Our mission is to raise the profile of dance in Essex and further afield. We seek to do this through the provision of affordable high-quality dance delivery for local communities, individuals, schools and young people more generally.


We seek to:

  • increase the opportunities available for everyone in the community to engage in dance

  • encourage happy and healthy lifestyles through dance activity by promoting self-esteem, confidence, mobility and general fitness 

  • widen aspirations by providing both performance opportunities and the opportunity to be part of a community audience

  • enhance the quality of dance provision across the county by offering support in schools and through professional development programmes and qualifications

  • build a coherent and progressive dance future for Essex and its neighbouring counties

  • (above all) have fun dancing!

"Well organised, delightful people, good food and good workshops. WELL DONE! Coming to Essex is always a pleasure."


Sue Goodman

Artistic Director - Step into Dance



"Thank you for such a lovely and yet another relaxed day."


Elsa Urmston

CAT Programme Manager - DanceEast


 "The performance we did was a great opportunity for everyone... it gives us a taste of the dance world"

Primary Student aged 10

Keeping Dance Alive 2017


"Great to work with other teachers who share our passion for dance."


Sophie Gregory 

Teacher  - The Colne Community School





"Big thumbs up from Richard Alibon, we appreciate all of your hard work and organisation"


Bobbie Gargrave

Teacher -  Richard Alibon Primary School


"Great organisation, very positive and encouraging."

William Searl

Teacher - Colchester Academy

The Dance Network Association is passionate about offering a wealth of dance participation and education to local communities in Essex and its neighbouring counties

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

Gemma’s background in arts management includes posts at the Royal Academy of Dance, Trinity Laban, DanceDigital and Dance East. Gemma has also run her own dance school that specialised in teaching dance for the early years and in which she created her own methods of delivery and continues to test and research through our early year's programmes.


Gemma’s background and personal experience have helped her to develop a wide understanding of the positive impact dance can have on people’s lives and in turn, motivated her to form The Dance Network Association. 


If you are interested in talking to us about how to create dance projects, mentoring, any of our research OR if you are interested in delivering in collaboration please contact her she would love to grab a coffee virtually or in person! 

Gemma Wright
Artistic Director


Lyann has worked in community settings for over 18 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.  


Lyann currently works part-time for Dance Network, generally doing anything that is thrown at her! 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.

Lyann Kennedy 
Director (Finance and Communications) 

Karen is a Suffolk based Dance Artist specialising in contemporary and community dance. She 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.


She is currently teaching various older movers classes and youth dance programmes in Suffolk as well as making her own professional community dance performance work.


Karen started with the Dance Network 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. Two projects which we look forward to seeing grow and develop in her now employed role. 

Karen Pratt 
Dance Development Officer



We currently do not have any vacancies.


We are, however, looking for support artists and volunteers - please email gemma@dancenetworkassociation.org.uk with a copy of your CV, interests and availability. 


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.

© 2015-2021 The Dance Network Association CIC, Company Number 09866120.


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