Meet the YDance Team

Meet the YDance Team

Carolyn Lappin

Executive Director

Carolyn’s experience:

Carolyn has been Chief Executive at YDance (Scottish Youth Dance) since 2002. Educated at Glasgow University, she began working in the arts front of house at the Citizens’ Theatre in Glasgow, before going on to Scottish Youth Theatre where she was General Manager from 1984 until 2001, also managing the Old Athenaeum Theatre for SYT.

Carolyn has also been Administrator for Winged Horse Touring Productions, IPB Productions and Spontaneous Combustions, and was Chair of the Independent Theatre Council in Scotland from 1996 – 1998 and a member of the UK ITC Board of Directors. She is Chair of Surge, a company which develops street arts, physical theatre and circus in Scotland, and is a Trustee of People Dancing (Foundation for Community Dance).

Carolyn’s role at YDance:

Carolyn is responsible for the overall management of the company, and reports to the Board of Directors. Her role includes business planning, financial management, human resources, liaising with and reporting to Creative Scotland and other statutory funders, governance matters, safeguarding policy and practice and data protection.

Fun fact:

Carolyn is a fan of American Football and supports the Washington Redskins.

Contact Carolyn about:

  • Funding and governance matters


Anna Kenrick

Artistic Director

Anna’s Experience:

Anna trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance before working with the Education Team at The Place, London, Magpie Dance Company, Anjali Dance Company and teaching for many different schools and organisations across the UK as a choreographer, teacher and facilitator.

In 2002 Anna joined Ludus Dance Company where she worked as both a dancer and teacher. She performed in UK and international tours of Perfecting Eugene, Trapped and Zygote, working with choreographers Rosie Kay, Filip Van Huffel and Hanna Gillgren. She joined YDance in 2007 as Project Director for the Free to Dance project as well as a choreographer for a number of projects including Project Y where she has choregraphed 11 new works to date touring across the country.

In 2011 Anna was appointed as Artistic Director of YDance and has gone on to create and choreograph new works for the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland – A Million Eyes on You (2012), If I Told You (2014), Stuck in My Throat (2015), Maelstrom (2016) Di-ver-gent (2018), For Those Who Wait (2019) and Beneath Words (2020). All these pieces have toured nationally across the UK and internationally to Australia, Belgium, India, Ireland and France. She has co-choregraphed pieces across the world in Australia, Belgium and France with Filip Van Huffel, Josette Baiz, Jayden Hicks and Ruth Osbourne for international exchange projects.

Anna has been commissioned to create outdoor and indoor pieces for the cultural programmes for the 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships as well as directing and programming the first ever Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival in 2014. In 2018 Anna choregraphed and directed a large scale intergenerational project, “Generation Dance Festival” in partnership with Scottish Ballet and choregraphed a collaborative production “Tell Us Who We Are” with the National Youth Choir of Scotland, National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and Scottish Youth Theatre.

Anna is a trained life coach and has been a mentor for the Federation of Scottish Theatre for 7 years.

Anna’s role at YDance:

Anna drives and leads all the strategic development of the artistic programme for YDance. From idea creation to project delivery, Anna works with her fantastic team of dance artists to ensure Scotland has a range of dance projects in different communities and settings to allow children and young people from a range of backgrounds to experience dance. She is a trainer, facilitator, choreographer, manager, teacher, artist and instigator.

Anna’s fun fact:

She hates Turkish Delight and can sing all the songs from Miss Saigon!

Contact Anna about:

  • How dance can support your organisation and young people
  • Strategic development
  • Project ideas and development
  • The National Youth Dance Company of Scotland
  • Hothouse
  • Project Y
  • Destinations
  • Working as a choreographer or teacher for YDance

Linzi McLagan

Head of Education

Linzi’s experience:

Linzi McLagan first gained contemporary dance experience at 12 years old. She performed and participated in creative community projects throughout Dundee before going on to study at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, where she achieved a Higher National Diploma in Contemporary Dance Performance.

After graduation she joined the community initiatives team at Dundee College, where she received a Teaching and Leadership mentorship with Catherine Cassidy. Linzi then went on to work as a Lecturer at Dundee College and spent four years there teaching contemporary technique, choreography and movement science at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance. Within this time Linzi achieved a Higher Diploma: Exercise Physiology, an Advanced Diploma: Teaching in Further Education, her 3rd module in Polestar Pilates Matt work, an MSc in Dance Science and Education at the University of Edinburgh and acquired her Postgraduate: Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) at the University of Dundee.

Linzi has worked extensively throughout Scotland as a Community Dance Artist, Dance Development Officer (educational remit) and a Dance Educationalist in Early Years, Primary, secondary and Further Education settings. Linzi has a passion for working within the Dance Education sector producing innovative projects across Scotland and is delighted to be part of theYDance team!

Linzi’s role at YDance:

Linzi is principally responsible for the Education strand of the company’s work which includes strategic planning, management and delivery of YDance education projects and events. Her role aims to promote the delivery of dance within the formal education sector and influence the future development of dance within the Scottish curriculum.

Fun fact:

Her favourite place to hang out is in a library.

Contact Linzi about:

  • Support in the delivery of Primary, BGE and SQA dance in schools
  • CLPL training, educational resources and guidance for teachers to enable and inspire young people to increase their skill base and provide more dance in schools.

Kelly Shearer

Head of Participation

Kelly's Experience:

Kelly started dancing at 12 years old and discovered a love for contemporary and urban styles while attending Knightswood Secondary School. She went on to study at Anniesland College (now Dance Studio Scotland) and graduated in 2004. Kelly has worked in the Scottish dance sector for over 17 years and has been at YDance for 13 of those. She has travelled to, and taught in every local authority in Scotland, as well as Germany, Holland, Spain and India, working with a variety of different dancers and choreographers.

Kelly's role at YDance:

Kelly heads up the Participation strand of the company’s work and is responsible for the development of projects which are delivered in various contexts in community settings. These projects are often delivered in partnership with local authorities and local organisations that work with young people. Kelly teaches on specific projects including work in HMYOI Polmont and for our inclusive youth dance company Horizons Glasgow. Kelly manages the delivery of Sports Leaders (Dance Leadership Awards), Arts Award and SQA qualifications (excluding National Qualifications in dance). She is also the SQA Coordinator for YDance.

Fun fact:

Kelly once danced with street-dance crew Diversity while attending Urban Dance Camp in Germany in 2013.

Contact Kelly about:

  • Providing dance to your youth group or organisation
  • Information about our Horizons Glasgow, Aberdeen and Stirling youth dance companies
  • Working in partnership for long or short term projects
  • Freelance dance artist opportunities
  • Information about the delivery of Sports Leaders UK (Dance Leadership), Arts Award and SQA qualifications (excluding National Qualifications in dance)

Lauren Ferguson

Projects Coordinator

Lauren’s experience:

Lauren studied Administration at Notre Dame High School and went on to graduate from North Glasgow College with an NQ in Office Skills. She then attended Glasgow Central College of Commerce in 2005/2006 studying HNC in Business Administration.

Lauren has been a member of the YDance team since 2004, working as the Administration Assistant. However, after the birth of her second son took a year out to focus on her family. She later returned in 2014 and was appointed Project Coordinator in July 2016.

Lauren’s role at YDance:

Lauren works alongside the Artistic Team to coordinate the logistics of YDance’s various projects. Her role encompasses work across each strand of the organisation, from Talent to Access & Participation to Education.

Fun fact:

Lauren has worked in YDance since she was 16, making this her only job since leaving school.

Contact Lauren about:

  • Applications and logistics
  • The National Youth Dance Company of Scotland
  • Project Y
  • Hothouse Level 1 & 2
  • Open class bookings
  • Dance floor hire

Denise McLeod

Office Administrator

Denise’s experience:

On leaving school Denise studied Administration at Langside College. From there she went on to work for a landscape architect before moving on to GEAR ITeC which in due course changed from a training company to a Sage and IT support organisation with a name change to Informa Tech where she worked for 19 years. She then switched to M&D’s, Scotland’s theme park, before settling at YDance as Administration Officer in 2005.

Denise’s role at YDance:

Denise’s main role at YDance is to produce management accounts and salaries on a monthly basis using Sage software. She also looks after the day to day running of the office as well as the office equipment.

Fun fact:

Denise loves Zumba even though she has two left feet!

Contact Denise about:

  • General Enquires
  • Anything relating to IT or office equipment.


Alison Mussett

Fundraising Officer

Alison’s experience:

Alison studied BA (Hons) Communication Studies at Sunderland University. She has worked in the arts in Scotland for over 20 years with companies including Glasgow Jazz Festival, Assembly Theatre, Traverse Theatre, Dundee Rep Theatre, Glasgow Theatre Royal, Theatre Workshop, Benchtours, Anatomy Performance Company and many more. Alison is a trustee of The Occasion theatre company. She started work at YDance in 2016.

Alison’s role at YDance:

Alison raises money to support the work that YDance does through applying to trusts and foundations, working with sponsors and individual givers.

Fun fact:

Alison’s sister is a best-selling author.

Contact Alison about:

  • Contact Alison if you would like to find about how you can support the work of YDance.

Kirsty Rough

Marketing Manager

Kirsty’s experience:

Kirsty graduated from the University of Teesside with a BA Hons Degree in Tourism Management. From there she went on to study a Professional Diploma in Marketing and a Diploma in Digital Marketing, both with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) of which she is an Associate Member.

Kirsty has worked in various marketing roles in a number of industries including publishing, finance, travel and theatre, and has lived and worked in Australia and Canada. Prior to her move to YDance in January 2017, she worked as Marketing Officer at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, Essex.

Kirsty’s role at YDance:

Kirsty manages all aspects of YDance’s marketing, from the overall marketing strategy and project promotions, to design and digital channel management. She works across all three strands of the organisation – Talent Development, Participation and Education – working closely with the senior management team.

Fun fact:

Kirsty once appeared on TV with Tom Hiddleston.

Contact Kirsty about:

  • All things marketing related
  • Press enquiries

Gillian Montgomery

Senior Dance Artist

Gillian's experience:

Gillian studied Dance at Anniesland College achieving an HND before going on to complete a BA in Dance at Edinburgh’s Telford College. She worked as a Freelance Dance Artist for several years before joining YDance full time for the Dance in Schools Initiative team towards the end of 2007.

In 2009 Gillian took 3-month sabbatical to study at Broadway Dance Centre in New York, along with attending many other professional development programmes such as Urban Dance Camp in 2013.

Gillian's role at YDance

Gillian has worked on many different projects throughout her time at YDance – Dance in Schools Initiative, Free to Dance, YDance Active, Project Y, Take the Lead and many more. She is also NYDCS rehearsal director.

Fun fact:

Gillian is an adrenalin junkie and has bungee jumped, sky dived and swam with sharks.

Aimee Friel

Dance Artist

Aimee’s experience:

In 2017, Aimee graduated from Dance Studio Scotland, securing A grades for both HND and HNC Dance Artist Qualifications. A highlight of Aimee’s college experience was when her HND graded unit piece of choreography was selected to be performed in the department’s end of year showcase at the Mitchell Theatre. During her final year Aimee visited New York City where she learned from some of the industry’s leading professional dancers at Broadway Dance Center and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

While studying at college, Aimee’s experience and interest as a community dance artist developed immensely. She began teaching for private dance schools and primary schools. She then became more versatile through her work with the Scottish Ballet Elders Company, South Lanarkshire Council and Tomorrow’s Women.

In 2018, Aimee graduated from Edinburgh College with a First-class BA (hons) Degree in Dance. Immediately after graduating, she secured a full-time position with YDance as a Trainee Dance Artist. This experience developed Aimee into the well-rounded practitioner that she is today and earned her a permanent position with the organisation.

Aimee’s role at YDance:

Aimee works mainly across the Participation strand at YDance. She teaches a range of young people, some of which include: young offenders at HMYOI Polmont, young parents and their babies, and primary/secondary school pupils.

Fun fact:

Aimee has an identical twin sister!

Jessica Ho

Dance Artist – Education

Jessica’s experience:

Jessica graduated in 2015 from The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance with BA Hons Degree in Dance, during which she was also a part of the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland.

After graduating Jessica worked freelance for several organisations including as a dance tutor for South Lanarkshire Council, an assistant for Indepen-dance, and on projects such as Jump In and Catalyst with YDance. Since starting her role at YDance, Jessica has gained experience working inclusively with several different groups. She currently co choreographs YDance’s inclusive dance company Horizons.

Jessica’s role at YDance:

Jessica works primarily on the Shake it Up project. Working in three different primary schools within West Dunbartonshire. She creates lessons that explore interdisciplinary learning for the pupils involved. She feels that she has really evolved into her role as the project has gone on. Jessica also currently co-choreographs YDance’s inclusive dance company Horizons.

Fun fact:

Jessica has a love for party planning and cake. On her birthday in 2019 she had five different cakes within the week!

Julieann Smith

Dance Artist - Education

Julieann’s experience:

Julieann has a first-class BA Hons degree in Dance and is currently studying for her Masters in Education at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

She has over 15 years dance teaching experience in a wide range of context including education, youth work and community outreach programmes. In addition to her teaching work, Julieannhas extensive experience choreographing for Musical Theatre youth groups and is a currently a performing member of professional dance troupe, The Kennedy Cupcakes.

Julieann’s role at YDance:

Julieann works full time on YDance’s education project, Shake It Up. She creates and delivers cross-curricular dance sessions that aim to raise pupil’s attainment levels in primary schools across Scotland.

Fun fact:

Julieann doesn’t like Pizza.

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