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Lead Artist 

Originally from South London, Cherie attended Southfields Community College where she studied BTEC Drama, Dance and Music. She graduated from the University of Surrey with a BA in Dance and Culture in July 2015, with a focus on Traditional African and Caribbean Dance forms as well as Contemporary.

Cherie is now a freelance dance artist and teacher; performing, teaching and choreographing for companies including, Casson and Friends, UNIT, Dance Woking, Surrey Arts, Zambesi and DAiSY. She is also the Community Engagement Artist for Stopgap Dance Company. Cherie’s expertise is inclusive teaching and community outreach work where she strives to facilitate an open, warm, down-to-earth, friendly atmosphere in her classes. Growing up Cherie had limited opportunities and experienced traumatic events this is one of the reasons Cherie is so passionate about the Thrive programme and being able to offer a safe space to young people to create, grow and flourish.

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Credit: Alex Harvey-Brown


Teaching Assistant 

Moving and creating from a young age, Lily is an autistic dancer and visual artist who works with both traditional and digital media. In 2019 Lily returned from studying Dance at the University of Chichester after graduating with 1st Class Honours, receiving a First for a dissertation investigating Audio Description for Dance. They are interested in inclusive dance and developing creative methods of increasing accessibility to dance and choreography.

Lily is proud to be supporting Thrive Youth Dance Company and to be part of a nurturing educational environment. As someone who has experienced mental illness challenges since young adolescence, Lily is aware of the struggles many young people face and they have a passion for supporting people with similar experiences, providing a positive role model for recovery.


Thrive Academy and Thriving Forwards: New Directions Facilitator

Nicky studied Drama & Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham, with a final year specialism in dance and choreography. As a dance artist and drama teacher, she has been performing, teaching and choreographing for the past 30 years. The passion she has for her art forms and especially for teaching, leads her to constantly challenge her knowledge, abilities and perceptions; never settling, always learning. Her creative work is playful, humorous and human; work which highlights the joy of dancing and acting together.
She has delivered regular classes, collaborative projects and CPD sessions for Stopgap Dance
Company, The Dance Movement, DAiSY, Surrey Arts, Dance Woking and many, many schools in
Surrey and Hampshire. Nicky believes everyone should have the opportunity to access the benefits of dance no matter their stories or place in this world. With her calm, warm, open and inclusive approach, she enables the most reticent to find a way of participating and flourishing.
Working with Thrive has meant so much to her – from its very beginnings to how it is now. It is
doing vital work that has made huge differences to those that have been under its gentle umbrella. Being able to see young people flourish in an environment that has well-being at its heart is a precious experience and even more so being able to support, in a small way the journey these folk go on, is rewarding beyond words.


Credit: Floyd Konde



Thriving Forwards: New Directions Facilitator

Lauren completed her undergraduate training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance where she received the Kathleen Tattersall Leadership Award and worked with artists including Ben Duke, Angus Balbernie, Fabiano Culora and Caroline Scott.
Lauren then went on to work in a community dance setting for several years, and completed her MA Choreography at Leeds Beckett University. She has developed two works 'Rewilding' and 'Undo:Redo' which have been shared at performance nights across the UK. Lauren has worked further as an Associate Lecturer in dance at the University of Worcester and Support Artist for Dance United Yorkshire. She currently works for Stopgap Dance company as assess worker and creative learning support.Lauren's passion in life is to empower and unite people through dance and her practice is focused around improvisation and somatics, using the body as a source of knowledge and a resource for change.Working with Thrive and seeing the positive impact this work has on the young people gives me so much joy. By providing a space for them to feel empowered, confidence starts to build in all areas of their life which is a really beautiful thing to be a part of.


More information about her practice can be found at


Teaching Assistant

Emily Neighbour is a freelance community dance artist working in a wide range of settings across Surrey and West London. She graduated with a First in Dance Studies from the University of Roehampton in 2016 and has since led contemporary dance and creative movement sessions for all ages. She has taught for organisations including DanceWest, English National Ballet, CoDa Dance Company, Age UK, Dance Woking, Polka Theatre and Stopgap Dance Company. Emily works inclusively with children and adults and believes dance is for everybody and anybody!

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