Dance City is delighted to announce the appointment of six new board members following a call out for expressions of interest last October. Andrea Carruthers, Mike Cockburn, Ann Cooper, Ally Robson, Kay Wilson and Carole Wood have all officially been accepted on to the Board.

Dance City formed in 1991 and has been based in a £7.6m purpose built dance house in Newcastle city centre since 2005. The North East’s leading organisation for dance, it provides modern dance facilities, artist support, teaching and performances. Dance City’s Learning Academy offers formal professional dance training, providing a route right through from aspiring dancers aged 11 through to MA level. Dance City is National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England, meaning it receives regular funding for its work.

Andrea Carruthers is a Commissioning Efficiency Manager for 3M Health Care, a diverse, global innovation company. She has also held a number of senior sales positions within the food safety industry for 3M and Life Technologies and previously spent 6 years as an elected county and district councillor.

Mike Cockburn is a leadership coach with over 20 years’ experience in leadership and organisational development. He has experience working with a wide range of organisations including the public and private sectors including multinational companies such as Siemens, Nokia, Fujitsu and Jaguar Cars.

Ann Cooper is Head of Communications at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, leading communications and contributing to business planning and management for the North East’s most prestigious contemporary art gallery. She has a strong background in PR and marketing and has previously worked for the Broadway Theatre in London and prior to this for LD Communications, London where she delivered PR campaigns for The BRIT Awards and Q Magazine Awards.

Ally Robson is currently a Strategy Manger with the global consultancy company Accenture. He specialises in organisational transformation and service improvement. Ally has over seven years’ experience working in the Health and Public Service sector, as well financial services.

Kay Wilson is an experienced Communications and PR consultant with over 20 years experience working freelance for organisations such as Arch, the Development Company for Northumberland, Transmit Start Ups and TVU’s Business Compass, with Gardiner Richardson. She was also Communications Manager for Stockton Council and managed communications for the prestigious Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF).

Carole Wood was appointed Director of Public Health for Gateshead in April 2012. She is a member of the Gateshead Health and Wellbeing Board and takes a leading role in delivering the Gateshead Health and Wellbeing Strategy. She is keen to support communities in taking action to improve their health and wellbeing, and sees the arts and cultural sector having an important role to play in this. Carole originally trained as a dietician and has worked in a variety of health-related management roles in the UK, Australia and New Zealand over the past thirty years.

The Board already includes Choreographer and Producer Tim Rubidge; Nexus Head of Service Delivery, Andy Bairstow; Director of Event International, Frank Wilson; Founder of Callaghan Marketing, Lesley Callaghan; Jessica William’s of the Entrepreneur’s Forum and Jeff Dean, Director of HR and Organisational Development at Gateshead Council and Chair of the Dance City Board.

Jeff Dean, Chair of the Board said: “We are thrilled to have recruited Andrea, Mike, Ann, Ally, Kay and Carole to add further strength and depth to the board.

Together they bring a wealth of skills and experience that will help build on Dance City’s great work to date, and make sure we continue to be an ambitious, resilient and dynamic organisation for the future.”

Anthony Baker, Artistic Director and Joint CEO said: “We were looking for individuals to help us develop new ideas, drive forward strategy and decision making and bring experience and business acumen to the board and we’re absolutely delighted to have found 6 individuals who are perfectly placed to help us achieve this.”

Image attached: Dance City new board members: – (left to right)
Ann Cooper, Mike Cockburn, Ally Robson, Andrea Carruthers, Kay Wilson.
Photo: Richard Kenworthy