Our Members

Andy

After enduring 16 years as a corporate lawyer I turned to dance to fulfil my passion for the arts. I have facilitated dance groups for people with additional needs. I also provide accounting, financial and legal support to dance artists. I am both a creator and performer; I have produced work for Cubitt Artists Summer Picnic and co-run a LGBTQ+ project at Studio Voltaire with Bruce Currie, as well as performing at The Place.

Anna

I am an artist and writer working mostly with film. My video artworks are an enquiry into alternative realities, curious and troubling personas. Choked mothers, silenced women, ageing bodies and older women populate my art. In 2018 I started going to classes at Dance East to research the vocabulary of movement. I now love to dance and am continuing to explore and develop this exciting language in my work.

Bobbie

I would love to say I have an impressive dance history, but I can’t. As a child I learnt ballet, tap and performed in venues around the East-End.  My mini dance career came to an end when we moved out of London. I wanted to be a ballet dancer but was told I was too tall!  I had a career working in Education, but I always loved dance and spent many years watching and wishing.  When I retired, my daughter encouraged me to go to a workshop at DanceEast.  I attended nervous and hesitant and the rest is history, as I returned to my childhood dreams, a life of dancing and performing with this lovely group.

Carol

I have loved dance all my life but never had any formal training. My career path took me to Health and Wellbeing, as a Research & Development Officer, Health & Sports Science Lecturer and for the last 28 years Director of a Health and Wellbeing Company. Upon retirement I moved back to Suffolk where I attended a dance event that really inspired me to seek out classes for the not so young! I joined EncoreEast four years ago and have never looked back; they are a wonderful, supportive and creative group who through dance have brought a new freedom and richness to my life.

Di

I spent most of my career working with children; teaching, staging productions and running dance clubs. So, it was a profound joy to discover that I could still dance. Soon after retiring I attended a dance class and have continued to enjoy class ever since. I am keen to explore and develop not just my technique, but my creativity. From this first class grew the company I now am proud to belong to. I have seen many changes over the years, but the fundamental principle has not changed – to create work which allows us all to express our individuality and love of dance.

Diego

I was drawn to dance, but was the product of a traditional education for boys. So, I was in my twenties before I allowed myself to get interested in dance and was captivated by what dancers could do. I thought it was too late to start dancing! After a few years in merchant banking, I swapped my suit for overalls and began working as an artist, while starting my journey with Tai Chi. When my daughter fell in love with dance, I was inspired to join EncoreEast. This was the beginning of an unimaginable adventure; the opportunity to learn and perform with this incredibly supportive and beautifully mad group.

Donna

I came out of the womb singing and dancing (feet first)! In my 20s I worked professionally for 10 years in theatre as a singer and dancer in summer shows, pantomimes and musicals. For the last 32 years I have worked as a psychotherapist, specialising in the devastating effects of sight loss. I returned to dance in my 60s and joined EncoreEast in 2014. My dance journey within the warm cocoon of this imaginative group has been a revelation, and more than I could possibly have imagined.

Jacqui

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t dance. Through my years studying modern languages at London University, teaching and running a financial consultancy, dancing was there. After discovering a passion for dance history, I directed Danse Royale and created Colchester Historical Dance. I love researching, teaching all ages and performing. EncoreEast has expanded my horizons, given me inspirational friends and the opportunity to keep dancing.

Jeanette

After a career in dance policy and management, including as Director of Dance UK, Director of Dance for Arts Council England and Chair of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, I moved to Ipswich in 2016 to reconnect with the practice of dancing after a 30 year break. Being part of EncoreEast is brilliant.  It has reminded me that I love dancing and performing and the group is a joy, delight and inspiration.

Ju

I grew up in Nottingham and moved to Suffolk almost 50 years ago. Life, marriages, divorces, children and a variety of jobs kept me busy. I eventually settled into teaching and as I’ve always loved performing took up amateur dramatics for pleasure. Coming up to retirement I stumbled upon an adult ballet class at DanceEast. This led on to contemporary dance classes and becoming a member of EncoreEast. This has changed my life and it’s a joy to be part of such a wonderful, supportive and dedicated group.

Lyn

Dancing is important to my life. From 4 to 40, and up to today it has given me solace and joy. From dancing troupes to a degree, and weaving through my professional life as an educationalist, dance has rarely left my side, either as a dancer or choreographer. I have performed on stage, in a painted hall and on a beach.  Since moving to Suffolk and joining the enthusiastic and wonderful bunch at EncoreEast my dance life continues.

Margaret

Like many, I was taken to dancing lessons as a child. However, my working life as a nurse and family responsibilities meant for years parties and weddings were my only chance to dance.  ln my retirement I was surprised and delighted to discover many opportunities to rekindle my love of dance. I enjoy ballet, contemporary, Scottish and tap dancing. I feel very privileged to be part of EncoreEast.

Pam

As a result of seeing Moira Shearer in the Red Shoes, at age 9 I joined a dance class. Some years later I found myself in Portugal, even dancing with a Portuguese Folk dance group. Life moves on and I spent several years in the Middle East and Africa where among other things I taught English as a Foreign Language. Eventually back in England I worked for over 25 years for the Office for National Statistics. In 2005 I discovered Dance East after 10 years driving back and forth from Brightlingsea to Ipswich I made the best move of my life to spend my retirement dancing.

Rowena

I started life in London in the 1950s, where I was introduced to dance aged three. After relocating to Switzerland, ballet and Jazz ballet became a constant joy and essential outlet of expression, whilst grappling with the challenges of Swiss life. I studied Dance and Theatre Performance, becoming a pioneer member of a children’s Theatre Company. A return to London in the 1980s saw a plethora of diverse work and further studies before settling on education and confidence building for children. Forty years without dance ended with an emotional reunion at DanceEast. Dance is an existential journey of discovery, connecting movement with intent whilst navigating the waves of music.

Stella

I trained at Laban and worked as a dancer into my late twenties. I then retrained as a visual artist; my practice is site-specific and socially engaged. Recent reflection revealed I use many different media in my work but strangely never my body or dance. So, I began a journey back to dance, which led me to EncoreEast. I am unsure what I expected to experience through reengaging with dance, but I am continually surprised by the joy created through the phenomenal experience of dancing with others.

Sue

From childhood singing and dancing fed my soul and honed my body, ballet cured my knocked knees. Studying Laban technique was a relief during Teacher Training. I ran away to the British Museum where teaching adults was preferable to teaching children. I continue my love of liturgical dance, which fulfills a deep human need, empowering and connecting both watcher and dancer. I love the ‘belonging’ EncoreEast has given me: the hard work, sharing, creativity, fun and the performance opportunities. To live is to dance (and sing) to dance (and sing) is to live – Oh, and how I met my lovely husband.