Our Team
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Beverley Glean - MBE

Founder, Artistic Director and CEO of IRIE! dance theatre

Lecturer in Caribbean Dance

Founder, Artistic Director and CEO of IRIE! dance theatre Beverley has been working in the field of dance, in particular African Peoples Dance for over 20 years. Trained at the Laban Centre London (Trinity Laban), The Jamaica School of Dance and The Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba; she has continued her training and development in dance & culture by working alongside artists from West Africa, Europe, America, and the Caribbean. Beverley founded IRIE! dance theatre in 1985. The company pioneered the move towards representing and promoting reggae music and its movement nuances on stage. Over the years, IRIE! has grown in stature. As well as its touring dance theatre company, it has developed a much sought after education & community outreach programme.

 

Since 1992 Beverley has developed the relationship between IRIE! dance theatre and City and Islington College, delivering workshops, lectures and performance projects. Since 2000 she has co- directed a number of performance/research projects in partnership with the College and IRIE! dance theatre including; Connecting vibes Dance Company and the Dance and Diversity project, funded by NESTA and ACE to investigate the place of African and Caribbean dance within performance and education She has worked to develop the new BA(Hons) Diverse Dance Styles, launched in 2018. In 2016 Beverley received a Lifetime Achievement Award from ADAD and in 2017 was awarded an MBE for services to the promotion of African and Caribbean Dance.

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Rosie Lehan

Director of Accredited Training

Lecturer in Choreography

Trained at Laban Centre (Trinity Laban) BA (Hons) Dance and Middlesex University MA Performing Arts. Working with Beverley Glean since 2000 Rosie has worked on a diverse range of projects, including Connectingvibes Dance Company for young dancers and the Dance and Diversity project, an action-based research project originally funded by NESTA and ACE to investigate the place of African and Caribbean dance. The Project ongoing since 2004, included a research trip to the USA, Jamaica, Cuba and Ghana. 

 

Rosie worked as a Dance Lecturer at City and Islington College working on partnership projects with organisations such as Creative Partnerships, conducting  research projects and establishing links in the USA and China.

 

Together with Beverley they created and subsequently led The Foundation Degree in Dance and in 2018 successfully launched the BA(Hons) Diverse Dance Styles validated by University of Roehampton.

Eszter Ivan

Student Counsellor

I have always been passionate about helping people to facilitate changes in their lives and about dance, when I felt words are just not enough to express and process. My approach incorporates reconnecting with our body`s wisdom and using it as a resource. 
 

I originally trained as a psychologist in 2008. My interest in the mind body connection led to doing further training in integrative hypnotherapy in 2012 and later in dance movement psychotherapy in 2015. One of my areas of expertise is in working with grief, and I am trained in the grief recovery method in 2017. I currently provide therapeutic coaching and grief recovery work for adults in private practice, and work as a student counsellor for IRIE! Dance Theatre Company. I am also interested in creative and embodied approaches in the treatment of medically unexplained symptoms and I am currently doing a part-time PhD in psychology at Roehampton University.

 

For more info:eszterivan.co.uk

Veronika Koleva

Lecturer in Contemporary Dance

Veronika is a dance practitioner who works with students and artists across London. She is passionate about technique, choreography and movement exploration.

 

Veronika grew up in Bulgaria where she first started training. She arrived in London in 2011 to continue her training at London Metropolitan University and IRIE! dance theatre where she trained for the first time in African and Caribbean dance as well as Ballet and Contemporary. She went on to complete her degree at Kingston University.

 

From 2011- 2013 Veronika was a member of Connectingvibes* Dance company.

In 2014 herself and a fellow company member went on to set up their own dance company, ‘Bokatialo’

 

She has taught dance courses in schools and sixth form colleges and  currently teaches the UAL Performing Arts Qualification at The ArtsXchange College. She is also working on projects and delivering workshops with Kinetika Bloco.

 

Currently completing a postgraduate diploma, Arts Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Northern School of Contemporary Dance) she is engaging with research  that explores the balance between technique and the joy of dancing in a contemporary class.

Nina Haworth-Hurd

Lecturer in Contemporary Dance Technique, Education

Nina teaches the Contemporary and Urban Module and brings extensive experience of teaching dance and leading on Dance curriculum in the higher education sector, to the course. She has a passion for training young artists and currently leads the teaching modules, supervising year 3 students as they engage with teaching with a diverse range of client groups

She has an established reputation for enhancing quality through implementing inspired teaching methods which she has developed through practice as a Contemporary dance artist, teacher and lecturer.

Diverse training in Dance Techniques, a PGCE in Dance and an MA Choreography from Middlesex University make her an invaluable part of the BA (hons) Diverse Dance Styles team!

Nina has a special talent for creating exciting and thought provoking choreography and is skilled in developing and maintaining links with creative industry networks and individuals.

Nii Kwartey Owoo

Lecturer in African Dance

Nii Kwartey Owoo is the director of Miishejeloi Dance Theatre (Accra/London), Miishe African Music and Dance (Leeds), Asasaa Ensemble a Creative Associate at The Geraldine Connor Foundation (Leeds).

 

Originally from Accra, Ghana, Nii draws on his Ga heritage, including spiritual beliefs, storytelling and symbolism, creating original choreography that blends tradition with current global dance styles. Nii grew up in a traditional royal household and was given the title Custodian of Culture by his elders at the age of 12; he incorporates this knowledge of West African culture and music in his work.

Dr. 'H' Patten

Lecturer in Caribbean Dance

Dr ‘H’ Patten is an experienced performer, choreographer, filmmaker, and university lecturer. A former principle artist in Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble and Artistic Director of Koromanti Arts and ‘H’ Patten Dance Theatre Co. His international reputation in African and Caribbean arts spans 36 years. Patten’s publications include ‘Feel De Riddim, Feel De Vibes’ in Adair, C. and Burt, R. (2016) ‘British Dance: Black Routes’ (Routledge), and ‘Dancehall: A Continuity of Spiritual, Corporeal Practice in Jamaican Dance’ in Akinleye, A. (2018) Narratives in Black British Dance: Embodied practices’ (Palgrave McMillan).

 

Dr. Patten recently completed his PhD at Canterbury Christ Church University (UK) entitled The Spirituality of Reggae Dancehall Dance Vocabulary: a Spiritual, Corporeal Practice in Jamaican Dance. Patten’s awards include the Jamaican High Commission 50th Anniversary Award for Arts, Culture and Entertainment (2012).

Dr. Patten is a tutor in Dance of the African Diaspora. Co-developing and delivering classes relating specifically to African and Caribbean contemporary and traditional dance practices, critically grounded in DAD theory, cultural and dance analysis and also an associate Lecturer in Dance of the African Diaspora (Kingston University). 

Leroy 'FX' Dias Dos Santos

Lecturer in Contemporary and Urban Dance Technique

Leroy 'FX' Dias Dos Santos is a passionate dance artist who continues to perfect his craft as a hybrid performer and choreographer. Born in Angola and raised in North London, Leroy was inspired by Michael Jackson and his cousins to pursue dance from a young age.

In 2007, he graduated from Middlesex University studying Dance Performance, where he developed his ballet, contemporary and jazz technique. Throughout his career Leroy has worked with HM The Queen, Prince Charles, Jermaine Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Jason Statham, Will.I.AM, Jessie J, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Leona Lewis, Sugababes, Aston Merrygold and choreographers such as Jermaine Brown, Rafael Bonachela, Shobana Jesaysingh, Mavin Khoo as well as The English National Ballet.

Leroy performed in theatre productions 'Carmen Jones' (2007) at The Royal Festival Hall, 'La Travaita' (2007) and 'Aida' (2008) conducted under The Welsh National Opera. He is also a member of the street dance sensation Flawless, who were finalists on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. They featured in movies such as ‘Street Dance 3D’ 1 and 2 by Vertigo films (2009) and have currently been touring their new theatre production ‘Chase the Dream 2’ (2018-2019) across the UK and internationally.

As well as performing, he has also had the opportunity to choreograph and collaborate with Susie Mckenna on ‘Mandem On The Wall’ Live Show at Hackney Empire (2015) and ‘Macbeth’ with Twist Theatre Company (2015-2016), ‘Hosea’s Girl’ (2015) a Hip Hop spoken word play written by Anastasia Osei- Kuffour.

Leroy currently teaches dance technique and choreography across different sectors and has had the opportunity to work with different dance institutions such as Urdang Academy, Middlesex University, IRIE! Dance Theatre, Frantic Assembly, Dance College London, Wac Arts, Springs Dance Company and Hertford Regional College, which has all played a significant role to his teaching. Nurturing the younger generation and mentoring them through dance is a key part of Leroy’s teaching and philosophy

Rosie Wilson-Sidlauskas

Lecturer in Urban Dance

Rosie Rose - a triplet born and raised in Northampton, England was introduced to dance at an early age to give her and her siblings a creative outlet. Later in her teens she discovered Hip-hop and African Dance and relocated to London continuing her dance and drama training at IRIE! Dance Theatre & WAC Arts.

After graduating Rosie worked as a freelance artist working numerous projects involving creative collaborations, multidisciplinary training, performance and teaching work across London, New York, France, Denmark, Senegal and The Netherlands. Performing extensively with Myself UK Dance Company and The Locksmiths Dance Co. In 2019 she co-produced, directed and performed ‘Pramkicker’ a two-hander theatre piece performed at The Hope Theatre, Islington.

Rosie was thrilled to reunify with IRIE! dance theatre in 2018 where she lectures in Urban Dance specialising in 70’s funk styles also she encourages students to learn the contexts of where the hip-hop styles originated. In 2021 she joined Rambert’s Teaching Faculty and the new initiative: The Kieran Taylor Scholarship Trust as a mentor.

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BEATRICE GHEZZI

Lecturer in Ballet

Beatrice is a London-based Italian teacher and dancer. In 2016 she completed her MA in Contemporary Dance at the LCDS. She has been teaching ballet and contemporary dance classes for the past 8 years in several vocational and community settings. In particular, she has been working for Balle4life® and the Charity Move Into Wellbeing®, teaching adult ballet and contemporary classes at all levels and movement classes for people living with Parkinson’s.

 

Her teaching emphasises coordination, timing, use of space and dynamics. The main aim is fluidity and flavour, with a research and care for movements transitions as opposed to aesthetic forms.

 

Alongside her teaching, Beatrice continues to perform for choreographers in projects and independent work. In 2018 she created, alongside her colleague Orley Quick, BOTH Dance Classes, a teaching initiative that offers dance classes to adult learners in South East London.

 

More information here: www.bothdanceclasses.com

ORLEY QUICK

Lecturer in Ballet

Orley is a London-based dance artist and teacher. She is a key promoter of life-long learning, revelling in teaching those who think it is too late to start dancing.

 

She has taught dance in a range of vocational and community settings for many years including FE colleges, universities and adult colleges, teaching contemporary dance, improvisation, ballet, choreographic approaches and dance theory. Her teaching style is playful, sensory and energised. She loves to work with people from a range of backgrounds to explore the richness of varied approaches together in one space. Orley also performs and choreographs, with a particular interest in collaboration. Her choreographic work is rooted in social commentary and relationships. 

As well as teaching ballet at IRIE, Orley teaches adult dance classes at City Lit in Covent Garden. In 2018, alongside her colleague Beatrice Ghezzi, she created BOTH Dance Classes, a teaching initiative that offers dance classes to adult learners in South East London.

More information here: www.bothdanceclasses.com

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Charles James

Musician

Charles James is a professional African drummer, with extensive experience and knowledge in Afro Caribbean traditional music. Charles was a former member of Ekome Dance Company in Bristol and was a founder member of Adzido Dance Ensemble in 1984 - 2003.

 

In addition Charles has performed for a number of theatre productions such as Chesa, Chesa and Yaa Asantewaa to name but a few. He has toured internationally throughout his career in Europe, Africa, Canada   and the Caribbean performing, delivering workshops

Charles has worked alongside some great artist & directors such as Dr H Patten, Jackie Guy, Lincoln Allerton, Judith Palmer MBE etc delivering African & Caribbean foundation degree programmes in Surrey University and schools etc.  

Charles works with IRIE dance theatre on the BA(Hons) Diverse Dance Styles.

Ras Happa is a cultural icon in the field of Caribbean drumming.  Born in  Jamaica, Ras Happa specialises in the countries traditional drum rhythms such as nyahbinghi, mento, kumina and  bruckins and relates them to the popular dance rhythms found in reggae beats today, he is also versed in traditional African rhythms.

From the early 80’s till 2006, Ras Happa worked at the Edna Manley School for the Visual Arts in Jamaica. For over 10 years he played as a principal drummer in L’acadco and Stella Morris Dance Ensemble which has taken him to Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. His career has taken him into the area of film and TV productions including ‘Deep Roots’, a documentary on the development of reggae music in Jamaica; ‘One Love’ movie starring Kymani Marley and music video with Shabba Ranks and Eddie Murphy. 

Since 2006 Ras Happa has been living and working in London.  In summer 2007 he worked as lead musician at the Royal National Theatre in their production ‘Emperor Jones’.  In 2012 he performed and carried out drumming workshops at the UK WOMAD Music Festival. University of Guildford, Surrey, as an associate drumming tutor.

Since 2008 Ras Happa has worked for IRIE! dance theatre firstly on the Foundation degree and since 2018 on the BA Course, as an accompanist for classes, contributing to performance events and leading workshops focused on Caribbean songs and rhythms.  Ras Happa runs successful community drumming classes at IRIE! as part of the Education programme.

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Oginga Makonnen (aka Ras Happa)

Musician