Meet The Team
Fiona Richardson | Artistic Director - Associate U.K.A Fully qualified Acrobatic Arts instructor, spin cycle instructor, Fitness to music and member of UNESCO, CSTD, UKA, UDO
Hi there, Thank you for considering the big dance company for your child’s dance education and experience.
I have been teaching for 26 years now and specialise in teaching personal development, creative movement, lyrical and concept choreography.
The moment I took my first dance class I knew I wanted to be a teacher. There is no feeling quite like it! Empowering children and adults, watching personal progress is as rewarding as technical progress.
Seeing the child that is scared to enter the studio as they are so nervous to then be dancing alone in a room full of people with confidence and then onto becoming a confident professional adult ! What a gift we have to be able to be part of this process!
Our teachers here at the big dance company are all as equally passionate and committed to giving the best possible mentor ship to the children.
My husband and I have a sole purpose here in Cornwall as studio directors and that is to provide excellent training to help dancers become versatile, give exciting challenging and rewarding platforms for dancers, give nourishing and bonding opportunities for families to enjoy together, to provide training for those that don’t have a disposable income and have this incredible Cornish talent seen by the world ! I live for dance and the joy it brings.
Lukas McFarlane is a 27-year-old Creative/Choreographer from Canada.
His career was skyrocketed when he was crowned the UK and Ireland’s best dance act, winning Sky1’s hit TV show, ‘Got to Dance’ in 2013 at just 19 years old. This led him to work with huge artists such as Carly Rae Jepson, Taylor Swift and Celine Dion early on in his career. Lukas’s passion however, always lied in creation and he is fast becoming a well-known and widely respected artist in this realm working creatively and choreographically on 'The X Factor', ITV’s 'The Voice' and 'Change Your Tune'. Lukas has also choreographed for Strictly Come Dancing, being the first to introduce Contemporary on the show in 16 seasons. He has worked with global brands such as GAP, LYNK&CO and UNIQLO and for international artists such as James Arthur, Pink, Vance Joy and Saara Aalto. He has worked on So You Think You Can Dance in 4 countries including the USA and is also well versed in creating live shows to audiences of more than 60 thousand at events like 'British Summer Time Hyde Park' and the 'Eurovision Song Contest'. He regularly shares his passion for teaching all over the world and is Founder and Creative Director of London based dance company UnTitled Dance Company who have performed there work to sold out audiences internationally.
Shanna Dawes FDA Bsc(Hons) / trained in progressing ballet technique level 1 and 2
I have been part of the BDC team for 5/6 years now , My journey started as part of a community dance team where I found a passion for teaching early on in my life. I furthered my education in dance at Truro and Penwith college and then onto Plymouth university where I completed my degree in dance and then topped my degree up in sports performance and coaching. Currently I’m working towards my CSTD Teaching Diploma in ballet and want to long term complete all areas to enable me to examine. I have had many opportunities to travel the world, to teach, learn and grow from cultures through dance. I have a strong ethos for every child to have the opportunity to excel and feel free to express themselves through the power of dance and for them to feel safe and relaxed in the classroom. I feel so honoured to be part of the Big Dance Company Teaching team and watch our students over the years grow into not only beautiful dancers but confident happy humans too.
Kyle Richardson - Fully qualified Hip Hop instructor / Official UDO examiner / Teacher of Akademy street dance and Breakdance
Hey my name is Kyle Richardson
I am a dancer from Cornwall who has had the pleasure of travelling all around the world with BDC sharing my love for breakdance and street dance.
I debuted with my crew in 2008 on a popular TV show “Britain’s got talent” reaching the semi finals and working in the dance industry ever since including touring with take that on their progress tour and many exciting high profile industry events. Most recently becoming and official UDO street dance International examiner. I love being able to show children how to reach their potential in dance and being their to support and mentor wherever I can!
Dance is about being yourself, with like minded people and The Big Dance Company is the perfect place to do it
Megan Barkham - Level 3 Extended Diploma studying CSTD Diploma `modern Jazz and Contemporary and BSc honors Degree in Physiotherapy
Hey, my name is Megan Barkham and I have been a part of the Big Dance Company for around 10 years. I started off training in Hip hop and breakdance, to progress onto lyrical, jazz, contemporary and acrobatics at a later stage.
At college I studied a level 3 extended diploma in dance achieving a triple distinction*. I have taken CSTD exams in Ballet, Jazz and contemporary. Currently, I’m working towards my CSTD teaching diploma in Jazz and contemporary. Alongside teaching, I’m studying a BSc honours degree in Physiotherapy at Plymouth University. I have had many opportunities to travel the world with BDC such as performing at the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, Performing in Kuching and many more. In 2016 and 2017 I got the opportunity to assist Fiona at the Halili Cruz school of Ballet summer intensive in the Philippines where I was also able to train in many different styles. Watching each child excel and develop their confidence and technique both in and out of the classroom is the reason why I love teaching. Being a part of the Big Dance Company teaching team is so incredible due to the team members around you and the wonderful students within the classroom.
Hi, my name is Charley and I’m a dancer, student choreographer and performer at The Big Dance Company.
I have been attending here as a student for around 9 years, dancing predominantly in hip hop/street, commercial and contemporary. I am also working towards my hip hop Akademy Teaching Diploma, as well as working with the business side of BDC as one of the receptionists and I am also working towards a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care at college.
I am now having more opportunities to teach to a variety of abilities and ages.
For me, dancing in the environment we have enables not only myself, but a lot of dancers to feel safe without judgement and having that ongoing support from others around you. I love this company because it has such a warm vibrant energy from everyone, with such amazing opportunities for aspiring dancers and performers.
Hi, my name is Esha Dawson and I’ve been dancing at the Big Dance Company for about 8 years now.
I’m working towards my CSTD teachers diploma in ballet, jazz and contemporary, alongside studying Level 3 sports science at college. I have assisted for many years and now becoming a teacher myself I’m so excited to watch my students grow and improve.
Assisting and teaching really builds up that relationship with the younger students and allows me to watch them grow- It’s such a privilege and really pushes me to work, succeed and inspire. In 2016 and 2019 I flew the Halili Cruz School of Ballet in the Philippines to assist lyrical classes and further my ballet training during a months intensive. I am a current member of FLAVA which is a professional company who has paid professional work, competitions and performances.
Hey I’m Millie Mead, and I have been dancing at the Big Dance Company since 2014. I am currently a dancer at BDC myself as well as a teacher/assistant. Alongside this I’m doing a level 3 sport and exercise science course at college.
I have been lucky enough to travel around the world with dance visiting Los Angles, Malaysia and South Africa widening my knowledge as a dancer and an assistant/teacher, training in the styles hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, acrobatics, ballet, Chinese dance and flexibility. I have been an assistant at BDC since 2015 and have recently started to teach my own classes in turns and jump techniques as well as jazz.
I love teaching as it is rewarding when your student gets a goal that they have been working really hard to get, and you also get to see the journey and progress of each student and be part of it with them.