Meet the Team

Meet the ambitious team striving to make dance even more accessible across the UK

Click here to meet the Trustees

Click here to meet the Volunteers

Click Here to meet the Dance Sport Technical Team 

Selina Johnson – Senior Inclusive Dance Practioner

sj.jpgI started dance at the age of 2 years and have never stopped since! I went on to study for my teaching qualifications At Bristol School of Dance and The Judith Hockaday school of dance where I gained qualifications in AISTD Ballet, Tap, Modern and disco freestyle, AIDTA Ballet, Tap and Modern, BTDA Ballet and RAD TC Ballet, ISTD Intermediate National and also Gained LAMDA ALAM.

After graduating I went on to perform for 10 years around the world covering a wide variety of shows including lead principle Vienna Festival Ballet with English National Ballet, Principal lead with The Boyfriend on tour, Operas, Pantomimes, Cruise ships, film credits The Remains of the Day Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson to name but a few!!!

After performing I decided to go back into teaching where I have successfully operated my own performing arts schools and also teach in many schools delivering GCSE, A-Level dance and after school dance clubs. My latest project has been joining Para Dance UK. The aim of this organisation is to make dance accessible to all which I love. The most rewarding part of being a teacher is to see the happiness and joy dance brings to all and to make a difference to people’s lives of all ages and ability.

In Summary! “A creative caring Dance Teacher who specialises in working with young children and adults helping them to explore within to release their creative inner selves. The best part about teaching is sharing the journey whilst progressing and achieving beyond both myself and the pupil.”

Claire Tracey – Dance Activity Manager

pic-CT.jpgI started dancing aged 2 doing ballet and tap, and changed to Ballroom and Latin when I was 5. After teaching within the dance school and at local after school clubs, I became qualified aged 18 with the IDTA with an Associate Freestyle Disco and then went on to obtain my Ballroom and Latin Associates. 

I also achieved a BA HONS in Professional Dance Development at Bucks New Uni in conjunction with the IDTA, where the modules were based around having a dance school business; including law, leadership, management, finance and choreography. While on the degree course I also studied with Allyson Cawood and achieved my Dance Exercise Diploma. 

In addition to my passion for dance, I am also a qualified Youth Worker and have loved working with SEND children and young people and have also worked with older people doing intergenerational work and as a Personal Assistant as I love organising! 

After a friend brought to my attention that there wasn’t any inclusive dance for her daughter to attend, in August 2016 I attended the Level 2 Wheelchair Instructor course and became affiliated with Para Dance UK. This brought my passions of dance and inclusivity together and the rewarding feeling from teaching inclusive dance and Para Dance Sport is the best thing in the world! I have done two other Para Dance courses too and love to continuously learn and spread the joy of dancing.

Samantha Parry – Project Manager  

Samantha-Pic.jpgI started working for Para Dance UK in 2020 as a Project Manager.  

Educated to degree level and specialising in administration, project, events, and database management. I have over a decade of experience in working within the Education sector both nationally and internationally. 

In 2018 I was awarded a Contribution to the Wider Community award for a project that I had volunteered my time to. It was through doing this work that I realised that I wanted to work within the charity sector and contribute my skills and expertise to help make a meaningful difference to people’s lives.  

I am a strong believer in the power of dance and have seen first-hand the many benefits that dance can have in transforming lives. I am proud to be working for a charity that champions inclusivity and is working hard to unite, uplift and inspire people through showing how Everyone Can Dance.   

Away from the office I enjoy music, traveling to new places, and am a keen portrait artist  

Arundhati Verma – Project Officer

arundhati-photo-2.jpgI was offered the wonderful opportunity to work for Para Dance UK as a project administrator in November 2021. After working as a STEM ambassador at university and being involved in delivering workshops to local school children, I realised that I like being part of projects which help people learn something new or improve their knowledge/skills as well as aim to make a meaningful difference to their lives, no matter how big or small. 

Whilst studying for my chemical engineering degree, I learned about project management and business strategy delivery and there were many aspects of the modules which I found interesting. Therefore, I plan to use the knowledge I have gained throughout the years to contribute to the projects at Para Dance UK. I am also prepared to learn a lot from this role as everyone constantly works together as a strong team to provide inclusive dancing for all! 

Dancing is an activity which everyone should have the opportunity to pursue and enjoy it in whatever form they want regardless of their disability. I love how Para Dance UK contributes to this forward-thinking goal of inclusivity and encourages people to be themselves and be proud of their achievements. This is why I am excited about working for this role as I like the idea of people contributing to a purpose that benefits other people, where they are able to enjoy themselves, unite and uplift one another which otherwise may not be possible without this great charity. 

Katie Goodwin – National Representative 

Katie-Goodwin.jpgI first became involved with Para Dance UK in 2016, when I joined the newly formed West Oxfordshire Wheelchair Dance. 

I have now competed in three National Championships, which I love.  I do like to have something to work towards.  When I found Para Dance I rediscovered my love for performing arts and dance, which I had from an early age. 

I studied Performing Arts at the National Star College.  I gained a BTEC First Diploma and a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts.  While at college I worked with Trestle, and inclusive dance company. 

I try not to let my disability stop me from living my best life. 

I now feel that I would like to give something back to Para Dance UK within this role and keep the sparkle in wheelchair dance 

Click here to contact Katie

Julia Eacott – Board Secretary 

Julia.jpgI joined Para Dance UK as Board Secretary in September 2020, to assist in the smooth running of PD-UK, using the skills I have acquired working as an Executive Assistant for several large corporate businesses.

Inspired by the Paralympics of 2012, I wanted to get involved with something of the same ilk– and was therefore delighted when I discovered PD UK.  I love its ethos that ‘Anyone can dance! ‘ Having a background in dance (ballet, contemporary, jazz), I felt that this charity was the perfect fit for me. 

Having lived in the Vendee region of France, I am a complete Francophile.  I love cooking and going to Zumba in an attempt to burn off those calories!  I also enjoy reading slice ‘em and dice’em books – when I can find the time. 

Click here to contact Julia

 

Martyn McCarthy – Independent Chair  

Martyn-McCarthy-1.jpgBy training, I am a solicitor. My career has afforded me the experience of both private practice and being employed as an in-house counsel. Throughout my life, I’ve endeavoured to ‘put something back’ into my community, whether that community is the one where I live or my professional community. I am genuinely humbled to be able to ‘put something back’ into the community using my professional, interpersonal and innate ability to reach fair decisions with an inclusive, life-changing organisation, like Para Dance UK.