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Katie Ahmed Katie Ahmed, Founder & Principal

Katie started her dancing career by training at the world renowned Arts Educational School, Tring Park, graduating with a Distinction in Dance. Her professional dancing career has taken her around the world, including New York, Vienna and London where she performed and choreographed with jazz and modern dance companies.

Even when dancing professionally, Katie always took quality choreography and teaching work around the world. In America, Katie choreographed at the musical theatre school, Stage Door Manor, recreating shows such as, Pippin, The World Goes Round, Fiddler on the Roof, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cabaret and West Side Story . Preparing the students for auditions and future work. When dancing for the Marina shark company in Vienna, she started classes for adults who went on to take part in numerous shows.

Over the last 25 years, Katie has taught and choreographed jazz and ballet at some of the top vocational dance and musical theatre schools in London, including the Central School of Ballet, the Arts Educational School, Pineapple Dance Studios and Dance Works. Katie's students have gone on to have successful careers in West End theatres and similarly recognised musical theatre venues around the world.

Since moving to Sussex, Katie has taught local dancers, successfully entering them into ballet and modern exams, choreographing for school shows and coaching for special events.

The idea for SYDC is to give local, keen and talented young dancers an insight into how inspiring it can be to work as a team, create something original, tell stories through movement, to gain confidence in themselves and to experience the thrill of the performance.

What Katie has experienced through her professional life, she wishes to pass this magical vocation on to the next generation.

Sophie Huntley Sophie Huntley, Choreographer

Sophie has 11 years dance experience. She qualified in her ISTD and RAD exams with Distinction in Ballet, Tap, Modern and Jazz and has also studied Contemporary Dance. She has also been trained in singing and acting and has a particular flair for choreography. Sophie is currently in the process of completing her studies to DDE level.

Sophie has lots of performing experience in professional pantomimes, a cruise ship tour, London performances and theatre productions. She teaches Modern, Jazz, Street, Tap and Ballet at 3 local dance schools and offers Ballet and Jazz classes at Ashdown House Preparatory School. She loves to teach and pass on her love of dance to her students.

Kevan Allan Kevan Allen, Patron

Kevan is one of the most dynamic contributors to choreography today and his extensive body of work can be seen across the board, with major recording artists (Kylie Minogue, Tom Jones), television (So You Think You Can Dance, Americas Got Talent, Over the Rainbow), theatre (Jesus Christ Superstar – The Arena Tour, Chess in Concert, The Night of 1000 Voices), commercials (Sony, KP Skips), corporate industry (Nike, Walt Disney, P&G, Toyota), film (13 Going on 30, Chicken Little), and live special events (Rugby World Cup, The International Trend Vision Awards), while crossing all genres of dance.

Aaron Francis Aaron Francis

Aaron trained professionally at Laine Theatre Arts and is currently Head of Dance at CPA Studios, Romford. Theatre Credits include: Chicago UK and International tour, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - London Palladium, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake International tour - playing Big Swan and Private Secretary, Phantom of the Opera - Her Majesty's Theatre and 25th Anniversary Royal Albert Hall, Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands International tour - playing Brad Covitt and Gearald Monroe, White Christmas UK Tour (Dance Captain).

Film and Television credits include: Finding Neverland, Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary - playing Policeman in the Pit.

Choreography credits include: Cinderella (Crawley), Jack and The Beanstalk (Sheffield), Cinderella (Sheffield), Jack and The Beanstalk (Lowestoft), Born to Shine (ITV, Made 2 Move Dance Company), The Wiz (Fly High Productions), Soprano Security (London), A Night of Dirty Dancing UK Tour.

Laura Farley

Laura started dancing at the age of 5 at The Deborah Lamb Theatre Arts School in Uckfield. At 16, Laura continued her dance training at The Masters Performing Arts Collage for 3 years.

Laura's credits as a professional dancer include: The Great British Royal Variety Show, Strictly Railway and Wella Hair Show, Germany. Pantomimes include: Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Beauty & The Beast and Snow White. Other events include: NHS Awards Ceremonym Schwarzkopf Hair Show, Ireland, Hannah Montanna Movie Premiere, Odeon London and West End Show, 'Thriller Live' - World and Europe Tour.

Laura has been teaching and choreographing for 4 years and loves inspiring and helping her students in the Arts.

Leanne King Leanne King

Leanne trained at the Arts Educational School in London. She has both choreographed for and performed with many small companies and has choreographer credits in television and film. Leanne teaches Contemporary to Central's first year students and oversees second year choreography including the collaborative choreographic project (Design for Dance) with Central St Martin's School of Art & Design. Leanne has both national and international teaching/choreographic credits to her name and having taught at The Royal Academy of Dance, Arts Educational School and the Royal Ballet School, Leanne is now Course Development Co-ordinator for the Senior School at Central and also continues to teach open classes at Danceworks.

Recent credits include the conception and choreography for production company Fait Accompli for the London 2012 Olympics, a sell-out season at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a one off performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Most recently Leanne has coached and choreographed for two students at the Central school of Ballet throughout their journey to the contemporary category finals of BBC Young Dancer 2015.

Emma Green Emma Green

Emma comes to us direct from current West End Musical Theatre and Dance productions.

As well as working in TV programs, in the West End Emma has been a featured dancer and ensemble in Singing in the Rain; 42nd Street; Grease; Spamalot; Shall We Dance with Adam Cooper; Guys & Dolls with Carlos Acosta; and most recently, Wicked.

Emma is also a co-principal for The Brighton Academy vocational college.

SYD are delighted to have Emma on board or 2016.

The SYDC team are all CRB-checked and registered chaperones