ID Team

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About us

ID was created by independent dance artists in the 1980s to further the professional practice of dance artists, and has the longest running year-round training programme in the UK. We act as a hub to develop dialogue beyond our own borders.
We are based at Siobhan Davies Studios in central London.

For information on ID’s beginnings and recent past see the Timeline.


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Heni Hale  –   Co-Director

Henrietta Hale sets the overall artistic direction for Independent Dance, and develops the year-round programme in collaboration with the ID team, artists and partner organisations. She also develops opportunities and partnerships for Independent Dance relating to H.E.

Henrietta is an independent artist, working as a choreographer, performer, researcher and educator in diverse contexts with a collaborative focus, with dancers, musicians, film-makers and visual artists. Much of her work has been realised as co-director of Dog Kennel Hill Project, a collective company of performance makers with Rachel Lopez de la Nieta and Ben Ash. They produce and tour work for theatres, screen, galleries and non-traditional sites in the UK and internationally, working with a range of partners such as Dance4 with whom they were associate artists 2010-2014, Dance Umbrella, Modern Art Oxford, Whitechapel Gallery, The Barbican, Imagine Watford Festival, and Stour Valley Arts.
As well as teaching professional classes she was a regular lecturer in dance technique, choreography and performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance, and choreographed for a variety of groups in higher education.
Henrietta’s practice involves experimentation and play drawing from experiential anatomy, yoga training, and improvisation methods, as well as studies in psychology, in particular social interaction and processes of attention and perception. Currently her interests lie in unpicking how and where dance gets valued, from its processes of production and making, to its realisation in relation to an audience.
Henrietta performed as a collaborative dancer for fifteen years with companies and artists including Ricochet Dance Productions, Rosemary Lee, Angela Woodhouse, Yolande Snaith Theatredance, and Russell Maliphant. 

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Nikki Tomlinson  –  Co-Director

Nikki Tomlinson provides executive direction for Independent Dance, across organisational, creative and financial work.

Nikki is a producer and dramaturg with a background in curation and performance-making. Over the past 20 years she has developed interests in performance, participation, social justice and interdisciplinarity, advocacy for and with artists and widening access in every sense to experimental work.

Her previous roles have included lead artist advisor and producer at Artsadmin and programme manager at Chisenhale Dance. For the past year she has been fully freelance, working with choreographers and visual artists to produce projects across the UK and internationally as well as developing her practice as a dramaturg.

Nikki is also a trustee of Home Live Art, a Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund advisor, and one of Jerwood Arts’ artist advisors.

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Claudia Tonietto  –  Administrator

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Kirsty Alexander  –   MA/MFA Creative Practice Programme Lead Tutor

Kirsty is the module leader for the MA/MFA Creative Practice: Dance Professional Pathway course run by Independent Dance and Siobhan Davies Dance in collaboration with Trinity Laban.

After studying law and then training in contemporary dance Kirsty performed with a diverse range of artists including Gill Clarke, Gaby Agis, Rosemary Butcher, Michael Clark, Michel Laub and Station House Opera.  Her own choreographic work is generally site specific and in collaboration with artists from other disciplines.

She has been involved in educating dancers within the higher education sector for over 15 years, including as Head of Undergraduate Studies at Laban from 2000-2004 and as Assistant Director of London Contemporary Dance School from 2005-2010.

As a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique her approach to the philosophy of education has been significantly influenced by somatic practice and she is associate editor of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices.

Being curious about how kinaesthetic experience could influence wider philosophical and educational thinking she undertook the MA Values in Education at the Institute of Education, London and in October 2010 was awarded a University of Stirling PhD studentship in order to approach the question of a just education from a kinaesthetic perspective.

From February 2015 to December 2017, Kirsty was co-director of Independent Dance, setting the overall artistic direction for Independent Dance, and develops the year-round programme in collaboration with the ID team, artists and partner organisations.

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ID and SDD jointly host 30-week placements from University of Surrey’s BA Dance and Culture programme.
We value that many of the former placements continue their relationship with ID in one way or another.

       Mary Adams 2019/20

Jonathan Lui 2017/18

Claudia Tonietto 2016/17

Sarah Teasdale 2015/16

Georgina Batchelor 2013/14

Alana Jones 2012/13

Rachel Gildea 2011/12

Julie Havelund 2010/11

Siân Goldby 2009/10

Dawn Threadkill 2007/08

Iris Chan 2006/07



2011-2012 Janine Harrington                       2015 Antonio de la Fe



ID would not be the same without the support of its dedicated volunteers.
Ambassadors offer their help at ID events and are advocates of the organisation in their professional lives.

Our first cohort of Ambassadors (then known as ‘Angels’) started in November 2011:

Helka Kaski

Margarita Zafrilla Olayo

Rachel Gomme

Rosalie Wahlfrid

and new Ambassadors joined the group since 2013:

Iris Chan

Rachel Gildea

Julie Havelund

Stephanie Townsend

Siân Goldby

Claudia Tonietto

Ella Tighe

       Sumi Xiaoméi Cheng