OUR TEAM

Meet the people who work for you

Laura

Laura has been teaching Dance and Theatre for over 15 years in a variety of settings including specialist dance/performing arts schools as well as in formal education settings across all key stages. 

She has a wealth of performance experience, which she is also able to bring to her teaching. Laura prides herself on the belief that anyone can perform and encourages her young people to express themselves and tell their stories regardless of their ability. 

In her early teaching years Laura worked as a Children’s Movement and Acting Coach for several professional touring companies on shows such as ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘The Wiz’.

As a Choreographer Laura has an extensive list of credits and achievements. Most recently Laura worked with Luton’s NPO Tangled Feet on ‘Factory Reset’ for the reopening of The Hat Factory. Laura also collaborated with Tangled Feet on ‘Mirror Sky’, for the finale of The Imagine Luton Festival. 
Laura was commissioned to create a piece for Luton’s People Power Passion Event in 2019. In 2020 Laura created ‘Social Dis’dancing’, a piece for BBC 3 Counties Radio which received over 44k views. Laura has also taken the lead and contributed to Creative projects with The Charity Signposts, The Level Trust, Pirton Hill Primary School, The BBC, Fashion Show Live, Motus Dance Festival, The Big Dance at the Love Luton Festival, Cancer Research UK’s Relay for Life and a fundraiser for Keech Hospice.

Since becoming a Mum (to what is now 3 little ones) Laura, alongside her husband David, established ‘Taleshakers’. As Resident storyteller and DJ, Laura has performed to 1000’s of babies, toddlers, little ones and their families across the UK and around the Globe.

With David, Laura co-devised the award winning youth theatre piece ‘RIP NED’, ‘The Butterfly Catcher’ (Winner of the Brighton Fringe Award for Outstanding Theatre), ‘In Doing Nothing I Found Me’ and ‘Laced Within Our Borders’ as well as the critically acclaimed Dance Theatre pieces ‘The Little Things’, ‘Love for Dummies’, ‘Pity Party’ and ‘What She Said’.

Many of Laura’s students have gone on to further training or directly into the industry where they have performed professionally on both Stage and Screen.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
Watching Company Chameleon perform ‘Push’ at Pirton Hill Primary School in Luton as part of our ‘Up Our Street’ initiative. Seeing the faces of the young people who were there was absolutely priceless. So many of them had never seen anything like this before and is was a totally breathtaking moment.

My local hidden gem/hero:
All the young people who attend NGYT. I know this sounds cliché but honestly every young person that we work with has something so special. It is an honour to know them, see them grow and watch them on their journey.

I can’t live without:

Coffee. Dance. Theatre. My family (Nuclear and NGYT)

NGYT Laura

Laura lloyd - she/her (BA HONS)

Founder / C0-Artistic Director / Choreographer

David

David has been teaching Drama/Theatre for over 20 years in a vast range of settings. Having taught at various private Theatre Arts Schools for over 6 years, David then went on to work as a Drama Specialist at Richmond Hill Special Needs School in Luton. Prior to achieving his QTS, David gained much experience working in EBD schools and Higher Education as a Cover teacher. David then went on to become Head of Drama at Ashcroft High School in Luton for 6 years before returning to his other passion, teaching special needs children. David now works at Richmond Hill SEN School in Luton where he is Head of the school's Creative Curriculum, Expressive Arts and School Council.

David trained at The Prestigious East 15 Acting School and gained his MA in Acting for TV, Film and Radio. Upon graduation David was signed by an agency and spent over 2 years working as an actor in Theatre, TV, Film and Radio. As a Director, David has worked on a number of student plays, devised pieces and musical theatre productions, most notably ‘Home Can Be Anywhere’, ‘That Night Follows Day’, ‘Hairspray’ and ‘We Will Rock You’.

Since NGYT began David has written and directed the award winning theatre pieces ‘RIP NED’, ‘The Butterfly Catcher’, ‘In Doing Nothing I Found Me’ and 'Laced Within Our Borders' as well as the critically acclaimed dance/theatre pieces ‘The Little Things’, ‘The Pity Party’, and ‘What She Said’. David has been commissioned to write pieces to be performed throughout the community such as, 'Activhate' for Beds Police, 'Easily You' for The NHS and 'My Home, My Kingdom, My Castle' for Signposts, to name a few.

David has also been nominated for The South of England Best New Writing Award in 2015 and was also commissioned to write The First Ever Theatre Piece for the re-opening of Wardown Museum.

David believes every young person is creative and waxes lyrical about the life transforming power of the arts.
At the heart of David's teaching and work with young people there is a passion and commitment to ensuring young people are valued and given space to express their ideas and thoughts and feelings about their world.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
It’s a battle between Jack Thorne’s ‘When you cure me’ or The Musical ‘Matilda’ (what can I say I have eclectic taste)

My local hidden gem/hero:
The Bear Club...If you haven't been....why not? It is a fantastic, welcoming and high quality venue and Luton is lucky to have it

I can’t live without:
Liverpool FC and Sky sports news. And don’t get me started about transfer deadline day.
I also have a real issue with chocolate consumption....
Oh yeah and my gorgeous wife and Co-Founder Laura and three beautiful children.

NGYT Laura

David Lloyd - He/him (BA HONS MA QTS)

Founder / Co-Artistic Director / Writer

Lauren

Lauren is a Freelance Dance Artist from Luton and began her professional dance training at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds. In 2009 she continued her studies at University of Surrey and graduated in 2012 with a First class BA (hons) in Dance and Culture.

In pursuit of her Master’s degree at University of Chichester, Lauren performed for Mapdance Company in their 2013 UK Tour and also secured jobs performing for Sheron Wray and Drake Music and Assisting Gary Clarke with Anjali Dance Company in Oxford.

In February 2014 Lauren worked with Rosemary Lee as part of her professional team leading 'Under the Vaulted Sky', a 6 month intergenerational community project culminating in performances with a 100-strong community cast for IF Festival Milton Keynes in July that year. This inspired Lauren to continue to facilitate community outreach projects which she pursues now with NGYT in Luton.

Lauren has worked as an Assistant to the Directors of Tangled Feet, Mimbre and NGYT for the Imagine Luton Festivals in 2017 and 2018. Lauren has worked and collaborated with German artist Markus Hansen and danced in choreography by Helen Parlor for Motus MK in HERStory.
Lauren has most recently performed with Hannah Pickett Dance in UnderStory (October 2021).

Lauren has been teaching for NGYT since September 2014 and leads a range of the groups. Lauren is the Project Manager of our Up Our Street Programme and also the Assistant Director for the NGYT Dance Company.

Lauren delivers NGYT curriculum, club and enrichment sessions in Putteridge Primary, Tennyson Road Primary, Pirton Hill, Someries Infants and Jrs, St Matthew's Primary, Next Steps ALP, St Martin De Porres, Whitefield Primary, William Austin Juniors and Woodlands schools as part of our outreach team and was previously Community Governor at Chantry Primary Academy.

Lauren believes that collaboration (of different areas in the arts) and the encouragement of ownership of material is the key to creating unique and rich arts experiences for young people. That is why she focuses her practice around expression, creativity, and improvisation- and of course fun!

Lauren Co-Directs and performs with her own dance theatre company - Sonder Dance Theatre. NGYT are delighted to support them as one of our legacy companies and associate artists.

My most memorable theatrical experience: Performing in the windows for NGYT's collaboration with Tangled Feet Re-opening The Hat Factory in 2019: Factory Reset. That feeling hearing the music and the crowd outside... I will never forget it.

My Local hero: Those wonderful people at Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue who do amazing things and help so many beautiful animals in the area.

I can’t live without: Chocolate.. Any kind and I think I’m addicted! & Pasta! I love carbs- what dancer doesn’t?!

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Lauren Segal  - she/her (BA HONS, MA)

Enquiries Administrator / Communications/ Project Manager (Up Our Street : Pop Ups) / Contemporary and Street Dance Teacher / Dance Co Assistant Director / Musical Theatre Company Assistant

Hannah

Hannah graduated from Bath Spa University with a 1:1 BA Hons Degree in Acting. She has since been working professionally, enjoying various roles such as Chloe in the play ‘Nightflyer’ and Amelia in the feature film ‘Devoid’. Hannah has been funded by the Arts Council England to put on an original piece ‘Mundane Blues’ for the Imagine Luton festival alongside two other Luton based artists. She has also been very fortunate to have taken part in various acting opportunies through NGYT such as Ryland Heath’s music video ‘Coming on to Me’ and a Theatre in Education piece, ‘Activhate’. Hannah is also a co-founder of the film production company Four Faced Films and is excited to create their first piece. Hannah is proud to be a part of the NGYT family and is passionate about Luton and it’s young people. She is constantly inspired by the creativity, commitment and energy of the young people and feels incredibly lucky to be a part of it. Hannah has directed various pieces for NGYT within the classes. She recently led the project ‘Rediscovered’, where she created historical pieces with three schools and one NGYT class. These pieces took place at Wardown Park Museum in a promenade theatre event as part of the re-opening. This has been one of Hannah’s most challenging and rewarding projects to date. She loves being a part of Next Generation Youth Theatre and is incredibly excited for what’s to come.

Hannah also co-directs and performs with her own theatre company - The Basement Bunch. NGYT are delighted to support them as one of our legacy companies and associate artists.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
“It’s definitely between ‘People, Places and Things’ and ‘Yerma’. Both pieces were very visceral and equally beautiful. Theatre should make you feel something, both plays went above and beyond!

My local hidden gem/hero:
My Nanny Kit. I’ve never met someone so kind and selfless. She also has a brilliant sense of humour, or ‘Irish Craic.’

I can’t live without…
Tea. Nothing beats a brew!

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Hannah Kelly - she/her (BA HONS)

NGYT Drama Teacher / iGen Theatre Company Director / Project Manager / Producer

Tanisha

Tanisha is a professional dancer from Luton and began her professional dance training for three years at Creative Academy in 2015-2018. Tanisha moved to London to pursue her dreams in dancing. Throughout her studies, Tanisha has performed in many places and taken part in workshops such as The Pack, Move It, Ideal Home Show, Slough, Upfront Dance event and was also selected to perform in Liverpool.

Tanisha’s trained in Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, ISTD Modern and Tap alongside other styles such as commercial, Dancehall, Bollywood, Dance Theatre. Release, Yoga, Pilates, Tumbling, hip hop improvisation and street. Tanisha’s dance background has always been contemporary and commercial but as she went onto training the love she has for performing became stronger. Tanisha has been in music videos and performed at festivals, plus been scouted in an audition for a dance agency (AMCK).

Tanisha has always wanted to be a choreographer so she had the chance to choreograph a piece of her own at Creative Academy’s end of year show

Most memorable theatrical experience?
For me it has to be when I went to watch Dream Girls the musical live in London. I was absolutely fascinated by the lighting, the back drops and the performance, it was amazing!! I literally felt like a little kid in a candy shop.

My Local gem/hero:
My family as they always support me and my dreams.

I can’t live without:
Sour sweets make my heart melt, music because I never stop dancing.

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Tanisha Daniel - she/her

iGen Street Dance Company Choreographer

Bethan

Most memorable theatrical experience:

My local hidden gem/hero:

I can’t live without:

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Bethan Fraser - she/her

Assistant director -
NGYT theatre company

Bethany

Bethany has been part of our NGYT Family for 10 years now, since 2013.

She attended dance classes at NGYT as a child with Laura and then progressed to joining Theatre Company at age 14.

Bethany began assisting Street Dance classes around the age of 15 and then went on to train in Dance in Dunstable.

"Through the help of NGYT I was able train in what I loved as well as have some skills that helped me audition to be in the Grove Theatre pantomime in 2019."

Bethany has participated in many NGYT Theatre Company shows including some collaborations with Tangled Feet Theatre Company.

Bethany recently joined Meraki Dance Company and performed in her first Dance Company show 'It's Just About Love Really... Isn't it?' in 2023 which she says was a memorable and inspiring experience and reminded her why she loves to perform.

Most memorable theatrical experience: It would either be being back on stage for the first time in a few years which was a great experience or watching my first ever west end show which reminds me of why I love what I do.

Local hidden gem/ hero:
All the different independent companies that run from Luton and the surrounding areas that support young people and their goals and dreams.

I can’t live without...
My friends and family who support me in everything I do

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bethany white - she/her

gen Z Street Dance Assistant

Kimberley

Kim has been singing for many years and it is all she has ever wanted to do. She attended BYT, Stagecoach and Spotlight.

After graduating from The Poor School in 2012 she has performed in Panto's, Touring musicals: 'Tuesday' at the Wyndhams, 'Comedy: A Tragedy' at Lillian Bayliss, 'Dracula' at The Workhouse Theatre and various cabaret venues around London and Hertfordshire.

She is Musical Director, well-being mentor and singing teacher for Imajica Theatre in Letchworth, an inclusive family theatre company, and runs an empowering womens singing group.
It’s so important to be able to express yourself and Kim is happy she can combine her performing teaching with her holistic practices and provide an experience that is good for your soul.

She also has her own company, Spirit of the Old Town, that provides bespoke history walks for historic places, she’s in a local band Neon Skies & has published poetry and positive children’s books. She loves local history and crochet.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
Hearing my ladies singing group sing a song I had written. It took me ages to find the confidence to write my own music and now I cant stop!

And… Michael Ball playing Javert singing Stars. I don’t think I took a breath for the whole song- the most perfect example of singing ever!

My local hidden gem/hero:

When I lived in Hemel Hempstead I used to write history plays and run history walks. I was commissioned to write a play to celebrate 500 years of the Quakers in Hemel. I played Elizabeth Stirredge. She bravely travelled to London to speak to King Charles and ordered him to stop killing her people, he apologised to her! Girl Power in the 1600’s

I can’t live without:
Music, cake and my one eyed cat, oh and Hollyoaks- I know, its my guilty pleasure and we’re all just going to have to accept it!

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Kimberley Black - She/Her

Singing teacher

Carl

Carl is young Actor born and raised in Luton. NGYT are proud to welcome Carl as Assistant Director for iGen Theatre Company alongside Company Director Hannah where he takes great pride in sharing the knowledge he’s learnt in theatre whilst also learning from the members of the company.

Carl first discovered his love for performance after a teacher in primary school heard him doing accents in class and put him forward to play Bugsy in “Bugsy Malone”. Through that performance Carl found his love for performing and went on to audition for every play he could find in his local area.

Carl joined NGYT Theatre Company in 2016 and found immediate comfort and confidence in being a part of the NGYT family.
Carl played Simmy in NGYT's reprisal of  'The Butterfly Catcher' and also played the nameless narrator in 'Laced Within Our Borders' at The Bear Club.
Carl believes these shows are massive moments in his development as an Actor and performer.

Carl has been part of many of NGYT's community performance projects with Local organisations including 'Easily You' (Healthwatch Luton) and 'My Home, My Kingdom, My Castle' created and performed with members of Signposts' Team SP which was also performed at their Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Ceremony in 2019.

Most recently, after many community performance opportunities, Carl had the privilege of playing Jack in the Rehearsal and Development of 'Ghost Tours' by Watford palace Theatre. Carl had the only live speaking part, and says that being involved with such an immersive piece on a grand scale was a 'highlight in these early stages of his career'.
Through NGYT's opportunity from Beds VERU to produce and tour theatre to schools in Luton, Carl played gang member Dean in the county lines theatre in education piece 'Out There'. Even though the role and topic had dark elements, Carl found great pride in educating the young people of his home town in the dangers our streets can hold and how they can stay safe and look out for others.

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Carl Connelly - he/him

Actor / igen theatre co assistant director

aryan

Aryan joined NGYT's Theatre Company in 2022 via his local school.

Aryan has performed in ‘Be Still The Tide’, a Double Bill with Meraki Dance Company at The Hat Factory Arts Centre in July 2023.

"I love NGYT for what’s it’s taught me about theatre making and how fun it can be, but especially during the making of BSTT, I learnt that it’s amazing to do something on your own but it can absolutely stunning to learn and understand something with others."

Aryan's passion for performing began in primary school and has only grown with the productions his schools produced each year all the way until the end of high school when Aryan decided that this is what he is meant to do.

"I only continue to pursue it more with my aspiration to write my own piece of theatre and make it come alive. I believe that everyone has a place in the arts because after being denied it I want to make it more accessible and inclusive for the people around me."

Most memorable theatrical experience: Always the last night of a show, it’s so bittersweet and I do cry all the time but I can’t help but love the feeling of accomplishment afterwards

My local hidden gem/hero: The Range: it feels like no one knows about this place though when I go the car park is always pretty full. It’s just one of those stores with things you never really knew you needed until you saw it, ESPECIALLY home decorations and seasonal ones at that.

I can't live without: Blankets. I’ll always need them any season of the year even in the depths of summer. But also candles or incense which don’t even burn I just like smelling them.

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aryan - he/him

voluntary peer mentor - company be

Rebekah

Rebekah is a Theatre Director from Dunstable, Bedfordshire and a postgraduate student at the University of East London currently studying Directing for Stage and Screen.
Working at The Grove Theatre in Dunstable as a teen started a desire in Rebekah to direct. She has a big dream to see community theatre play a role in creating positive change in society.

During her undergraduate study at the University of Plymouth, she had the opportunity to direct multiple productions including “Crack on”, a play she co-wrote about Mental Health. Rebekah also had the pleasure of working with Theatre Royal Plymouth on a few key projects such as running their scratch night, trainee directing on Paines Plough's production “Sorry you’re not a winner”, directing “Gold. Crest?”, and Assistant Directing a community project involving young people: “When this is over”.

Throughout her training she has enjoyed meeting different people from all walks of life and has written work focused on hidden stories. Her dream is to direct meaningful work created by communities where people’s voices and stories are heard.
We are pleased to welcome Rebekah on our NGYT Musical Theatre Team.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
When I went to see “The Jungle” at The playhouse theatre in London, it was incredibly immersive experience and unlike anything I’ve seen.

My local gem/Hero:
There’s this spot at the centre of Luton outside the mall and I can’t explain why but when I sit there I can feel everything, everyone’s walking to and from somewhere and the air has a buzz to it.

I can’t live without:
Christmas! The lights, the trees, the cheesy movies… everything about it really! I like how it brings people together and the feast my family cooks every year.

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Rebekah Taylor- she/her

NGYT Musical Theatre Company Assistant

jenny

Hiya, I’m Jenny or, Jenny Sparkle as I’m more commonly known as at NGYT!

I’ve been a member of NGYT since I was 7 and now I am 14, so half my life which seems crazy.

I first joined Gen Z Drama in 2016 aged 7 with Hannah as my teacher. That’s pretty much where I fell in love with NGYT. From there, I progressed to Musical Theatre Company on a Friday in 2019.

I joined NGYT’s Theatre Company in 2023 and I assist Hannah to teach both Gen Z and Gen Alpha drama classes on a Wednesday.

I’m probably at the Hat Factory as much as school. I would say my favourite show I’ve performed with NGYT was 'Nextminster' with Musical Theatre Company. It was my first Musical Theatre show and I felt so empowered. It was all about politics and show day is one of my fondest memories.

My most memorable theatre experience:
Would have to have been going to see 'Skellig' at Nottingham Playhouse. It was a simply magical performance in which my uncle played Michael’s father. I was lucky enough to explore the set afterwards and it was beautiful.

My local hidden gem:
Would have to be my parents. I probably don’t say it enough but I really appreciate how much they encourage me. My mum has constantly immersed me in many acts of performing art whether that be musicals in the West End or fun little productions at Wardown Museum. Additionally, my dad always brings me to NGYT. He jokes that he is my chauffeur but I really do love him for it. Our little chats in the car or karaoke sessions put me in such a good mood.

I can’t live without:
Chocolate buttons, NGYT of course and my friends, they mean the world.

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jenny sparkle - she/her

drama assistant

molly

Molly is a Director, Writer, Performer and all round lover of all things creative. Molly joined NGYT in 2012 as a performer in Musical Theatre Company and then joined NGYT Theatre Company thereafter.
Initially starting their arts career as an actor, Molly worked on projects both in and around their hometown, Luton. Notably performing at the Brighton Fringe and achieving the award for Outstanding Theatre with NGYT Theatre Company.

Whilst working as an Actor they became an Outreach Drama Teacher with NGYT for schools and the community in Luton and Dunstable.

In 2016 Molly took on the role of Expressive Arts Lead at Richmond Hill (SEN) School for over 3 years, facilitating Expressive Arts lessons throughout the school. Here Molly realised their passion for making arts inclusive and accessible for all, with a focus on handing down key skills to the next generation of potential theatre makers and artists.

Growing up working class on a little council estate in Luton, this ethos was only fuelled further and Molly will continue to take this with them through out their career wherever they can.

Since leaving full-time teaching, Molly has co-directed and performed in commissioned work such as ('Office'ially Grown Up) for Level Trust and Assistant Directed ‘Belongings’ with Tangled Feet in association with Rowantree Dramatherapy.

In 2022 Molly directed ‘NGYT @ Pride in Luton’, a physical theatre performance, showcasing voices from the local community. This was performed on the main stage at Luton’s very first pride event. Molly is a proud advocate for creating safe spaces for communities to share stories and they hope to receive further opportunity to do this more throughout their career.

Most memorable theatrical experience: Seeing the chuckle brothers (absolute icons) in concert at the age of 7! Also the creative process when I became a member NGYTs theatre company when I was a baby 17 in 2012. Being the first place that encouraged and harnessed the way my brain works creatively, it allowed me to start my journey as a creative and performer.

My local gem: Warden hills! (Specifically at sunset with snacks and good company).

I can’t live without: Arts and creativity! Scented candles and headphones when travelling anywhere!

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molly sims-They/She (DipHE)

NGYT Drama teacher

Nathan

Nathan joined NGYT Theatre Company and Meraki Dance Company in October 2022 performing in both shows 'It’s Just About Love Really, Isn’t It?' and 'Be Still The Tide'.
Nathan was a part of the Beyoncé flashmob choreographed by Tanisha Daniel in collaboration with The Culture Trust and NGYT.
During his time at NGYT Nathan has performed at several events such as Father Christmas at Wardown, Lighting Up Luton for Luton Council and Beds VERU's Hope Hacks event.
Nathan has also volunteered for the Up Our Street programme ensuring young people can access arts activities in his local area.

Nathan is currently studying the Dance BA (Hons) course at Kingston University.

"I feel really honoured to be teaching with NGYT. NGYT does a really good job in showing support instead of just saying it. When I was asked to join the team to teach in dance it felt really good knowing that NGYT believed in me and my capabilities... I feel really honoured that I was given this opportunity as it’s something that I am very passionate about to teach dance and to just be able to dance as a job!"

Most memorable theatrical experience: Watching a modern take of Antigone at Regent’s Park Theatre is the first thing that comes to mind to be honest. It blended in so much movement and dance with the whole Greek Tragedy element which really inspired me in how dance and theatre can be combined and how many opportunities it can bring to performance :))

My local hidden gem/hero: Luton Basketball Club (LBC) and Luton Basketball Development League (LBDL). Before I took up dance I was a big big fan of basketball and I think a lot of the confidence that I gained was through playing basketball and the people who run LBC and LBDL are fantastic in making sure you feel welcomed and prioritise you.

I can’t live without: Music. Genuinely music might be one of the most important things in my life. Whether I’m up or down music just gives this outlet to express myself in ways I don’t know anything else could. Whether it be when I’m dancing or playing instruments, music is something I feel like it's a very powerful weapon into a person’s mind.

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Nathan Bucio - he/him

Schools Outreach Dance Teacher