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Meet The Team

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Matthew-Jay Pratt

Artistic Director

Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Matthew-Jay trained at the prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance gaining a BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre. Matthew Jay has worked with international choreographers including Christopher Bruce, Ballet Boyz, founding members of the Adugna Community Dance and Theatre Company, Addisu Demissie and Junaid Jemal Sendi and Tom Hobden. Matthew Jay has also performed in works by Richard Alston, Andreas Elia constantinou-Etheredge, Tony Thatcher and Rosemary Butcher. Over the years Matthew-Jay has worked as a freelance dance practitioner for Matthew Bourne's New Adventures, Dance United Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dance, Phoenix Dance Company, artsNK, Bedford College & Norwich City College. 

Contact: Matthew-Jay@yacad.org

Designated Safeguarding Lead

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Ryan Watson

Head of Education & Learning 

Born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Ryan began his journey as an actor for the Queen Mother Theatre, performing in many musical productions and Shakesperian plays. Ryan then studied at the University of Lincoln gaining a BA (Hons) in Drama. He launched and performed in a Theatre for Young Audiences Theatre Company and began touring Primary Schools in Lincolnshire before applying for Teacher Training in Primary Education specialising in ages 3-7 years. Ryan qualified in 2017 as an Outstanding Primary School Teacher from the East of England Teacher Training Centre. Since then, he has taught in schools such as St Giles Academy, Shipley CE Primary School & Sandal Primary School and other settings such as International Summer Camp: Camp Cooper UK teaching English Language & Performing Arts. 

Contact: Ryan@yacad.org

Deputy Safeguarding Lead

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Natalie Collick

BEE Creative Programme Manager

More info coming soon!

Contact: Natalie@yacad.org 

Assistant Safeguarding Lead

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Jazz Summers

Assistant Programme Manager (Music Lead)

Jazz graduated from the Leeds Conservatoire of Music in 2020, receiving a BA (Hons) in Popular Music. From this, Jazz gained opportunities to work around the country performing and recording music, working and signing under companies such as High Tribe Records and Tailored Entertainment. Furthermore, Jazz has worked as a leader on NCS programs since 2015, in which he pushed young adults to develop their creative and social skills while making improvements to their local communities. Jazz leads on all music provision within the company. 

Contact: Jazz@yacad.org

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Sarah Reynolds 

Vitality Practitioner

Sarah gained her BA (Hons) Degree in Leadership and Management at Bradford University. After being associated with the company for many years as head chaperone, Sarah has now moved on to working within our Healthy Hearts team as a delivery practitioner where she continues to develop and strengthen the programme.

Contact: Sarah@yacad.org

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Jess Leeming 

Community Dance Artist 

Jessica graduated from University of Central Lancashire where she gained a BA (Hons) in Dance Performance and Teaching. Jessica started off her dance training at Sara Packham Theatre School from a young age up until the age of 17. She developed many dance styles including, Jazz, Ballet, Musical Theatre, and Lyrical. When Jessica progressed into Higher Education she began her journey in contemporary dance, analysing the benefits dance can offer people of all ages and abilities. During her time at the university, she became vice-chair of the university’s dance society. As vice-chair, she provided different style classes while also creating strong dance teams which were taken to university competitions. Now Jessica has finished her degree with first-class honors, she is excited to get teaching!

 

Contact: Jess@yacad.org 

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Ceri Bullock 

Community Dance Artist 

Ceri graduated from Renaissance arts conservatoire where she studied on the dance and musical theatre course gaining a triple star distinction Level 3 extended Btec diploma in dance and performing arts. Ceri started off her dance training at Elev8dance school from the age of 12 and up until the age of 17. She developed many dance styles such as ballet, acro, commercial, jazz, musical theatre, lyrical, contemporary, tap and pas de deux. In her 3rd and final year at college ceri gained the position of deputy head girl and was given responsibilities to take care of the younger years and help and give advice for the future. Being a head girl meant ceri was able to run classes when teachers needed to step out. Over the last 10 years Ceri has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, City Varieties and the Stanley Audrey Burton Theatre and also had the opportunity to work with well known choreographers and directors such as Mark Web, Christian Storm, Luke Fredricks, Stillie Dee and Martin Howland. Now Ceri has finished her 3 year course she is excited to get teaching!

Contact: Ceri@yacad.org

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Abby Dignam  

Assistant Community Dance Artist 

 Abbie is currently studying her A levels in dance at the prestigious Capa College. Passionate about dance and dance education Abbie wants to develop her skills in leadership and to be able to teach dance once she has finished her studies. Abbie is currently studying, ballet, tap, modern, jazz and gymnastics.

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Jennifer Browne 

Programme Assistant & Performing Arts Artist 

 Jenny started her performing arts training at Stage 84 Yorkshire school of performing arts from age 5 to 18, where she became a student teacher in her last three years and was made student of the year in 2021. It was here that she started dance, acting and singing classes. When a student teacher, she loved seeing the children enjoying their performing arts classes and she decided that that’s what she wanted to be a bigger part of. From a young age she has always thrived in creative spaces and is excited to start providing this for the children in a safe and creative environment. 

Contact: Jennifer@yacad.org

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Jackie Pratt 

Programme Assistant & Household Support Fund Lead 

Jackie has been associated with the company for many years as a volunteer supporting the companies growth and development. Jackie's previous background was in care and nursing for the elderly where she gained her NVQ. Jackie now leads on our Household Support Fund.

Contact: Jackie@yacad.org 

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Aleks Tutak

Management Board Director 

Aleks graduated from UCLan in 2019, with a first-class degree in Theatre and Performance and in 2021 received a postgraduate certificate in Education and qualified as a Drama teacher. Aleks is driven by creativity and thrives when faced with the opportunity to create. To Aleks, Theatre and Performance is not only an outlet for ideas, concepts and visions, it’s an encouraging chance to showcase individuality, innovation and personal exploration through the way you move, the words you speak and the way you present yourself on stage. Highlighting the importance of technique, alongside incorporating play and eccentricity, are the fundamental elements of Aleks’ theatre practice. Aleks is passionate about inspiring children in a safe and fun environment. 

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Antonia Evans

Management Board Director 

Antonia has worked with the company for a number of years. As well as being on the admin team focusing on HR aspects, Antonia also takes on the responsibility of production elements during YACAD productions and shows..

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