more schools to get more young people dancing and enjoying movement.
Julie Spence – Creative Dance Assistant
Hello I’m Julie, I started working for Indepen-dance February 2015 as a Creative Dance Assistant. I went to college and gained a HND in Professional Stage Dance and then went to university to do an BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre where I created a dance piece using sleep shields for my final exam. I have been dancing for a number of years and attend Jazzart UK where I did RAD exams my Intermediate 2 and Higher in dance and now attend the adult classes. Indepen-dance has helped be gain confidence learning new methods of teaching and creative ideas and most of all dancing.
Sean Harrigan – Creative Dance Assistant
I‘m 20 years old, my favourite colour is green. I love to swim, watch Patrick thistle, cook and spend time with my brothers. And of course dance. I started with Indepen-dance when I was just 13 years old in the young 1z group which was great fun. I became a volunteer a few years ago. This was challenging and enjoyable and really helped to build my confidence. I have just started my apprenticeship with the company and I am so excited. It will be great to become more involved, meet some new friends and keep on dancing!!
Ruth Massie – Dance Worker and Touch Trust Facilitator
After working as a professional dancer for 20 years, in musical theatre, TV, commercial work… and some singing, my career had taken me all over the world. When I moved back toScotland I trained as a support worker with Share Scotland, then worked my way up to Deputy Manager.During this time I had a 1 year secondment as Dance Development Officer with Indepen-dance. The joy of dance never goes. I am happy and humbled to work for a company who promote dance for everyone.
Kelly Phillips, nee McCartney, has been a dance artist with Indepen-dance for over 10 years. Born in Ayrshire, she trained at the Janie Burrows School of Dance then professionally at Anniesland College, graduating with a HND Dance Artist in the Community in 2007.
Kelly’s work with Indepen-dance has enabled her to travel to London, Cardiff, Belfast, Derry, Spain, Belgium and Paris. She was a founding member of the flagship touring company, Indepen-dance 4, where she performed in; ‘Goldfish’ by StopGap, ‘Some of the Moments we Haven’t Forgotten’ by Christine De Vaney, ‘Drifting’ by Ramesh Meyyappan, ‘Vousz’ by George Adams (part of the European Project Integrance) and ‘Exhalt’ by Marc Brew (a collaboration with Scottish Ballet). Kelly also performed with the Performance Company in; ‘Don Giovanni’, ‘Red Delicious’, ‘Forecast’, ‘Whistler; part 1 and part 2, ‘Tightrope’, ‘Now.No.Now!’, ‘Ripple Effect’ and ‘Hoppin in Harlem’, ‘Just 2 Good Pals’ by Wils McAslan and ‘Submerge’ by StopGap. She also worked as rehearsal director on some of these productions.
Kelly has choreographed many pieces for Indepen-dance including for the youth company (Young 1z) ‘Florescent’, ‘Harlequin’ and ‘TRANSIT’ – all performed at Go Dance, Theatre Royal. She directed ‘Shift’ for the Performance Company, also for Go Dance and at the Merchant City Festival.
Kelly delivers regular workshops and education projects for Indepen-dance, this includes facilitating CPD in inclusive dance for school teachers and other arts practitioners.
As a freelancer, Kelly has worked for many other organisations, some include; Local Councils Active Schools, Y-Dance, Scottish Ballet and Dance House Glasgow. In 2010, Kelly was chosen and performed at the Closing Ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
For the past 3 years, alongside her dance work, Kelly has been studying for a BSc in Adult Nursing at the University of the West of Scotland, where she will become a registered staff nurse in October 2018 once graduating.
Danielle Banks – Office and Finance Manager
Danielle has a background in community and visual arts and has produced a number of creative projects and events based in and outwith Glasgow, focused on place making, young people, the environment, partnership working, volunteering and mental well-being. She has also worked on interdisciplinary journeys to remote locations internationally. Danielle has a keen interest in dance and finds the programmes at Indepen-dance overwhelmingly inspiring. She hopes working in the team will allow her to contribute to good things for both the disability communities and for innovation in the arts.
Juliet has a BA Honours degree in Dance and Drama, and for the past 25 years she has enjoyed a rich and varied career in arts administration, producing and managing public art projects and theatre and dance productions with: Forced Entertainment, Artsadmin, Drake Music Project, London, NoLimits Physical Theatre Company for adults with learning disabilities, Sunderland and Giant Productions. She relocated to Scotland in October 2000 after training with Rethink (The National Schizophrenia Charity) as Fundraising Officer at their HQ in Kingston-Upon-Thames.
“I have a particularly special relationship with Indepen-dance, because Karen brought me to Scotland after meeting her at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1999. I worked and performed with Indepen-dance from 2001-2006, re-joining the Company again as Fundraiser in May 2014”.
Bejal Desai – Administrator
Leah Miller – Bookkeeper
Board of Directors
Indepen-dance is governed by a board of directors. We currently have 6 board members who meet on a quarterly basis throughout the year. Our current board members are:
Mairi Brackenridge – Chair
“I have been involved in social work for over 30 years. Part of the philosophy that has informed my work has been to support the integration of individuals into society who experience disadvantage and discrimination.
I took early retirement in December 2009 . Immediately prior to that I had a responsibility for adult services. During that time I led a best value review reviewing care at home support services for individuals with learning disability. One of the outcomes of that has been to promote more opportunity for independence and integration with community facilities. The lessons from this have been used to consider how day services are developed. I was responsible for developing the learning disability strategy and actively involved service users in the discussions about service development. As part of that we actively engaged with other services in the community recognising how important that is to developing an integrated approach and reducing stigma and discrimination in the community”.
Irene Tweedie – Treasurer
After 12 years as Head of Finance, Property and Business Affairs, Irene left BBC Scotland in July 2006.
Educated at Stirling University, Irene is a mathematics graduate who taught in secondary schools before moving to industry and training as a Chartered Management Accountant. She gained broad experience working in London in the contracting and oil exploration industries then returned to Scotland to work in silicon glen before spending 6 years with Price Waterhouse as a management consultant. Irene has a proven track record in strategic planning and building and leading teams. The most notable initiatives which she was involved with were the BBC’s response to Devolution and BBC Scotland’s Property strategy which has resulted in the new Headquarters building at Pacific Quay. Irene lives in Bothwell and is on the boards of 2 charities which work with learning disabled people: ProjectAbility and Indepen-dance.
Di originally qualified as an advanced skills dance teacher having trained at the Laban studio [Weybridge] and taught in schools for over 30 years. She moved on to work for Creative Partnerships [Arts Council England] national funding stream that developed partnerships between artists and schools. She project managed long term dance residencies with UK companies including: Motionhouse Dance Theatre, V Tol, Jiving Lindy Hoppers and Dundee Rep Theatre Artists. She describes herself as a “divergent thinker” who has trained supported and developed many young people entering the creative industries. Commissioned as educational consultant to co-write Indepen-dance integrated schools strategy in 2010 for the SAC Learn fund, Diane visited our Company, spent time with the dance community and established quality relationships. She is delighted to have an opportunity to work with this Company further.
Clare has been a solicitor in Glasgow for approximately 31 years . Educated at Glasgow University she spent 16 years in the private sector , latterly as a law firm partner , before moving into the public sector.
Her professional responsibilities have included the provision of specialist legal advice including training on such matters as governance in local government , Data Protection and Freedom of Information, EU procurement law, property law , Equalities legislation and contracts . She was a District Court Assessor for a considerable number of years . In addition she has particularly wide experience in rail and bus related transport projects including the Partick Interchange , Glasgow Airport Rail Link and Glasgow Subway modernisation projects. She has a longstanding interest in the arts and in issues relating to inclusion and social justice. Her involvement with Indepen-dance affords her the opportunity to pursue both these areas of interest.
Susan has been a lecturer in Social Work at the University of Dundee since 2007, a role which has included Programme Director, MSc Applied Professional Studies and working closely with the university’s carer and user group. She has a MA (Hons) and PhD from the University of St Andrews, the focus of her PhD was on geographies of disability. This initial research led to disability, difference and inclusion becoming fundamental to her subsequent teaching and research at the universities of St Andrews, Edinburgh and the Open University. Susan has a background in contemporary dance and is beginning to integrate her early roots in dance into current research projects on disability and inclusive arts. This has led to her connection with Indepen-dance and the opportunity to work with an innovative inclusive dance company.
And Elizabeth Catterson, David Flavell, and Eve Mutso.
Indepen-dance is currently looking to recruit new board members. If you are interested in joining our board, please contact us at email@example.com