Introducing the 2024 Easter Course faculty.

9th April 2024

Introducing the 2024 Easter Course faculty.

This year’s Easter Course welcomes a diverse range of teaching staff , including Rambert School alumni, guest artists and current teachers at Rambert School.

Benji Knapper – Rambert School alumnus

Benji (he/they) is a London-based freelance artist. Benji trainedRambert School before joining Balletboyz in 2018. During their time with BalletBoyz, Benji has performed many shows with works by Maxine Doyle, Xie Xin, Holly Blakey, Christopher Wheeldon, Vidya Patel, Thick & Tight, Russell Maliphant, Edd Arnold, Ivan Perez, Shelley Maxwell and more. Benji has also worked with James Cousins Company, Shaper Caper, DeNada Dance Theatre and Staatsoper Unter Den Linden.

Benji is thrilled to be facilitating class on the Easter Course and is most looking forward to the energy young dancers bring to the space and seeing their growth over the week.

Conor Kerrigan – Rambert School alumnus

Connor Kerrigan, from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, completed his dance training at London Contemporary Dance School before going on to complete his MA in Rambert2 Company at Rambert School. . In 2019, he joined Rambert dance company and where he continues his practice.

“To be teaching and exploring with young dancers on the Easter Course will be a pleasure. I am looking forward to creative sessions and diving into the students’ different qualities and emotions. I am excited to teach at Rambert School as they have encouraged my development through the Rambert2 MA programme. “

Elaini Lalousis – Rambert School alumna

Elaini Koula Lalousis started her training  at various youth programs including the Northern Ballet Associate program, Phoenix Dance Theatre Youth Company & NSCD CertHe. She later went on to study at Rambert School where she worked with Mathew Bourne’s New Adventures, Akram Khan, Hofesh Shechter and choreographer Ana Maria Lucaciu.  Since graduating in July 2023 with first class Honours, Elaini has been pursuing a freelance career and has recently performed at the Royal Opera House’s Festival of New Choreography and Autumn Draft Works alongside numerous national companies.

“I am super excited to be teaching at the Rambert School Easter Course, alongside many other amazing teachers! I am looking forward to being in the room with the next generation of talented dancers, and how much I will learn as a teacher and dancer from these students.”

Natalie Dodd – Rambert School alumna and Pre[pare] Teacher

Natalie Dodd is a London-based dance artist who trained at Rambert School and later, gained a master’s degree through the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She toured in Mark Bruce Company’s The Odyssey, has been part of commercials and music videos, and performed twice at The Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms. Natalie has performed works by choreographers such as Kerry Nicholls, Mark Baldwin and Kenneth MacMillan, as well as working with the English National Opera and The Royal Shakespeare Company.

She has choreographed for the over 60’s group, Chronicles, YAGP and Prix de Lausanne participants, galas, dance schools and for her own solo performances. Her teaching experience spans across internationally renowned organisations including Rambert School, Rambert Company, Trinity Laban, The Place, The Royal Academy of Dance, BBO Dance, Mark Bruce Company.

Natalie is a tutor on the Pre[pare] course at Rambert School and co-syllabus devisor, delivering artist and examiner for Rambert Grades.

“My favourite part of any Rambert School course is witnessing and helping to facilitate the special connections that the dancers make with each other throughout the week. We all come away from it having learnt so much, including myself. The wonderful musicians that accompany our classes are also such a treat and really bring things to life.”

Kio Tomiyama – Rambert School Faculty

Kio Tomiyama (FHEA) was born in Japan and trained there in classical ballet. She came to the UK to study at Rambert School in 1993. From 1996-2002 she danced professionally in Japan. In 2002, she qualified from the Pilates Teacher Training Course at Alan Herdman Pilates and since then has taught Pilates at Alan Herdman Studios, Chelsea Harbour Club, Royal Academy of Dance and Millenium Dance 2000. Kio started to teach Pilates at Rambert School in 2005, and since 2007 has been involved in rehabilitation after injury and injury management / prevention as part of the Screening, Treatment and Rehabilitation Unit (STRU) at Rambert School. She also gained a diploma (BCNH) in Nutrition Therapy in 2012 and became a Neuro Linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner and a coach (Phil Parker Institute) in 2020. She has achieved a Fellowship in Advance Higher Education (FHEA).She studied an MA in Research in Practice at Rambert School from 2021-2023, focusing on the impact of NLP and coaching in dance education. She also coaches point work as well.

“In my teaching, I like to combine not just Pilates but all kinds of body weight training which benefit dancers who want to become professional. I am looking forward to meeting young dancers who are passionate about exploring their potential.”

Hannah Kidd – Rambert School Faculty

Hannah began her training at Elmhurst Ballet School and went onto London Contemporary Dance School where she completed her BA Hons and her MA. In 2007 Hannah joined Richard Alston Dance Company, with whom she performed for six years both nationally and internationally. As a freelance dancer she has performed for many other leading companies and choreographer’s, notably Merce Cunningham Company, Russell Maliphant, New Movement Collective, Didy Veldman, Ashley Page, Wayne Parsons Dance, Darren Ellis Dance and Mark Bruce Company. 2012 saw Hannah nominated for the National Dance Award’s Outstanding Female Performer. Hannah was part of the original cast for Bruce’s Dracula which was winner of the Sky Arts South Bank Award 2014 and was nominated for a Critics Circle award for her role as Penelope in Bruce’s Odyssey in 2016. Most recently, she performed in A night of 100 solo’s, a centennial celebration for Merce Cunningham at the Barbican, London, the event was live streamed worldwide. Alongside performing Hannah has taught in many of the UK’s dance conservatoires on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at London Contemporary Dance School, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Rambert School, Central School of Ballet and at Trinity Laban, as well as for companies Richard Alston Dance Company, Protein, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Mark Bruce Company.

Joshua Ecob – Rambert School Faculty

Born in Nottinghamshire, Joshua started his training at KSDance. From 2010, Joshua danced for the Serbian National Ballet, then the Bosnian National Ballet before returning to the UK and joining London Contemporary Ballet Theatre. After returning home, Joshua completed his teacher training at The Royal Ballet School. He works extensively as a guest teacher and private coach, both across the UK and internationally. Joshua works closely with students to refine their technique, preparing them for school auditions, assessments, and professional auditions. He continues to regularly choreograph for Midland Theatre Ballet, South West Theatre Ballet, and Belfast Theatre Ballet and teaches at other national summer schools, workshops and intensives.

“I’m most looking forward to meeting and working with a group of new students. Seeing the individuality, personality, and artistry that they bring to each class and hopefully seeing them gain new tools and experiences that will help with their journeys as dancers.”

Anthony Matsena – Guest Artist

Anthony is a Zimbabwean-born and Welsh-raised director, writer and choreographer working between the mediums of dance, theatre, music and poetry. Anthony co-founded Matsena Productions with his brother Kel in 2017 as a reaction to the lack of representation they were seeing in schools, on stage and on screen. Anthony’s break-out moment came as a Sadler’s Wells Young Associate in 2018, creating works for Lilian Baylis Studio Theatre and the main stage. Recent commissions include Sky Arts, Sadler’s Wells, BBC, Korean National Contemporary Dance Company, National Dance Company Wales, Jasmin Vardimon 2, Messums Wiltshire, National Theatre Wales, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and CAPA College.”

“I’m most excited to teach this week at Rambert School as I get to play a small role in the development of the future generation of dance.”

Marie-Astrid Mence – Guest Artist

Marie-Astrid Mence was a former student of the Higher National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris and a scholarship student at Alvin Ailey School. She joined Ballet Black in 2014 up to 2021 and Phoenix Dance Company in 2015 touring in the UK and Europe.

In February 2016, she was promoted dancer of the month by the Dancing Times UK. From 2018 to 2022, Marie-Astrid featured in Disney’s series Find Me in Paris, OCS production series L’Opera, Ulu’s series Spellbound as a body double for the lead actress and featured in Netflix’s Queen Charlotte as a dancer. At the end of 2020, Marie-Astrid shared her story in the Nowness short film The Truth of Being a Black Ballerina by Rebecca Murray.

In the same year, she performed a 15-minute solo in Oklahoma! as the lead dancer at the Young Vic. In 2023, she made her West End debut at the Wyndhams Theatre. Recently, Marie-Astrid performed as a TEDX speaker in Paris where she talked about the notion of success and the courage to find our voice in an unfair and discriminatory environment. Throughout her career, she has delivered workshops and ballet technique to companies such as Phoenix Dance Theatre, Corey Baker Dance, New Adventures and The Place and schools such as Rambert School, Cecchetti Associates, Artistry Youth Dance, CAT program at The Place and schools partnering with English National Ballet through the Ballet Futures Program.

“I can’t wait for the Easter Course. I’m thrilled to inspire and motivate dancers to reach new heights. My goal is to create a fun and inclusive environment where everyone feels supported and empowered to contribute their unique talents to the class.”

Leon Poulton  – Guest Artist

Leon Poulton is a dancer and photographer based in the UK. He graduated from Trinity Laban Centre and immediately joined Balletboyz performing internationally for Stage, TV and Film productions for 7 years. He then went on to freelance in the UK and Europe for artists such as Ivan Perez, Lynne Page and Russell Maliphant performing for stage and feature films. Leon loves exploring movement of the body and focuses on improvisation as a key to create movement, encourage self-discovery and connect with the bodies around us.




By subscribing to the email newsletter you will receive exciting news and updates from Rambert School. We will keep your details private and of course won't pass your details on to any Third parties. Find full details via our Privacy Policy here.