MEET US

Active Dansa was founded by Mariona Pena with the vision of creating a school where students can become triple threat performers (dancing, singing and acting) as well as explore and develop their skills in many dance genres. We strive to provide high quality education and our staff are constantly taking courses to keep up to date with the latest dance teaching techniques. Active Dansa is an approved examination centre by Bbodance (British Ballet Organisation), Certified Acrobatic Arts studio and a member of I-Path (International Performing Arts and Theatre).

We offer inclusive dance programs for children from the age of 30 months, teenagers and adults with the aim of providing a complete dance journey where discipline and enjoyment are guaranteed.

From beginners to vocational level, Active Dansa caters for everyone. At Active Dansa you will get detailed and enhanced training to help you achieve your goals. We offer a wide range of dance classes including Ballet, Introduction to Dance, Modern Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Street Dance, Musical Theatre (Singing and Drama), Acrodance and Dance Technique.

Our students get the opportunity to perform in two annual show cases, Christmas and May/June.

Competitions and examinations opportunities are also offered in many dance genres.

MEET THE ACTIVE DANSA TEAM

*All of our staff members are Access NI checked, First Aid and Safe Guarding and Child protection trained.

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Mariona Pena – Owner & Creative Director (Ballet, Modern Jazz, Contemporary, Acrodance, Lyrical, Dance Technique and Commercial)
Originally from Barcelona, I started dancing when I was 5 years old and haven’t looked back since. I had the opportunity to develop my skills as a dancer in many different dance genres during my training in both competition and professional level (Ballet, Rythmics Gymnastics, Commercial, Jazz, Contemporary and Lyrical).

Professionally trained in Performing Arts by Memory School of Performing Arts in Barcelona and Contemporary Dance by Plan D Professional Contemporary Dance School in Barcelona.

  • Registered Teacher with BBODANCE (New name for The British Ballet Organisation)
  • Level 5 Dance Teaching Qualification with BBODANCE
  • Level 4 Dance Teaching Qualification with BBODANCE
  • Registered Teacher with International Performing Arts and Theatre (I-PATH)
  • Certified Acrobatic Arts teacher
  • Anatomy and Physiology Diploma by International Dance Teaching Association (IDTA)
  • Certified Teacher of Progressing Ballet Techniques (PBT)

*In addition to my qualifications, I attend Continuing Professional Development courses every year as part of our bbodance membership to keep up to date with the latest teaching techniques. I also attend numerous masterclasses and independent teaching courses to be on top of the latest trends in the industry.

I have now been teaching dance for over 10 years and working and choreographing dances for recitals, musicals and competitions. My extensive experience in different styles allows me to offer a wider range of movement, techniques and methodologies making my students truly versatile!

I am very passionate about dance technique and my classes have a strong focus on this. Dance technique gives student the foundation to progress and enhance their dance in many ways. In a world were the dance industry is becoming very competitive and highly physically demanding, good technique and safe practices are key to ensure endurance and a long and healthy dance career.

I also encourage all of my students to develop their personality and creativity as a fundamental part of their training. Dance without expression is just movement. My passion is to raise students to become not only dancers, but the artists of tomorrow.

My students’ progress and personal growth is the most rewarding aspect of my job. I love getting to know every single one of student who train in our school and support them along their journey.

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Krisztina Csernus – Receptionist & School Coordinator

Krisztina deals with the work involved behind the dancing! Registrations, uniform, costumes, performance licenses and paperwork necessary for events, competitions and show cases. If you ever have any questions or need any help Krisztina is here to help you.

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Tia Davies – Dance Teacher (Performing Arts, Cheerleading and Modern) 

“I have been dancing since the age of 3, performing for over 20 years and teaching for 7 years. I studied performing arts at Stratford Upon Avon College and have danced across the UK, Including The Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham NEC, Solihull Library Theatre, Alexander Theatre and also performing at London’s ‘Move It’.

I have always had a passion for Dance and Performing Arts, with a drive for creating and developing.  I have worked with all abilities and have always strived to help my students become the performer they have always dreamt of.

I have taught many different genres of dance, my passion is the stage. I love all styles of performing arts, and have taught many genres, such as cheerleading, hip hop/street, lyrical, contemporary, ballet and Jazz. I currently teach Musical Theatre too! I just love to see how far the students can come with just a little support and confidence building. I have entered many students in competitions across the UK, and have always wanted the best for my students! I can’t wait to begin my new journey with Mariona at Active Dansa. I’m so excited and can’t wait to meet you all! 

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Erin Shanks – Dance Teacher (Contemporary, Ballet and Lyrical)

A Lisburn girl born and bred, I joined the Girls Brigade community at the age of 2 and it wasn’t long before my love for dance was realised. Growing up, I trained seriously for my RAD ballet grades and ballet technique exams, as well as modern (ISTD). I also enjoyed Irish dancing, street dance and gymnastics, and was lucky to compete in various levels of competition over the years.

In my teens, I had started to assist ballet and modern classes and enjoyed choreographing school performances before heading off to train at Guildford School of Acting (University of Surrey) where I gained my degree in dance and culture studies. Here, I trained in ballet, contemporary, African and Kathak and found my love for somatic practices, movement notation and an interest in the essence of movement and how it impacts on wellbeing. I was lucky to complete an interim placement year back in Ireland with Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company, where I contributed to teaching, management and performance during city of culture 2012 and worked with dance film artist Rosemary Lee. I have maintained a close relationship with this company and even had the experience of travelling to Hong Kong to perform with them twice for the Chinese New Year in 2012 and 2014.

I am teacher trained with the Wheelchair Dance Sports Association UK and have a passion for inclusivity in dance for everyone. In 2015, alongside teaching ballet, creative and inclusive movement, contemporary and street dance in Guildford from 18 months-50 years+, I began an MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton, qualifying with a distinction in June 2018. I moved home shortly after this and am currently 1 of 2 Dance Movement Psychotherapists in Northern Ireland trying to find my feet! I am SO happy to be a part of Active Dansa and to be teaching again for such wonderful bunch of students, alongside inspirational colleagues!

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Alex Anghelache – Dance Teacher (Urban/Street Dance)

Originary from Romania. I started dancing when I was 10 training in different dance styles such as: salsa, samba, passo doble, tango and waltz. At the age of 13 I was captivated by street dancing and it just felt I had found my feet!

Passionate about the endless possibilities of the urban dance world, I trainned in a wide variety of street dancing disciplines such as Hip Hop, Dance Hall, Popping, Tutting, Locking and breakdance (bboy).

I am a UDO Registered Dance Teacher and have been a choreographer of dance national competition teams for over 10 years and I have taught groups of all ages sharing my passion for urban dance.

It is a pleasure to be part of Active Dansa team helping students develop new skills and encourage their creativity to be the next generation of artists.

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Lauren Dick – Dance Teacher (Commercial and Ballet)

I have been completely obsessed with dance since the age of 3, this was when I was introduced to classical ballet with the Royal Academt of Dance, I worked my way through the grades with Fiona. L Campbell. Fiona also gave me my first opportunity to perform with the Moscow Royal Ballet in the their production of Romeo and Juliet in the Grand Opera House, as well as Cinderella with the English Yourh Ballet.

I was fortunate enough to move forward to complete my Foundation Degree and BA Hons Dance at the Institute of the Arts Barcelona, where I spent 4 years surrounded by the most creative individuals from a variety of cultures and backgrounds! Through choreographers and lecturers from around the world I was inspired in Ballet, Jazz, Commercial, Hip-Hop, Tap, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. During this period I was involved in many productions within the university and outside, including carnaval de Sitges.
Since graduating from The Institute of the Arts Barcelona, I had the craziest experience working for Disneyland Paris and experiencing the magic it has to offer!

I have also worked as an entertainment dancer and fitness instructor in hotels around Europe, including Greece and Palma de Mallorca.
Since my return back to Northern Ireland I have opportunity to teach many students in all aspects of dance and performing arts, it is allowing me to share my experience with my students and hopefully inspire them to work hard and thrive in their talent!

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Luna – Active Dansa Mascot (Cuddles expert)

Luna has extensive experience in being around children and will be glad to give you a paw if you need any help in settling in.