MDI Merseyside Dance Initiative
Inspiring people through dance

Staff Team & Board

Karen Gallagher MBE

Karen Gallagher MBE

Artistic Director

After training at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London in the early 1980’s Karen returned to Liverpool to champion the development of dance in this region for over 30 years. She graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in 2007 with an MA in Social Enterprise, Karen received a BMOBO, a Music of Black Origin award for MDI’s community dance practice (2010) and in 2011 was a runner up for Merseyside Woman of the Year. She received an MBE, awarded for services to dance in The Queen’s New Year Honours List in 2012 and an Honorary Fellow from Liverpool John Moores University in 2014. This year Karen has just been celebrated by The Women’s Organisation as one of 21 Women who shape the City as part of their 21-year anniversary.

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Maxine Brown

Maxine Brown

Community Dance Artist - African Peoples' Dance

Responsible for developing the practical delivery of African Peoples’ Dance. Delivers a programme of activity that informs and develops the awareness of African Peoples’ Dance across Merseyside. Maxine leads classes in community spaces throughout Merseyside, including Riddim n Roots at the Florrie, and chair-based dance for the Rainbow Over-50s group. Maxine is the lead on two of MDI’s annual events: Bend Down Low, a celebration of African & Caribbean dance and culture; and International Dance Day, when MDI brings dance to the streets of Liverpool every year on April 29th.

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Jennifer Hale

Jennifer Hale

Community Dance Artist

Delivers an outreach project of dance activity that incorporates community and educational work throughout the boroughs of Merseyside. Leads on MDI’s programme of Dance for Older People as well as our Continued Professional Development. Director and Choreographer of our 50 Moves performance company for older dancers, who have twice performed at Sadler’s Wells’ Elixir festival. Jennifer teaches Open Level Contemporary, Tap and 50 Moves classes in Studio24.

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Laura Hall

Laura Hall

Marketing & Evaluation Officer

Laura has been at MDI for almost ten years, and has covered a wide range of roles during her time. Her current position takes responsibility for the organisation’s evaluation of the work we do, collecting and collating feedback and monitoring our achievements. In addition to this, Laura does the marketing and promotion for the organisation, which will include marketing and advertising strategies for projects as well as designing materials, writing press releases and making sure people know what we’re up to.

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Paul Doyle

Paul Doyle

Community Dance Artist - Children & Young People

The primary focus of Paul’s role at MDI is his work with young people. He devises and delivers an outreach programme of dance activity that incorporates community and educational work throughout the boroughs of Merseyside. He teaches regular classes and workshops in schools, and has developed MDI’s annual Schools Showcase event. He is the director and choreographer of Merseyside Youth Dance Company, a group of 13-19 year olds who develop and perform original contemporary dance pieces for various events all year round. In Studio24, Paul teaches Dance Stars, Merseyside Youth Dance Co. and Beginners’ Contemporary.

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Adam Cooper

Adam Cooper

Finance & Communications Officer

Adam joined MDI in September 2016 as maternity cover for Laura Hall, and is now a permanent member of the team. His role encompasses finance, admin, comms, studio bookings, marketing and social media.

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Dr. Cathy Butterworth

Chair

Programme Manager at The Arts Centre

Tunde Zack-Williams

Trustee

Professor at UCLAN

Hazel Russell

Trustee

Fundraiser, Keele University

Andrew Winder

Trustee

PR and comms NML

Paul Russ

Trustee

CEO Dance 4

Dr. Pauline Brooks

Trustee

Reader in Dance LJMU