Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Chief Executive Officer
David took up the post of Chief Executive Officer at the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama in October 2018. Until April 2018 he was Chief Executive of Equality Challenge Unit, a policy and research agency funded to advance equality & diversity in universities in the UK and colleges in Scotland (until it merged with LHFE and HEA to form Advance HE). David practiced as a solicitor for 21 years; latterly as Director of Legal Policy at the Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain and before that as a Partner at and founder of the department of Education, Equality and Disability Law at Levenes Solicitors. David has been the Equality Adviser to the English FA Premier League, a Trustee of ADD (Action on Disability and Development), a member of the Rights & Justice Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Advisory Board of the Wellcome Trust and a Fellow of the British American Project.
Principal, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
On leaving Sussex University, where he studied French Literature, Paul immediately found work in technical theatre, working for Warwick Arts Centre, and then the Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton. It was here that he moved into stage management. Seasons at Chichester Festival Theatre and Bristol Old Vic followed, and subsequent main scale tours, company management on large commercial shows, and two years’ theatre in education work with the National Trust. He moved into freelance production management, worked for a new writing company in Cardiff, and joined the School in 1985 as Head of Stage Management courses.
Paul became Associate Principal in 1989 and concentrated on developing the technical training at the School to give it a national profile and broaden the range of courses on offer. He completed an MBA at UWE’s Bristol Business School in 1992. Consultancy has included reporting for funding councils and accrediting bodies in the performing arts, external examining and validation panels for UG and PG awards. He became Principal in 2007.
Director, Central School of Ballet
Heidi Hall first joined Central School of Ballet as a pre-senior pupil. She went on to complete her professional dance training at the school graduating in 1995, performing in the 10th Anniversary Tour of Ballet Central in the same year. Heidi was taught by the late Christopher Gable, founder of Central, and worked with him in Northern Ballet Theatre's production of Cinderella at Sadler's Wells. Heidi has had an extensive performance career notably playing the principal role of Meg Giry in Phantom of the Opera in the West End production over a four-year period and also toured extensively in the UK and in Europe. She appeared in The Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum with the Bolshoi Ballet and has worked with Cameron Mackintosh, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gillian Lynne and Hal Prince.
Alongside her performance career Heidi has taught in many vocational colleges and been involved in musical theatre workshops and various educational projects, including working for the educational department at English National Ballet. On retiring from the stage Heidi moved into arts management roles, focusing on both fundraising and creative projects including working for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain on concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, Sage Gateshead and most notably the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2012 Heidi returned to Central School of Ballet as Company Manager to Ballet Central. She was subsequently promoted to Deputy Director and then in September 2016 appointed as Director of Central School of Ballet. Since her appointment Heidi has led a determined and accelerated fundraising campaign, with considerable success. Central will realise its long-held goal of moving to new premises in the South Bank arts community in Southwark during the academic year 2019/2020. In 2018 Heidi was recognised with the Rising Chief Executive Award by the annual Third Sector Awards, for the chief executive who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her organisation, or the wider sector, during their first two years in post. Heidi is on the Board of Trustees at Ballet Black.
Chief Executive and Interim Principal, London Contemporary Dance School
With a longstanding background in dance and performance, Clare trained at London Contemporary Dance School before embarking on a successful performing career with Phoenix Dance. She then worked as a teacher-artist in both further and higher education and collaboratively produced performing arts programmes for the University of East London, as well as supporting the validation of new arts programmes in several universities.
In 2014, Clare joined the team at Southbank Centre as Director of Business Development and took the lead on innovative large-scale capital fundraising programmes. Her previous roles, prior to that, include co-founding the national network Future Arts Centres and working as Director of Stratford Circus Arts Centre, from 2005-2014, where she led the re-imagining of the organisation to create a new charitable body to run it in 2012.
Chief Executive, National Centre for Circus Arts
Kate White is Chief Executive of the National Centre for Circus Arts, which offers the UK’s first HE level education in Circus Arts as well as support and services for professional and aspiring performers, adults, young people and companies from its base in Hoxton. Kate joined the National Centre, previously Circus Space, in 2007 as Director of Marketing and Communications from a career in various regional multi art form venues. Her previous role was at the Courtyard Centre for the Arts in Hereford, where she had been responsible for developing artistic programming, brand development and marketing with an emphasis on creative collaboration and partnership working.
With responsibility for developing the Circus Space brand, marketing and both internal and external communication strategies for all of Circus Space’s activities, Kate was also acting as Director of Lifelong Learning through a period of change in the delivery of all pre vocational, widening participation and recreational training.
She took on the role of Deputy Chief Executive at Circus Space in 2008 and became Acting CEO covering Jane Rice-Bowen’s maternity leave in December 2009; leading the organisation through a major restructure during a crisis period triggered by the global economic downturn. When Jane returned to work in late 2010 they began a hugely successful and enjoyable job share arrangement that continued until 2015.
In March 2014 Circus Space was re-launched as the National Centre for Circus Arts having gained government support, along with that of the sector, to formalise its leadership role and to position circus alongside theatre, dance, music and visual arts as a critical part of the country’s cultural offer.
Kate is now leading the organisation as sole CEO and remains committed to the delivery of the highest quality vocational circus arts training and to the creation of a real culture of circus in the UK that will allow this remarkable art form to continue to flourish and grow.
Janet Smith MBE
Principal, Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Janet became Principal in February 2012. Prior to that she was Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre (SDT), Scotland’s major contemporary dance company, creating works for the company and also commissioning from both emerging and internationally established choreographers. SDT gained international recognition and won awards, including the Critic’s Circle Award for Best Contemporary Repertoire, and was nationally recognised for pioneering leadership in Arts and Disability.
Prior to leading SDT, Janet held taught at Bretton Hall College and London School of Contemporary Dance, worked widely as a freelance teacher and choreographer and as a guest performer with Rosemary Butcher and London Contemporary Dance Theatre. Choreographic credits include Batsheva (Israel), Frieberg Tanzteater and English National Ballet and in theatre working for directors Dominic Hill and Michael Boyd.
Janet initially began work as a solo choreographer/ performer before forming Janet Smith & Dancers, which toured nationally and internationally over 12 years, commissioning work and delivering residency programmes that broadened access to contemporary dance.
Janet has served on the Boards of Dance UK and London Contemporary Dance Trust. In 1999 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Dartington College of Arts. In 2008 she received the Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Award, honouring an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form and in 2015 was awarded an MBE for services to contemporary dance.
Principal and Artistic Director, Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance
Amanda Britton has over 25 years of experience as a dancer, teacher, rehearsal director, mentor and course leader. Having trained at the Rambert Academy, she joined Ballet Rambert in 1984. She went on to become a leading dancer, creating roles in works by Christopher Bruce, Merce Cunningham, Richard Alston, Siobhan Davies, Ashley Page, Glen Tetley and Trisha Brown amongst others. She left Rambert in 1993, moving on to create and perform work with Siobhan Davies Dance Company, including the Olivier Award winning ‘Art of Touch’ (1995).
Amanda has taught as a freelance artist throughout the UK. After retiring from performance she joined the faculty at LCDS, where alongside a full-time teaching role she completed an MA in Dance Education and Training. She took up the post of Head of Undergraduate Studies at Rambert School in 1995, becoming Deputy Principal in 2014.
Amanda has retained her links with Rambert Dance Company, regularly teaching company class and overseeing a number of collaborative projects which have allowed Rambert School and Company to work together. Amanda has also worked as an External Examiner for several schools.
Amanda succeeded Dr Ross McKim as Principal and Artistic Director of Rambert School in July 2015.
Chairman of Board of Governors
James Smith CBE
Dr Michelle Castelletti
Dr Roderick Clayton
Prof Martin Halliwell
Governors Nominated by Conservatoire Schools
Prof David Halton
Chief Executive Officer
Prof Paul Allain
Widening Participation and Equality Coordinator
Dr Maxine Esser
Assistant Registrar (Quality)
CDD Library Advisor & OpenAthens Administrator
Quality Assurance Manager
Office Manager and PA to the CEO
Director of Finance and Resources
Student Finance Coordinator
Assistant Registrar (Quality)
Communications & Projects Coordinator
Lucy Van Hove