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About Us & Our Company

Performing Arts Development LTD is committed to enabling teachers, students and professionals in the performing arts industry to develop their knowledge of dance science. We believe that applying this evidence based knowledge to their practise will help to optimise performance and enhance performers health and well-being.

Karen Palmer – Director

Having been a dancer or in the dance industry since a very young age, I have a vast background in many areas of the profession. I attended Northern Ballet School where I gained both dancing and teaching qualifications. Following college, I danced professionally in Europe in a variety of shows and then decided to move into dance teaching, utilising the teaching skills and qualifications gained at NBS.

I have been lucky enough to teach in both the public and private sector, gaining further qualifications to enhance my skills. These include the full RAD teaching certificate, CDE in Modern, Tap, Ballet and National with the ISTD as well as qualifications and experience in fitness and sports massage. During this time, I helped students achieve their dreams in dancing, organise and successfully get numerous pupils through examinations and been part of a team putting on dance productions for young people.

The desire to continue my personal development and interest in dance education led to my BA Hons Degree in Dance Education. My dissertation, titled ‘The reduction of funding to Dance within the National Curriculum and the implications this will have within the UK primary curriculum, at Key Stage Two’ gave me the inspiration to set up my own company “Access Dance”.

Access Dance was set up as a Social Enterprise to help young people to become involved in dance, working with both local schools and collaborating with other companies and establishments to produce projects further afield. Access Dance strived to provide young people with new performance experiences they might not otherwise have access to. Through Access Dance I worked in partnership with schools to support children, young people and teachers to achieve high standards of dance training. Also offering training, support and consultancy in planning a curriculum for the whole school, or on a departmental / individual basis

To further add to my education I  completed an MSc in Dance Science at Trinity Laban part-time to fulfil a lifetime ambition to enhance the physical and mental well-being of performing artists. Alongside this I gained a youth strength and conditioning specialist and L4 strength and conditioning coach certification. During this time, I discovered an interest in research which is an avenue I wish to pursue as I believe it is important to discover and validate new ideas and theories. This has led to a new professional direction within the performing arts industry and the beginning of Performing Arts Development LTD, focusing on science based training and research.

I have also developed an interest in menopause and training through my own experience of transitioning through this stage in my life. Through my own research I started to discover how training can support athletes to continue their training by adapting routines to their changing bodies and I wanted to learn more so I can pass this knowledge onto performers and others interested in increasing their knowledge in this area. Therefore, I have completed the Menopause 2.0 certification with Dr Stacy Sims, an international exercise and nutrition scientist who specialises in menopause.