Employee & Volunteers
WDSA (UK) is a growing organisation and we employ 1 office based staff who is supported by a wealth of volunteers who we hope to add to this list as the organisation grows, you can read more about what they do below.
Lin McGeough – Office Manager
I have always loved music, my grandparents were amateur ballroom dancers so I grew up seeing the beautiful costumes and trophies and that they were so proud of what they had achieved and the people they helped get involved, I have always wanted to dance but never got around to it
Since leaving school I developed a back ground in secretarial skills and marketing and I have three fantastic children who I love especially when they’re asleep
When my husband and I were planning our wedding we really weren’t sure what to do for our first dance, this is when we first met Sue and Ruth as they taught us a routine for our wedding and they rekindled my love for music and dance and inspired me to become a Level 2 instructor of wheelchair dance and I now run the Watford group with my husband.
I’ve been helping the WDSA (UK) with marketing and administration and when the office moved up to Watford in July, I was offered the role to run the administration and marketing in Watford and with my back ground in marketing and creative technologies, I agreed to help develop and run the WDSA (UK) main office in Watford.
I particularly enjoy seeing the difference that wheelchair dance and wheelchair dance sport can make to disabled people’s lives and I look forward to seeing the sport and dance activity grown in the UK
Louise Sampson – Officials Officer
Desperate to join my older sister, I started dancing at the age of three with Miss Viva Henshaw of the Whincroft School of Dancing. I took my first Imperial Medal just before my fourth birthday and completed the Imperial Medal and Awards as a juvenile and junior in both roles. During these early years I enjoyed performing and competing in both medallist festivals and open competitions securing top finalist placing on a number of occasions.
I turned professional at seventeen; passing both Associate qualifications in Ballroom and Latin American by the time I was twenty-one. Whilst building my teaching career, I have continued my professional development in dance performance and technical theory initially under the watchful eyes of Martin Simmonds and, latterly, with Miss Anne Lingard and Simon Cruwys. I am currently studying for the Fellowship grade in Latin with Simon.
I am the principal of my own school ‘Rhythm & Dance’ which provides dance tuition in East Dorset. My teaching experience covers a wide age range from the under 6’s to senior citizens. I particular enjoy assisting pupils within the school that have special needs including autism and learning difficulties. Rhythm & Dance offers both pupils and students from local educational establishments the opportunity of work experience and participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. I promote a positive atmosphere to the pupils and actively encourage participation in medal examinations and competitions.
I particularly enjoy training new professionals and adjudicating for which I hold a British Dance Council & World Dance Council Licence. In addition to teaching, I have successfully organised various dance events including Dance Holidays and Seasonal Balls. My latest achievements include finalist in the ISTD Modern Ballroom and Latin American Sequence Inventive Competitions held at Whitwick, Leicestershire with Mr Malcolm Hill.
Professional Freelance Dancers
The WDSA (UK) through our new merger with Sardine Dance Collective has access to a number of professional freelance dancers these include
Rachel Bradbear (Dancer)
Trained at Middlesex University in Dance & English and went onto teach, choreograph and perform in London. In 2007 she completed her MSc in Dance Science at Laban specialising in Dance and Disability. She is now a Creative Arts Manager and Producer, freelance teacher and dance scientist. Rachel produces projects in Creative Arts for young people in UK and in Africa that raises awareness of HIV/Aids.
Laura Dajao (Dancer)
Laura grew up in the heart of East London, grooving along with the Hip Hop vibe. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2007 which led her to adapt her life and her new found love and focus of dancing in a wheelchair.
Laura has taught and performed with many companies such as East London Dance, Candoco, Boy Blue, Sidi Larbi, Impact Dance and GDance, and looks now to create her own vocabulary based on her interest in different styles, music and storytelling, founding DaJance Arts Collective which brings artists together to collaborate, based on common interests in inter-displinary arts.
For more information please visit her website: http://www.lauradajao.webs.com/
Laura Anne Smith (Dancer)
Laura-Anne received her first formal training in dance at Newham Sixth Form College; for which she later became a Learning Support Assistant, specialising in supporting students with physical disabilities and learning difficulties.
She was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the age of 19. Laura has participated in numerous dance projects and site-specific work in Berlin, The Royal Albert Hall, south Bank, The Queen Elizabeth Hall amongst others. She has also appeared in a short piece called Three Minute Birth, which was screened on channel 4 and in an award winning dance film titled Home, which has been screened internationally.
Her work is influenced by other art forms, such as Kallarippayat (a south Indian martial art), Bharata Natayam, and Capoeira. After gaining a BA Honors in Dance at De Montfort University Laura-Anne found she had a strong interest in Dance/Movement Therapy and specifically in its benefits for people who have had their human rights abused.
Daymien Todd (Dancer)
Bought up on a diet of british rock music from the ‘Queen’, Daymien took to the performing world like a duck to water – attending acting classes with Barnardos Drama Group from the age of 5 years old before joining Spare Tyre Theatre Company for sporadic projects.
He then found his love for dance when he joined ‘Get Up And Groove’ integrated dance group run by East London Dance and now lead tutored by Charlene Low, which he has attended for 15 years. Formally known as ‘Jellybeans’ the session matured into ‘Get up and Groove’ who train in various dance styles, such as street and contemporary.
Daymien’s other passion lies in music and DJ-ing, particularly the RnB genre, where you’ll catch him at his regular spot every month as a guest DJ for the ‘Groovy Cat Club’ and ‘Kicking Kangaroo Events’ as his alias DJ Shake Me Up.
Shakti Zapata (Dancer)
Born in Madrid, Shakti started gymnastics as a child before discovering Flamenco which led her to realise that her heart lay in working with her body. Shakti holds a strong interest and has a background related to art therapy, dance, theatre and digital film, where she has starred in and made two documentary’s, one short film and loves ‘Dance on Camera’.
She recently finished studying for her Diploma in Professional Dance Studies at The Laban Centre and is currently in the midst of her Master’s in Performance Making at Goldsmith’s. Shakti is currently is working as a community dance practitioner, and a performing member of Amici and ArtsBase, Dance Theatre where she continues to learn and develop her own work.