Artistic Director Mags Byrne has been working professionally in dance for over 35 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.
Freelance 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 25 years of experience working as a freelance accountant in the voluntary, charity and arts sectors.
Company Manager Louise Dempster-O’Neil has 30 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 16 years, in Belfast.
Janie Doherty leads our Ballymoney-based Youth Engagement Groups Alternatives and Alternative Energies.
Janie is a professional dancer, choreographer and artist with extensive experience working with many companies in Northern Ireland and further afield. She has won numerous awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Creative Industries to develop her work and travel to Germany and to the USA – New York and Massachusetts.
Programme Director for the Youth Engagement Projects, Deborah Hamilton has extensive dance and community arts experience – as a performer, choreographer and previously held positions as a Performing Arts & Dance lecturer at Belfast Metropolitan College, Ulster University and Stranmillis College of Higher Education.
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.
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.
Sean O’Neill first became involved with DU Dance (NI) through Sutemos Youth Engagement Project and has assisted, volunteered as well as performed with the group over the last decade. Through the company he has had the opportunity to perform all over Ireland, Germany and appeared on the BBC National Lottery Show. Sean has also been a member of the Youth Steering Group and was a Young Ambassador for the company. He has a wealth of experience within theatre and dance and is delighted to be working as the Director for the Belfast Boys Youth Engagement Project.
Board of directors
- Rosamond Bennett, chairperson – chief executive officer of Christian Aid Ireland.
- Les McLean, treasurer – previous heritage development manager with Ulster Rugby.
- Valerie Catterson, company secretary – accountant & freelance finance manager.
- Jane Coyle – arts journalist, writer, theatre and dance critic.
- Claire Flynn – senior public affairs consultant for Stratagem.
- Tom Hughes – part of the creative marketing team at BBC Northern Ireland.
- Randall Shannon – former chief executive of the Buxton Festival.
- Arthur Webb – freelance theatre director and arts and education consultant.
Youth Steering Group 2019/20
- Anastazja Mikczarek
- Alisha Platt
- Rebecca Wallace
- Amelie Corr
- Aoibhe Donnelly
- Cliodhna Fee
- Shannon Gildernew
- Cara Harte
- Amy McCrellis
- Keila Platt
- Rhiannon Stewart
Dance artists on projects 2019/20
Tommy Bell, Mags Byrne, Gerard Deeds, Janie Doherty, Ciarán Grey, Sheena Kelly, Kelly Neill, Palmira Rendilheiro, Sean O’Neill, Dylan Quinn.
Artists, technical & support on projects 2019/20
Simon Black – Film, Wendy Blemings – Project Support, Gerry Brown – Animation, Siobhan Brown – Choir Leader, Michael Corish – Film, Nikki Dunne – Stage Manager, John Fitzsimons – Film, Joe Fox – Photographer, Peter Gunning – Tech, Zhenia Mahdi – Film, Chris McCann – Production, Damien Mills – Musician, Sean Mullan – Unanimous MC, Zoe Ramsey – Dance Assistant, Gerard Stratton – Film.
Volunteers on projects in 2019/20, including:
Iman Alhmidi, Mave Dempster-O’Neil, Esperanca Gusmao, Deborah Hamilton, Elisabeth Higginson, Sheena Kelly, Connor Mac Ainmhire, Lauryn Malcolmson, Caragh Martin, Maria McCloskey, Christine O’Neill, Sean O’Neill, Alisha Platt, Lisa Ryan, Phillip Walker, Rebecca Wallace.