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Meet The
Crew

Our incredible ACE Dance Studios team have all trained with ACE before embarking on their own professional training and offer a wealth of innovation and talent across a wide selection of dance genres. From contemporary to Ballet, choreographic skills to pilates - ACE Dance Studios crew have it all

Laura Kelleher-Byrne

Artistic Director

Laura started dancing at the tender age of 3 and continued to learn the technique of Ballet, tap and Modern at locally run, Sue Clarke’s School of Dance. She trained with them until leaving the school at 17 years old to pursue professional training at LAMDA.

In 2003 Laura began teaching dance at local schools to help support their own dance departments – this included becoming dancer in residence at Park House School, running West Berkshire Youth Dance Companies and helping to establish ACE Dance Company and what has now become, ACE:Kids.

It was at this point that Laura decided to pursue her dance training in order to gain a degree in contemporary dance and choreography at The University of Winchester.
After an incredible three years training in Winchester, Laura took on the role of Head of Dance at St Gabriel’s and founded Spring Equinox dance platform – an annual dance performance held at the Corn Exchange, Newbury to showcase local talent.

In 2016 Laura began to expand the ACE brand and introduced two further youth companies, Junior:ACE and Apprent:ACE, to support ACE Dance Company and create a ‘ladder’ system of excellent, high level dance training. Alongside the youth and kids dance classes, Laura has also introduced a range of adult classes to encourage health and well-being across all ages and abilities – an area which she excited to develop further.

Laura has helped to nurture dance talent to go on to train at the most prestigious international dance conservetoires and universities as well as CAT schemes across the country and will continue to do so as ACE Dance Studios grows as her passion for dance and education will never waiver.

Emily McAuley

Company Manager

Emily is an alumni ACE:Company dancer who trained with us from 13 years old until progressing to professional training. during her time dancing with ACE she attended the CAT scheme at London Contemporary Dance School.

She went on to join The University of Chichester, studying Contemporary and Ballet technique. She has also trained at York University in Toronto, Canada for three months and studying Ballet and Graham technique. Emily has toured the South of England with 3Fall Dance Company, working with Stuart Waters, Detta Howe and Ceyda Tanc Dance. Emily joined London based company Dillon Dance in 2015, performing in ‘That’s not how he wants it’ and ‘We Stand Alone Together’ as part of Resolution at The Place, London.

Alongside her teaching for ACE Dance Studios she works as the Operations Manager at the Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury.

Laura 'LP' Parsons

Senior Dance Specialist

Laura began her dance career as an apprentice with Springs Dance Company where she trained for a year with the course finishing with a national six week tour. Laura then went on to complete her degree in Dance at the University of Chichester. She focused on choreography and worked with the third year company, 3Fall, as one of their technicians.

Laura proceeded to complete an MA in Choreography and worked as the assistant technician within the department. This gave Laura the opportunity to create the lighting design for one of the pieces taken on tour by the MA Company, Mapdance, which toured internationally.

Since graduating she has been working freelance and has taught and choreographed for various schools and companies and is one of the artistic directors of Paper Planes, a dance theatre company.

Nick Sutton

Rehearsal Director

Nick has been a member of ACE since 2010. After which he went to the University of Chichester and obtained a BA(Hons) degree in Dance in 2015. During his time at University Nick was part of the 3rd year touring dance company 3Fall. He worked alongside Filip Van Huffel (Retina Dance co.) and Ceyda Tanc.

After graduating, Nick worked with Flux Dance, performing at Science and music festivals and leading workshops in Moving Science. Nick also re-joined ACE to work alongside Laura to share his passion of dance with the company and then went on to teach with her on Saturday mornings for Ace@ Dance in the Park.

Nick is currently a Dance Teacher at Park House School and works across the ages for ACE dance studios, promoting the joy and enthusiasm needed for dance.

Emma Mayo

Senior Ballroom Specialist

Emma started dancing at a young age at her parents dancing school on the Isle of Wight, growing up in the studio surrounded by dancing every day.

She trained in Ballroom, Latin American and Freestyle with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing gaining her Associate Teaching qualification and Diplomas under Janet Clark in 2003.

An experienced teacher of all ages from 2-84, Emma has taught in both the UK and USA, in schools, clubs, for examinations, show dances and wedding couples. Emma is passionate about teaching and strongly believes in the positive effects that dance can have on health and well-being. She has an inclusive and friendly approach in classes to make sure they are fun and accessible whilst grounded in strong technique.

Emma is delighted and excited to be joining the ACE team teaching the new beginners Ballroom and Latin American dancing classes for adults.

Anja Nash

Creative Movement Practitioner

Anja began Ballet aged 5, later introducing Street and Hip-Hop. An ACE alumni – the company shaped her deep-rooted passion for Contemporary.

Anja then continued her training further at the University of Winchester (BA Hons: Choreography and Dance), studying techniques and methods such as Cunningham, Limón, Improvisation and Site-specific dance.

She became Rehearsal Director for D@win Dance Company, touring locations such as Shenandoah Conservatory, USA. Working with dance artists and companies such as Yorke Dance Project, TRIBE Company and Akram Khan for his XENOS creation. Performing at venues such as Mayflower Theatre and Hat Fair Festival. Co-founding The Immersive Folk, producing an immersive piece advocating sustainability, supported by Winchester Discovery Centre. Anja competed as part of Wolves Dance Squad in Contemporary, Jazz and Street for three years. After completing her degree, she continues to work freelance, teaching and choreographing at schools, colleges, youth companies and for those with disability and enjoys collaborating all arts.

Anja joins the ACE team to further explore teaching and creative methods with the dancers and to further her own professional development.

We are delighted to have Anja back to join us as another ACE Alumni dancer.

Emma Hill

Movement & Social Media Mogul

Emma was a member of ACE company for two years before furthering her training at The University of Winchester. While completing a BA Hons in Choreography and Dance, she worked with companies including, Tavaziva, Luke Brown Company, Protein Dance, Impermanence Dance Theatre and Ceyda Tanc Dance, and spent two years touring with the performance company working as the rehearsal director and tour manager.

After graduating, Emma co-founded and created work with GoldHill Dance Company for TheatreFest North Devon and choreographic platforms across the South. The company were supported by the GradLab project to develop a duet which premiered at The Place as part of Resolution Festival in 2018. Emma continued to develop her own choreographic work, and was part of the Young Choreographer’s South West programme, attending residencies at Pavilion Dance South West working with Vincent Dance Theatre, Hetain Patel and Rob Clarke.

Alongside her creative practice, Emma works as a facilitator delivering dance projects and classes in schools and the community. She began dancing with Wessex Dance Academy while still training, performing at The Royal Albert Hall, Theatre Royal Winchester, The Berry Theatre and The Anvil. In 2018 she joined the team as a Dance Artist, working collaboratively with a team of artists and professionals to choreograph, plan and deliver a dance programme to young people across Hampshire.

She was the Apprentice Artist for 2019, which allowed her to continue to develop her facilitation skills and own choreography when she was commissioned to make a new work for the project, receiving mentorship from Hannah Martin-Reilly and Luke Brown.