Council Biographies

Anna Carlisle MA – President

Anna 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.

Yael Owen-McKenna MA – Chair

In March 2012 at the Laban Guild AGM hosted by the University of Wolverhampton Yael was voted onto the Council of the Laban Guild which was a great honour as the thread of Laban’s influence has continued throughout her life and work. Yael’s background is firmly routed in dance and she has always been strongly underpinned by her training at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance (1988-1991 Diploma in Dance Theatre). Yael grabbed every moment and opportunity of her training and her time at the Laban Centre in New Cross continues to sustain her curiosity and passion for dance today. She completed her MA by research at Nottingham Trent University (2003) and the Laban Studies Unit in Dance Education (2012) with Maggie Killingbeck and Anna Carlisle (after a chance meeting with Maggie who very easily recruited Yael onto the course with her infectious enthusiasm and passion!) Yael has always combined a career as a performer and teacher; as a performer working with choreographers such as Lea Anderson, Louise Richards, Dennie Wilson, Catherine Seymour and Paula Hampson. She has taught widely in many areas of dance education – primary curriculum dance, GCSE/A level and at undergraduate level. Yael was a full time lecturer in Dance at Coventry University (2001-3) and has also taught at Birmingham and Wolverhampton Universities as a Visiting Lecturer. She currently works in Coventry as the Deputy Head of the Local Authority Performing Arts Service which provides dance, music and drama to the primary and secondary schools across the City. For the last few months Yael has been working on the implementation of a programme of Sherborne Developmental Movement with the Special Schools/Units across Coventry, working in partnership with Castle Wood (Broad Spectrum) School and Dr. Penny Lacey from the University of Birmingham. She also coordinates the Coventry Youth Dance Company, who performed in The Voyage with Motionhouse Dance Theatre and Legs on the Wall (Australia) in Birmingham City Centre as part of the summer 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
For the Laban Guild Yael is working on a number of exciting strands: liaison/relationship development with the Sport and Recreation Alliance; supporting the development of a Heritage Lottery Bid (Celebrating the Legacy of Laban); general support with Council priorities and raising the profile of the work of the Laban Guild. She is both excited and inspired to be undertaking this work alongside her council colleagues. Yael was struck recently by a phrase in Anna Carlisle’s article for the Autumn issue of ‘Movement, Dance and Drama’ (Vol 31, no3, pg.12) “Laban’s work constitutes a profound resource for an understanding of the world of Movement and its power to enhance both personal and professional life and the life of culture”. She thinks this tells us eloquently that there is still so much to be done and that the future can hold some exciting possibilities for us all.

Ann Ward – Courses Officer

Ann was previously Head of the Art Department and Lecturer in Dance at an FE College in Northern Ireland, with experience of leading movement and dance sessions in a range of community settings. 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. 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.

Janet Harrison – Membership Secretary

Janet trained to teach at St.Luke’s College, Exeter and it was here that she experienced her first formalised dance classes with sessions focused mainly on Rambert and Laban methodology. Having rejected an opportunity to go to Canada to work in Theatre in Education Janet’s first job was in a rough and ready Secondary Modern school in Hayes, Middlesex. This baptism by fire has stood her in excellent stead throughout her 35 years in the profession. Janet’s involvement in Laban Dance occurred in 1976 when she moved to Harrow and joined the same amateur dramatic group as Sam and Susi Thornton. By this time she was teaching dance as part of recreation studies but needed to acquire a more formal training in technique and choreography and the 1979 Laban Summer School at Dartford seemed to be the answer.
Some 15 years later Janet completed Community Dance Leaders courses Stages 1 and 2 at Powys Dance and was invited to become minuting secretary for the Guild. In 2004 she trained with The Actors Company in London and realised her life ambition of becoming a professional actor. Janet now spends a good deal of time touring the UK whilst still teaching and coaching when time permits. She has tried to stay in touch with The Laban Guild throughout her working life and in 2009 assumed responsibility for Membership.

Loma Lockie – Treasurer

Loma’s life and career has been involved in many countries, New Zealand, UK, Liberia, Kenya and Ghana. Loma has had extensive experience in preparing financial accounts from basic records through to trial balance stage for a wide variety of businesses. Loma ran her own accounting services business for 20years providing bookkeeping services to her client base of 45 clients ranging from sole traders to property investors. Prior to this for 8 years Loma had undertaken all administration functions for two property development businesses, including preparing full financial accounts and supporting returns. In addition to this she was deeply involved with SPELD NZ (children with Specific Learning Difficulties) in particular dyslexia. It was through long discussions on this topic of how dance could assist these children along with her desire to be involved in some form of charity work that she became involved with the Laban Guild.

Selina Martin – AGM Co-ordinator

Selina is currently Head of Dance in a secondary school in the Midlands having introduced Dance into their curriculum and developed a department. Selina has a BA Hons in Dance from Bretton Hall (University of Leeds) and a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education from DeMontfort University, Bedfordshire. Aspects of her current role include creating Primary school projects, working with Northants Dance and mentoring new P.G.C.E/G.T.P students. She has been involved with the Laban Guild for several years developing Laban in Places and is responsible for the management of the AGM day. Selina is interested in making Laban’s work accessible to all, especially students to equip them with the tools to be ‘thinking dancers’.

Darren Royston MA – Drama Representative

Darren works as a freelance choreographer / movement director and director in opera. Recent credits include Dance Consultant on the National Theatre’s production of She Stoops to Conquer, The Duchess of Malfi at the Old Vic, and movement coach for One Man Two Governors in the West End. Darren has directed three seasons for the Bangkok Opera, and with Pop Up Opera in the UK. A specialist in period movement and historical dance, Darren is Artistic Director of NONSUCH, performing at Hampton Court Palace, British Museum, National Gallery, Royal Shakespeare Company and appearing on TV, including Five O’Clock Show and Got to Dance!. Darren was the Restoration Dancing Master with Sue Perkins on Restoration Supersize Me! and choreographed the feature film Wide Blue Yonder with Lauren Bacall, James Fox and Brian Cox. Darren has worked for fifteen years as Movement and Dance Tutor at RADA, choreographing productions from Shakespeare to Sondheim, teaching the Laban Approach at MA level, and his book Dramatic Dance: An Actor’s Approach to Dance as a Dramatic Art is forthcoming in the Methuen Drama series. Darren began his interest in choreography following the National Youth Theatre in London (working with choreographers David Toguri and Imogen Claire), before studying at Cambridge University, working with the Footlights. He undertook postgraduate training at The Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London (MA in Dance Studies with Distinction), and received the Bonnie Bird Choreography Award, which launched his freelance career. Darren continues to use the Laban approach in his teaching and choreography, and combines experiences from the teaching of Jean Newlove, Geraldine Stephenson, Warren Lamb, Valerie Preston Dunlop, Ann Hutchinson Guest and the late Marion North.

Mary Painter (nee Cormack) – Minuting Secretary and eFlash

Mary has always had a passion for dance and learned ballet when she was very young and until she went to University. Although her main sport is Gymnastics Mary has always loved Dance and has found that her involvement in this gave her an advantage when it came to choreographing routines. Mary trained at the University of Bedfordshire for 4 years to complete her BA (Hons) Physical Education Secondary with QTS to become a PE Teacher and is currently teaching at a school in Southampton.

Pam Anderton – Website and Magazine Production

Pam has worked for the Laban Guild Council since 1986. She has served on Council as Treasurer and has maintained and redesigned the website. Through her company, PAFS Ltd until 2017, and now independently, she has been responsible for the design and layout of the Guild magazine since 2003. Pam has taught IT and Business Studies in addition to her work in the area of financial software where she has been a departmental manager for a large finance house assessing profitability of ‘big ticket’ leases and a consultant project manager, software developer, business analyst, tester and documenter for point of sale and proposal management systems in both the UK and the rest of Europe.
Pam’s connection with the Laban Guild began after a visit to an osteopath following a poor landing from a parachute jump; the osteopath recommended a local dance class led by Bronwen Mills. Bronwen, an experienced community dance leader with Laban training, introduced Pam to the Laban Guild. Pam has also been a member of the Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund committee since 1989; initially as Treasurer, following Ellinor Hinks’ retirement and now manages their website and advises on IT.