DanceWest Announce New Trustees And New Projects Including Covid-19 Recovery Programme Following Funding | The Fan Carpet

DanceWest Announce New Trustees And New Projects Including Covid-19 Recovery Programme Following Funding


07 April 2021

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AS DANCEWEST RECEIVES FUNDING FROM THE CULTURE RECOVERY FUND, THE PIONEERING COMMUNITY DANCE ORGANISATION ANNOUNCES LEADERS FROM THE MEDIA, THEATRE AND HEALTH INDUSTRIES TO JOIN AS NEW BOARD OF TRUSTEES

FORMER EVENING STANDARD AND THE INDEPENDENT’S VIDEO CHIEF MARS EL BROGY, FRANTIC ASSEMBLY’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KERRY WHELAN AND WELL-BEING COACH JON CHU WILL BRING INVALUABLE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE TO DANCEWEST

DANCEWEST WILL DELIVER A COVID-19 RECOVERY PROGRAMME FOR ADULTS IN HOUNSLOW AND BRENT AND A PROGRAMME FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN FULHAM.

DanceWest is delighted to announce the appointment of three new trustees joining its dynamic board; former Evening Standard and The Independent video chief Mars El Brogy, Frantic Assembly’s Executive Director Kerry Whelan and well-being coach Jon Chu.  

Having recently been awarded funding from the Culture Recovery Fund, the appointments come at an important time for the organisation, which worked tirelessly to support local people throughout the pandemic.  When lockdown began DanceWest were quick to adapt and respond to the communities’ needs with activities that supported physical fitness and social connection.  They ensured that no one was left behind, offering 1-2-1 zoom training, tech support and a DVD service where classes were professionally filmed, edited and shared with local people who could not get online. 

 

 

Between May 2020 and February 2021, 12,000 local people took part in DanceWest activities enabling the community to remain physically active and creatively challenged at home.  DanceWest will run a Covid-19 recovery programme for adults age +55 in Brent (April - Dec 2021) and Hounslow (May 2021- April 2022).  Other upcoming projects include Dance in the Parks this July/August and a holiday programme for children and young people in Fulham running in August and supported by DEBK charity.

The mission of DanceWest is to engage people of all ages and abilities in high-quality dance activity and to improve the mental, physical health and wellbeing of all people through dance. They have pioneered high-quality dance programmes since 2015 offering a creative and holistic response to social issues including poor health. DanceWest have a track record of supporting vulnerable people to take part in physical activity, from isolated older adults to young people with disabilities. Engaging with 36,000 people each year aged 1-100 years through 70 weekly classes and workshops.   Through their work they support disabled and learning-disabled people to access dance as well as older people and the marginalised including disabled children, older adults and low-income families.

 

 

Anya Todd, Chair of the Trustees said “The new trustees bring a breadth of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to DanceWest. They will continue the support, legacy and vision to provide free and accessible health and wellbeing programmes in West London’.

Rosie Whitney-Fish Chief Executive and Founder of DanceWest, said “The new appointments will strengthen the organisation as we enter a transformative period for the charity. Mars, Kerry and Jon bring excellent skills and experience to help steer the charity as we develop and diversify our services. We are also delighted to have received the Culture Recovery Fund ensuring that we can continue to offer a creative response to social issues communities face in West London. We believe dance is for everyone. It should be accessible to all..

 

 

Kerry Whelan said “I am thrilled to be joining the Board of DanceWest at such an exciting stage of the organisation’s growth.  DanceWest provides a vital service to communities in West London, of all ages, to engage with dance for health, well-being, education and recreation and is needed now more than ever. I look forward to working with Rosie and her team and my fellow Trustees to help shape strategy and develop relationships with donors and funders.”

Jon Chu said “DanceWest programmes enable everyone to move and improve their physical and mental health. Studies have even shown dance to be more than twice as effective as reading and more than 75 times more effective than cycling, swimming or golf in reducing the risk of dementia in later life. I am very proud to be a DanceWest Trustee. I look forward to supporting DanceWest to grow.”

Mars El Brogy said “Enabling participants and audiences to engage with DanceWest digitally will be a huge importance for the organisation as it navigates supporting audiences post-pandemic. I am proud to be bringing my skills to the board of trustees and enabling the community to engage with DanceWest’s work digitally.”

 

 

New Trustee Biographies

Mars El Brogy: Mars is the Director of Productions for Islam Channel (broadcasting in 140 territories around the world). The former Head of ESI Media, Mars worked across London Live, Evening Standard and The Independent to deliver original video production. Mars is a contributing writer for the Telegraph, Evening Standard and the Independent and the former Content Producer for BBC and Entertainment Development Producer for BBC. Mars is patron of the National Student Television Association, an award in her name 'Mars El Brogy Award for Multimedia Content' is given out every year. 

Kerry Whelan: Kerry is the Executive Director and joint Chief Executive of Frantic Assembly, one of the UK's most successful and best loved theatre companies. Prior to that he was Executive Director of multi award-winning dance company, BalletBoyz for 12 years. He has over twenty-five years’ experience in the cultural and creative industries and has worked as a theatre producer, venue manager, programmer, arts funder, consultant and advisor.  He has produced projects in theatre and film including international tours and projects in the USA, Australia, Africa, India and Europe, shows at Sadler’s Wells, The Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Opera House, The National Theatre and The Roundhouse and produced films for the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky Arts including the BalletBoyz feature film Young Men which won Rose D’Or and Golden Prague Awards in 2017.

Jon Chu: Jon is the former Course Leader for Dance at Kingston University, he has led institutional, departmental strategy as well as championing Dance provision in Higher Education for twelve years. Jon trained at the Rambert School and performed nationally and internationally with companies including Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He is a qualified Personal Trainer and Sports Massage Therapist and led curricular delivery on Dance Science and Medicine, Anatomy and Physiology and Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation. Jon now leads a Wellbeing coaching practice for both the Dance and Health & Fitness sectors.

 

 

DanceWest Board of Trustees

Anya Todd – Chair: Anya holds an MA from Oxford University in Languages and an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS (The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London). Anya started her career in the Corporate Responsibility Team at KPMG, with responsibilities including the UK donations, skilled volunteering and social inclusion programmes as well as management of KPMG's multi-award-winning global pro bono programme. Anya then managed the Community programme for Sainsbury's, with responsibility for the growth of Sainsbury's food donation programme and an increase in customer engagement in the Local Charity scheme. Anya also has experience in the charity sector, having held positions such as Head of Quality and Expansion and subsequently Head of International Volunteering at Restless Development, a youth-led international development charity focused on putting young people at the forefront of change and development in their own countries. Anya has since returned to KPMG as Senior Corporate Responsibility Manager, and oversees KPMG’s work in the areas of volunteering, pro bono, place-based regional CR work, Board-level volunteering, KPMG’s national charity partnership with the NSPCC and reporting. Anya is passionate about the responsible business agenda, community engagement, youth leadership and empowerment and social inclusion.

Maria Polydorou – Treasurer: Maria is an Assistant Manager Audit Corporates at KPMG a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Originally from Cyprus Maria spent two years with Macintyre Hudson in the Not-for-profit (N4P) department with the opportunity to collaborate with large scale charities, N4P organisations as well as schools and Academies supporting with bookkeeping, accounts preparation, independent examination and audit services. Juggling between work and life Maria says ‘dance has played a pivotal role in developing my self-confidence and physical and mental health throughout my teenage years I am delighted to be the treasurer of a charity that promotes inclusivity and access for everyone in the community to participate in dance’.

Susan Whiddington CBE – Trustee: Susan is the founding director of Mousetrap Theatre Projects, a theatre education charity dedicated to creating opportunities for disadvantaged young people and young people with special needs to attend outstanding theatre across London and participate in a range of creative learning projects to offer young people an opportunity to learn new skills, take risks, broaden horizons, be creative and raise aspirations.  Prior to this appointment, Susan was the Development Officer for the Society of London Theatre and Project Director for the Association of British Orchestras. Susan is the Vice-Chair of Action for Children’s Arts, an Advisory Board Member for Facing History and Ourselves, a member of the International Women’s Forum and a Fellow of the RSA.  Susan held the office of Chair of John Lyon’s Charity for 10 years (retiring in September 2020) and is a past Chair of Democrats Abroad UK.

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