Mags Byrne

DU artistic director Mags Byrne has been working professionally in dance for over thirty five years. She has performed and toured with many contemporary dance companies and choreographed and mounted projects for groups and companies all over Britain and Ireland, as well as in Austria, Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia, Palestine, Romania,  South Africa and Switzerland.


Valeria Catterson

Finance manager Valerie Catterson studied Latin and political science at Queen’s University Belfast before going on to study accountancy at the University of Ulster. She has over 20 years of experience working as a freelance accountant in the voluntary, charity and arts sectors.

Emmett Costello

Administration and project assistant, Emmett Costello studied politics at Northumbria University and has recently graduated with an MA in arts management from Queen’s University Belfast. He has over eight years of experience working within events management, marketing and production across Ireland and the UK, including roles within the Lyric Theatre, AVA Festival and the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

Louise Dempster-O'Neil

Company manager Louise Dempster-O’Neil has over 25 years of experience in company and project management, fundraising and community development within the public and voluntary sectors, working for large and small organisations in the fields of housing, regeneration, heritage and the arts. She has worked in Leeds, Manchester and, for the last 13 years, in Belfast.

Sheena Kelly

Based in Belfast North­ern Ire­land, Sheena Kelly, director of Sutemos Youth Engagement Project, is a dance artist whose inter­est lies within the con­tem­po­rary dance field and com­mu­nity dance prac­tice. She has worked across the UK and Ire­land as well as inter­na­tion­ally, in Nor­way, Ger­many, Spain, Aus­tria, Roma­nia, Italy, South Africa and Switzer­land. A graduate of LIPA, over the past 10 years Sheena has gained extensive working experience in youth dance.

Royston Maldoom

DU artistic consultant and internationally renowned choreographer, Royston Maldoom, has been the initiator and leader of numerous dance projects in Northern Ireland and across the world. Now resident in Berlin, he is known particularly for his work in the field of community dance. His work was honoured in the movie Rhythm Is It! and he has received many international honours and awards including: Deutscher Ehren-Tanzpreis; Special Schiller Award; Order of the British Empire; German-British Forum Award; Club der Optimisten.  Mags and Royston are particularly well known in the dance world for their work with street and working children in Ethiopia over a period of ten years.

Kelly Neill

Director of Alternative Energies, Kelly Neill has worked as a dance teacher for 12 years, beginning her career as a dancer in Northern Ireland and across the UK. She worked for the Riverside Youth Theatre in Coleraine as choreographer and movement coach for eight years. She is currently a dance lecturer at NRC and runs the Kelly Neill Dance School with over 140 students, teaching contemporary, jazz, hip hop and commercial pop.

Board of directors

  • Jane Coyle, chairperson – arts journalist, writer, theatre and dance critic.
  • Les McLean, treasurer – head of operations at the Ulster Museum and member of the senior executive team for National Museums Northern Ireland.
  • Rosamond Bennett – chief executive officer of Christian Aid Ireland.
  • Randall Shannon – chief executive of the Buxton Festival. Former advisor to Arts Council Ireland.
  • Arthur Webb – freelance theatre director and arts and education consultant.
  • Simon Whittaker – director of Vertical Structure. IT and social media expert.
  • Valerie Catterson – company secretary

Youth Steering Group 2015/16

Young Ambassadors

  • Sean O’Neill
  • Lisa Ryan

Group Members

Alisha Platt, Anastazja Milczarek, Esperanca Gusmão, Kasia Kozuch, Lauren Forrester, Lauren Cunningham, Mackenzie Douglas, Rebecca Wallace, Rhiannon Stewart, Sandra Saldanha De Rosa, Shania Vitor and Weronika Nowak.

Dance artists on projects 2015/16

Brona Jackson, Conor ‘Doke’ O’Kane, Danny Lucien Reid, Eileen McClory, Elisa Macauley, Justina Jonutyte, Ripton Lindsay, Sean Mullan and Victoria Campbell.

Artists, technical & support on projects 2015/16

Arthur Webb – MC; Cara Gibney – festival assistant; Damien Mills – musician;  Daniel Todd – musician; Fiona McNaney – visual artist; Gerard Stratton – Triplevision; Jane Mooney – assistant dance director;  Joe Fox – photographer; Margaret McLelland –  actress; Marion Forbes – visual artist; Nikki Dunne – stage manager; Oliver Corr –  photographer; Oliver Quinn – lighting; Pete Ayres – lighting designer; Ronald Macauley – musician.

Volunteers on projects in 2015/16, including:

Andy Patton, Aoife Fullerton, Cara Murphy, Chris Mallon, Daniel Creggan, Darla Hughes, Emily Ennis, Hannah Fullerton, Isabel Selke, Jordon Muxlow, Keira McFall, Kevin MacGurk, Micheal MacGurk, Philip Walker, Rua Magee, Searlait O’Hagan, Toni Ennis, Wanting Wu.