Meet the team

Principal: Hatti Dawson BA (Hons)

Harriet Dawson (Hatti) is an award-winning International Dance Artist with extensive experience of performance, choreography and teaching. As Principal of Panthera Dance Company she will deliver the majority of the teaching with her characteristic passion and enthusiasm for all dance genres.

Hatti has most recently worked with Wiltshire Creative as the Assistant Movement Director of The Tempest in May\June 2023, and as the Assistant Director of the Dick Whittington Salisbury Pantomime 2023. Hatti was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 by Wiltshire Life, for her outstanding contribution to the business community. She has also been awarded the International Young Choreographers Award for performing her debut contemporary solo The Fragility of Power (2017) in Kiev, Ukraine and selected to represent UK universities in front of a 10,000 audience at the Studfestas in Lithuania in November 2018. Other performance highlights include dancing with the ZooNation Dance Company in their Into The Hoods: Remixed (2016) UK tour, and for the Breakin’ Convention UK Tour (2017) with CODE Crew a leading Midland’s dance troupe.

With a First Class Honours Degree in Dance, Hatti brings expert understanding of the dance sector as well as virtuoso training for the benefit of all her students. She has a minimum of Grade 7 qualifications, marked Distinction (80%+) in styles such as Ballet, Tap and Modern. She also has qualifications in Jazz and Pointe work and performs in Vintage Dance.

Hatti has been teaching Street Dance and Contemporary for the past eight years with companies across the UK. As founder and inspiration of the Hip Hop Society at De Montfort University she competed successfully in two competitions in the Midlands.

Calling on her diverse and extensive knowledge of dance in UK, Hatti will advise all students attending her school and guide those interested in further education in Dance and the Performing Arts.

Assistant Principal: Anya Dawson

Anya is a keen and enthusiastic upcoming dancer and musical theatre artist, who has had a considerable experience in performances such as Stars of Salisbury, Salisbury Dance Exchange and musical theatre in the Wiltshire area.

Through the competitive audition processes, Anya has been successful on both occasions that she has applied to be in the city’s prestigious pantomime. She was one of the lead dancers in Jack and the Beanstalk in the 2017/18 season of the Salisbury Pantomime, which was awarded the Best Pantomime in the country for venues with under 750 seats.

Anya is a qualified Sports Leader. Anya is also currently training in Hip Hop, Vintage, Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Modern Dance, achieving performance qualifications, so far, up to Grade 7/Intermediate, marked with Merit or Distinction. She has competed in many competitions such as BDO street dance, ISTD Tap Challenge in London and UDO, the largest street dance organisation, where her crew qualified for the British, European and the World Championships.

Anya has recently been awarded Wiltshire’s Best Young Performer of the year award, in the 14-19 years dance category.

Anya undertakes the role of Assistant Principal of Panthera Dance Company, supporting her sister Hatti in all aspects of the business as it grows. Immersed in all aspects of social media and vlogging, Anya will also help our online adventure as we create a vibrant Panthera community.

From September 2022, Anya will be studying a BA (Hons) Degree in Musical Theatre at The MPAA Dance Conservatoire, in London.

Jerry Dawson Managing Director:

After a distinguished career of thirty-nine years in law enforcement at Senior Command Level within the Police Service and National Crime Agency (NCA), Jerry brings his substantial organisational skills and deep appreciation of pastoral care to the company. As a previous Head of Wiltshire Police Public Protection, child safety and protecting the vulnerable is a key issue for him and these priorities are reflected in the Panthera Dance Company’s operating model.

Jerry has a comprehensive knowledge of both strategic and tactical planning nationally and internationally and has successfully managed multi-million pound budgets. He ensures the day-to-day running of Panthera Dance Company is maintained to the highest standard employing best practice principles at all times. His focus is to create an environment for the benefit and wellbeing of all the students and its employees.

Jerry has extensive dance management experience. He created and developed young peoples’ discos in numerous areas in Wiltshire under the banner of ‘Bluez n Zuz’, a very successful project that operated for over twelve years and was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) in 2012. This is nationally the highest award given to UK volunteer groups and the equivalent to an MBE.

He also received a Wiltshire Youth Justice award, a Community Police Authority Award and a Wiltshire Police Chief Constables Commendation for ‘Outstanding Achievement’ in relation to the Bluez n Zuz projects.

Jerry was awarded a Wiltshire Council ‘Exceptional Partnership Award’ for his management and leadership of the security coordination work carried out prior to and during the Olympic celebration events in Wiltshire in 2012.

He is a proud father to Harriet and Anya and a firm advocate of community, knowing that consultation, understanding and engagement are essential to delivering successful outcomes.

Tumble/Acro Teacher: Lisa Orchard

Lisa has been a gymnastics coach for over 10 years, starting her career as a volunteer.

Lisa went on to pursue her career, gaining a (UKG) United Kingdom Gymnastics Level 1 in general gymnastics and (BG) British Gymnastics Level 1 in women’s artistic’s. She has worked for a few organisations, working with participants from pre-school age to Adults.

Lisa also taught cheerleading for a number of years in which she was part of the team and consequently has competed at various venues in the UK, including Derby and Birmingham.

Dance Teacher: Hernan Dario Suaza Gonzalez

Hernan Dario is an experienced international dancer from Colombia. Hernan trained at Fundanza Quindio Colombia, and went onto join the biggest dance company in Colombia as a principal dancer touring the world & performing at world event performances. After touring the world for many years as a leading man of a company, Hernan went onto work in Mexico, Malta and the UK as a professional dancer, choreographer and mentor. His career experience ranges from being on stage as a Principal dancer, to children’s dance theatre, choreographing for world renowned resort’s productions to coaching the young stars of tomorrow at top vocational colleges. Hernan has experience in performing and choreographing in a vast array of different dance styles ranging from classical ballet, to afro to jazz to commercial to contemporary dance to Latin rhythms and many more!

Yoga Teacher: Leah Turner

Leah is a qualified 200 hour yoga teacher who studied under Sally Parkes. Having achieved her 200-hour qualification, she then went on to obtain her 85hr pregnancy yoga teacher qualification and is currently undertaking Fertility Yoga teacher and Yoga Kids. Through her training and experience Leah has learned and enjoys making her classes adaptive so that everyone feels welcome.
When she isn’t teaching yoga Leah is a busy mum of three, a volunteer for the NCT and a peer supporter at the hospital. She also makes time to allow time for her own yoga practice and is a fan of aerial yoga.
Leah teaches our adults yoga classes, children’s yoga classes and yoga in schools.

Dance Teacher: Elly Safe

Elly has been a dancer with Panthera since the opening, and has progressed into teacher training under both Hatti and Anya over the past year. In 2022, Elly assisted many 4-7 and 8-11 classes, and now she has successfully completed our mentor programme with both a First Aid and Child Safeguarding certificate. Elly has contagious enthusiasm for dance, and is hoping to become a professional dancer in the future.

Elly has qualified her dance training with a Dance Diploma. Elly has been a gymnast & cheerleader from the age of 5, where she competed very successfully in competitions across the UK. A couple of her highlights include the 2018 BCA Summer Showdown Senior Prep level 2 where she came 1st place and the 2019 BCA Fundamentals Senior Cheer Duo, also placing 1st Place.

Dance Teacher: Olivia Storey

After completing all her dance exams in RAD ballet, and ISTD tap, modern and disco up to Advanced levels, Olivia went to study BA (Hons) Dance performance. She had so many amazing opportunities at university from performing in professional shows with Karen and Kevin Clifton, headlining Move It dance festival, competing in for the Dance Society in Tap and competing as a Cheerleader in stunting, pom and jazz. Olivia graduated with excellence in technical ability and went on to perform for Disney, Scatter Dance Company with The Place, Dance Captain for Parkdean Resorts Scotland, The Copacabana Touring Company, and The Justin Bieber Experience tour. Alongside my training and performing, Olivia has always had a passion for teaching and has been teaching for over 17 years. She’s taught dance and fitness all over the UK from Poole to Glasgow! Throughout her career Olivia has gained qualifications such as: Diploma in Dance Education with the ISTD in both Tap and Modern, Level 2 Support Work in Schools, ISTD Contemporary qualification and Level 2 Exercise to Music. Olivia looks forward to sharing her experience and knowledge with all the students at Panthera Dance Company!

Latin and Ballroom Dance Teachers: Filip Orzechowski and Gabi Wolowiec

Filip started his dance training when he was 18 years old, which may be considered as ‘late’ in the professional world. This delayed beginning to his career didn’t make a difference, as he continued to achieve high results across the international arena in Latin and Ballroom.

Filip knew after his first few classes, that this is the career path he wanted. He believes that with passion, vision and bit of hard work, you can achieve anything.

Filip previously trained in Sport Psychology and Coaching, which helped him become who he is today. He believes that his quick progress and all his previous successes were based on great mental preparation. He uses the tools he learnt in this training to help train his students.

Filip loves to see development and see people taking their first dance steps!

 

Gabi is a professional Latin and Ballroom dancer, and coach. She has a positive approach to life, with particular interest in dreaming, visualising, developing, and achieving! Nothing is impossible!

Thanks to Gabi’s incredible career in dance, she learnt how to pursue goals, and plan effectively to achieve the best results. She still loves learning and developing relationships. No one is perfect, feedback is always appreciated.

 

Filip and Gabi most recently competed in the World Championships, placing 4th in the world, and continues to perform and compete regularly!

 

Social Media Manager and Dance Teacher: Amelia Foster

Amelia is a 21 year old dancer who studied contemporary dance and choreography at Falmouth University. Since she started dancing at fourteen, Amelia has found a passion for contemporary dance, choreography and teaching. 

She enjoys highlighting technique, floorwork, acro and flexibility in her choreography and lessons. 

When she isn’t dancing Amelia enjoys reading, painting and writing and finds lots of inspiration for her choreography from these. 

Amelia will be taking the role of social media manager and teaching some new Home Ed and adult classes.

Personal/Executive Assistant: Carla Brawn

Carla joins Panthera as Hatti’s PA.  She has many years experience and also works as PA for the Director of a Salisbury based charity.   When not working, she is a “Dance Mum” herself – her youngest daughter has danced ballet since the age of 3!  She likes going on long walks with her dog (a completely mad cocker spaniel), horse riding, baking cakes and watersports (not in cold water though!).

Panthera Party Coordinator: Bethany Coombes

Bethany joins us from our Student Mentor Scheme which she started in 2023. She is a credit to the team, and we can’t wait to her more permanently!

Bethany is super excited to be joining the Panthera Team, taking on the role of Panthera Party Coordinator.

She hopes to spread her enthusiasm and love for dance to all party goers! As well as to the classes she assists with in the week.

Bethany has been dancing with Panthera for 5 years, but she has also accomplished a Diploma in Dance and Performance. Her most recent performing experiences include Dick Whittington, the Salisbury Pantomime in 2023.

If you want a Panthera Party, don’t hesitate in emailing Bethany at: pantheraparties@pantheradancecompany.co.uk