The Dance Network Association: 
dna is a dance organisation that enables people to live more connected, joyful and aspirational lives through dance. 

Dancing with dna provides opportunities for people to improve their confidence and physical wellbeing,  nurtures creativity and independent thinking and enhances friendships through social interaction.


Gemma Wright
CEO and Founder

Gemma has always had a passion for dance and leadership initially studying BA (Hons) Performance Studies at the University of Northampton and completing her dance teaching qualifications (DDTAL) at Trinity Laban.

Gemma holds 16 years of experience in teaching community dance, arts management and producing and has held past positions at the Royal Academy of Dance, Trinity Laban, dancedigital and Dance East.

Gemma’s personal background and experience has helped her to develop a wide understanding of the positive impact dance can have on people’s lives in terms of bringing joy, connection and supporting positive wellbeing. Gemma truly believes that dance is the best form of medicine. All this motivated her to form the Dance Network Association in 2015. 


Gemma is currently on maternity leave with her second little one so please email info@dancenetworkassociation.org.uk where your email can be responded too by the correct member of staff in her absence. 

Lyann Kennedy 
Operations Director

Lyann has worked in community settings for over 19 years within housing, education & training and arts organisations, project managing & facilitating training programmes for socially excluded, unemployed and disabled people across East London and Essex.  


Never wanting to be on stage, Lyann was a founding member of Chain Reaction Youth & Community Theatre, producing and eventually performing in and choreographing many shows over 10 years. Knowing how much confidence the arts brought her personally, Lyann believes in bringing creativity to all, enabling everyone to develop and grow into their ambitions and dreams.

Working with the Dance Network Association has allowed Lyann to be involved with a dynamic and inspirational organisation who, with a can-do attitude, are shaping the way dance and movement is seen into this new decade. Exciting times ahead!

Away from Dance Network, Lyann enjoys everything the outdoors has to offer, is often found walking, running or horse-riding out in the fresh air.

Karen Pratt 
Dance Development Officer

Karen started with the organisation as a freelance artist way back in 2015 supporting Jen Irons on our first mass dance project Dance Rio and went on to lead our Youth Company 'Dance Station' and our Dancing with Parkinson's classes. Karen took up a part time post as our Dance Development Officer in 2019 to support the organisation in its mission to make people smile through dancing. We are excited to watch both her and our programmes grow! 

Karen trained at Roehampton University where she gained a BA (hons) in Dance Studies and went on to complete a PGCE at University Campus Suffolk in 2014. Karen has worked in a range of educational settings in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.


Karen is a keen performer, and has been a member of Dance East's Performance group 'Dance Unlimited' for four years now, and performs regularly in East Anglia.

In 2018 Karen worked as Producer for Ipswich Choral Society on a large-scale community project commemorating WW1; Ipswich Remembers.


Away from dna Karen also teaches various older movers classes and youth dance programmes in Suffolk as well as making her own professional community dance performance work under Karen Louise Dance. 


Steph Townsend 
Freelance Education Projects Coordinator and Communications Officer

Steph is a Norwich based Creative Movement Practitioner whose passion lies in creating opportunities and experiences for people, of all ages, to express themselves and explore emotion through Aerial Arts, Dance and Yoga. 

Steph graduated from Coventry University in 2012 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Dance Making and Performance. Since graduating. Steph has continued to perform, create and lead classes for people aged 3-65+ years, as well as work as a Freelance Project Manager for over 6 years. 


Throughout her career, Steph has grown to appreciate the importance of trusted and genuine relationships in the dance sector and has therefore  developed a passion for creating and nurturing valuable connections between artists, organisations and participants. 

Photographs throughout this website (unless otherwise stated) are courtesy of our Associate Photographer:  Rachel Cherry  http://www.rachelcherry.co.uk


Your privacy is important to you and The Dance Network Association and we make every effort to ensure that the information you share with us is recorded accurately, retained securely and used only according to your wishes. 


We protect your personal information and adhere to all current data protection act legislation with respect to protecting privacy. We do not give out, sell or trade our mailing list data with external organisations. We comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018.  


How long is data kept: 

Where you have been involved directly with us your information will be kept on file for a maximum of 9 years. Video, photographs and evaluation reports where you may have been present or involved will be kept indefinitely and will be used in various social media and marketing promotions via only the Dance Network Association unless expressed otherwise on your permissions/release forms.