Tutor Biographies

ARLINE BALMER, Dip.PE, B.Ed, MA (Arts in the Community)
Arline was taught the fundamentals of Laban’s work at the Ulster College of Physical Education and continued her learning with Helen Lewis, a Czechoslovakian dancer, teacher and choreographer, who had been taught by Milca Mayerova, one of Laban’s pupils, performing with Helen Lewis’s Modern Dance Group. She also completed the Laban Guild Stage 1 and Stage 2 Community Dance Leaders Courses. Arline taught dance and physical education for ten years at post-primary level and later the dance modules on a Performing Arts course at an FE College. At this time she was also a part-time lecturer in dance at the University of Ulster, and provided professional development courses in dance for primary and post-primary teachers. For five years she was one of the Youth Dance tutors for a youth dance network across Northern Ireland. Until 2009, Arline was the N. I. Education and Training Inspectorate’s specialist inspector of physical education, including dance. More recently, she has helped with the assessment of students on the Community Dance Leaders Courses in Ireland and has been the external examiner for the ‘Art of Dance’ module in ‘Creative Dance and Movement as a Tool in Health and Disability Programme validated by the University of Ulster.

MICHELLE CAHILL, Dip. Dance Theatre, Grad Dip Dance (UL)
Michelle is a graduate of TRINITY LABAN where she received her diploma in Dance Theatre. She completed the Laban Guild Stage 1 Certificate Course with Midland Arts in 2005 and was subsequently invited to participate in the Phoenix Project initiated and directed by Anna Carlisle along with tutors Walli Meier, Valerie Preston-Dunlop, Geraldine Stephenson and Warren Lamb. For the Laban Guild and Kildare Arts Services she has taught on two Stage 1 Laban Leadership Courses and for the Kildare Dance & Movement Summer Schools at NUI Maynooth 2007, 2011 and 2014. She also curated the summer school programme this year. Currently Michelle is on the faculty of Performing Arts, teaching dance techniques and choreography at Colásite Dhulaigh CFE and Marino College FE both in Dublin. She was a lecturer in advanced movement studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology from 2009-2012. This year Michelle has started running her own independent dance classes and composition workshops. As a Community Dance Artist, Michelle has worked with a large cross-section of the community for a number of local and National agencies including Dublin City Council, Laois Sports Partnership, Offaly Arts Office, The Per Cent for Arts Scheme and Monaghan Community Forum (Hands Together Project I). Most recently she was awarded a commission by Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown CoCo with Ailish Claffey to design and deliver a dance programme to over 50s in South County Dublin. As a performer, Michelle appeared in Anti-Capitalism: The Musical, directed by Deirdre Murphy for Galway Dance Days Festival 2014. Michelle sits on the board of Dance Ireland, the representative body for dance in Ireland.

ANNA CARLISLE MA.
Anna Carlisle is a freelance lecturer and choreographer specialising in Laban Studies and Dance Education. She was a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Ballet before training in Modern Dance at the Art of Movement Studio under Lisa Ullmann. She has taught extensively on the National and International circuits, specialising in Laban Studies, Choreography and Dance Education. She was a faculty member of Trinity/LABAN lecturing in Choreological Studies and Dance Analysis. Projects include the provision of Professional Development Courses for postgraduate dance students and research into Laban’s concept of Choreutics. DVD productions include Living Architecture, Rudolf Laban The Geometry of Dance and Mapping Space: Choreographic Resources for Dance Education. Together with Valerie Preston-Dunlop, Anna recently presented Living Architecture at the Laban Event in Ascona – the site of Laban’s first Summer School in Switzerland. Publications include the chapter on Laban’s Modern Educational Dance in The Laban Sourcebook, Ed. Dick McCaw. Routledge (2011). Anna is President of the Laban Guild and Chair of the Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund. She was awarded the MBE for Services to Dance in 2003.

AILISH CLAFFEY, BA(Hons) Dance Theatre (TRINITY LABAN), Theatre Directing (NUIM)
Ailish Claffey is a freelance dance artist, choreographer, director, dramaturg and performer. Dancer in Residence, Age Related Health Care Unit, The National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght Hospital (AMNCH), Dancer in Residence, McAuley Place. Naas, Kildare. Ailish continues her study at Trinity Laban (Specialist Diploma in Choreological Studies). Creating and performing new work in a collaborative capacity since 2007, Ailish has worked professionally with choreographers including Anneke Hansen Dance (NYC), Irish Modern Dance Theatre (Ire), Sara Rudner (NYC) and Daria Fain (NYC). Ailish’s choreographic work and collaborations have been performed internationally including New York, Boston, Pennsylvania, Canada, Sweden, Bulgaria & Scotland in addition to various national venues including The Project Arts Centre (Dublin) & The Firkin Crane (Cork). Having completed numerous artistic residencies both nationally and internationally, Ailish’s choreographic work has been performed as part of Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, Bealtaine, Kinsale Arts Festival, Green Ribbon Week and Abundance Festival (Sweden). Ailish’s work is supported by Dance Ireland, The Arts Council, Ireland and Culture Ireland. ailishclaffeydance.wordpress.com

WENDY HERMELIN, Cert. Ed.
Wendy is an experienced dance teacher, choreographer and textile artist. She has worked here and abroad in education and the community with a very wide range of ages for over thirty years. After being trained to use Laban’s principles as a dance teacher at Trent Park, Wendy taught in primary schools before becoming a support teacher for dance in Somerset. She co-ordinated and directed many dance performances, often with cross-curricular themes. She has also worked as a movement specialist on many youth drama plays, several of which were chosen to be performed at the south bank in London through National Connections – a youth drama festival run by the National Theatre. She has also directed and choreographed large group movement choirs for community groups, as well as having tutored on the LinC and Laban Guild courses for many years. She combines her dance teaching with developing her textile art, exhibiting her work in Dorset Arts Weeks, the Beaminster Festival and at various galleries in the South West in Dorset, Somerset, and Cornwall. She runs occasional Dancing into Elemental Art and Dancing Stitches workshops, linking the creative elements of various art disciplines to produce dances and artifacts, as well as regular community dance classes. Recently she ran a year long Arts Council funded history project, Threads of Memory Footprints of Time, with four primary schools and an adult community group, culminating in dance performances in which the performers wore costumes they had made and performed in front of large panels they had designed and stitched.

JANET LUNN, B.Ed.
Janet Lunn is a highly experienced dancer, teacher and choreographer. She studied Laban Dance from 12 years old at one of the few schools to offer it in the 1960’s. She gained a B.Ed at Leicester College, now De Montfort University, where she studied dance with Dr. Violet Bruce, a student of Rudolf Laban. She performed liturgical dances from a very early age at different venues including De Montford Hall and Coventry Cathedral. She was one of the lead dancers at the Laban’s birth centenary celebration led by Joan Russell, and has participated in three large movement choirs in the Royal Albert Hall. In October 1999 she choreographed and performed a choreutic space study inside an icosahedron in the Royal Albert Hall, representing the Laban Guild at the PEA Centenary Celebration. Currently she teaches in a primary school, acts with an amateur drama company and leads workshops on movement and physical theatre and community dance for groups of all ages. She is Chair of the Laban Guild Training Committee and is involved in designing and refining new courses, tutoring, assessing and moderating.

NOELEEN McGRATH, B.A. (Hons), P.G.C.E., Dip. Act.
An experienced drama and dance teacher, Noeleen began her working life professionally as an actress and dancer for six years, but decided to re-train as a drama teacher. She has subsequently taught at St Louise’s, Belfast; been
Head of Performing Arts at N.W.R.C, Derry, teaching dance, movement and acting; Head of Drama at Dominican College, Portstewart, teaching drama to A level and directing and choreographing school shows and currently works with the Creative Youth Partnership on a selection of dance-drama educational projects in primary schools. She has also worked on an educational dance project with trainee teachers at Limerick University. She runs her own theatre school, “Round of Applause” on the North coast of Ireland and is an examiner for A level Performing Arts. Noeleen has completed both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Laban Guild Community Dance Leaders programme, has taught on the Laban based summer school in Maynooth, and is a teacher and assessor on the Laban Guild Dance Leaders Course.

UMA O’NEILL, M.A. (European Dance Theatre Practice)
Uma O’Neill began her studies with the Laban Guild Dance Leaders Stage I & II in 1999 at nineteen; at that time she was one of the youngest students accepted by the Guild. In these early years of study she also held two apprenticeships, the first shadowing and teaching alongside an AQA Examiner with GCSE Dance, the second with an International Sherborne Association Lecturer within community dance for young people with learning needs and/or physical disabilities. Uma went on to study for her M.A. at LABAN, London. Her career as a Freelance Performer, Choreographer, Director and Teacher spanning eight years in the North East Wales Region has seen her undertake a great diversity of work, including Dance Development Officer/Practitioner for the Wrexham Borough with North East Wales Dance, Choreographer for Dance Alive (community dance) and WISP Dance Club (special educational youth dance group), Founding Member of North Wales Dance Collective (training choreography and performance group for professional dance artists), Dance Teacher at Flint High School teaching A Level Dance and Dance on the A Level Performing Arts course. Most recently Uma was invited to be a member of The Phoenix Project run by the Laban Guild where she has had the opportunity to study with Anna Carlisle, Walli Meier, Valerie Preston-Dunlop, Geraldine Stephenson and Warren Lamb.

SUSANNE THORNTON M.A.
Susi was a dancer and choreographer, is an actress, and teacher using Laban’s fundamental movement principles as a creative tool in movement and drama therapy. She was co-director of the Laban International Courses masterminding and teaching at its Summer Schools. Susi is part of the Psyche and Soma team run by the Sesame Institute, was the Movement tutor on their full time Dramatherapy and Movement Course held at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, which incorporates the Laban Fundamentals She has been teaching movement and dance at home and abroad for many organizations including the Art of Movement Studio in Addlestone, where she had trained with Lisa Ullmann, the Keep Fit Association, the Maynooth Summer Course and the Laban Guild. She is one of the team of teachers who initiated the Laban Guild CDTC Stage 1, and with Anna Carlisle, pioneered the formation and development of the CDTC Stage 2 in Suffolk and Belfast. In amateur theatre Susi acts in major roles and directs. She recently choreographed the Chorus in ‘The Bacchae.’ Her particular love is dance drama and she uses Shakespeare as a strong stimulus. She is very interested in the movement as an expressive force and the therapeutic use of myth. Susi assisted Sam Thornton in two big Choir Dances representing the Laban Guild that were performed at the Royal Albert Hall. She works as a qualified counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor and has been a trainer of counsellors. She administers and teaches on the Creative Arts Supervision Training Course recognized by Sesame. She has trained in Action Profile theory and practice.

ANN WARD, B.A. (Hons.)
Ann was previously Head of the Art Department and Lecturer in Dance at an FE College in Northern Ireland. She has thirty years’ experience of teaching a variety of subjects, particularly movement and dance, to all age groups, including young adults with learning difficulties, post “A” level students preparing for university entrance, mature students and numerous community groups, covering all ages and abilities. Ann began studying Laban’s principles under Lisa Ullmann and other tutors from the Art of Movement Studio working at LinC, and has continued her studies ever since. Whilst in Ireland she was a member of the Advisory Panel for the Performing Arts for the Arts Council of N Ireland and also worked closely with the Arts Council of Ireland in Dublin, setting up Laban Guild Training Courses in both North and South. She was also Chair of the Training Committee for Fitness N Ireland for five years. Now back in England, Ann is the Courses Officer for the Laban Guild, involved in teaching, setting up new courses and writing and piloting new schemes of work. She has written both the Leadership and Marketing manuals for the Laban Guild Dance Leaders Course, with an emphasis on professional responsibility.

CATHY WASHBROOKE, MA, PGCE (QTS)
Cathy Washbrooke is a freelance dance artist, performer, choreographer and educator of over 25 years experience. Cathy is currently a PhD candidate at Coventry University , combining somatic practices with Laban principles in site-specific dance. Most recently Cathy has held post as Lead Qualifications Developer at AQA Education for GCSE , AS and A-level Dance and Drama qualifications for curriculum reform. Cathy trained at LABAN achieving a BA (Hons) Dance Theatre, further accreditation with a PGCE (QTS) in Dance and MA Dance Making and Performance and MA Dance in Education. Previously, she has worked as a Dance and Drama Teacher and Lecturer in Secondary, Further and Higher education notably at the Royal Academy of Dance and University of Hertfordshire . Cathy was one of the practitioners on the Phoenix Project, funded by the Laban Guild for Movement and Dance, a member of the Laban Guild Council from 2009–2012 and founded the Phoenix Summer School in 2010. She is also Artistic Director of Cathy Washbrooke Dance; undertaking Laban commissions for the KFA and dance direction and choreography. Cathy undertakes research in Dance in Education, Laban, somatic practices and choreography. www.cathywashbrookedance.com