MEET US

Active Dansa opened in September 2017, starting in a church hall and moving to their own studio in 2018. Since then the school has grown from strength to strength welcoming students of all ages and abilities. Founded by Mariona Pena with the vision and desire of creating a dance school where students can develop their full potential in Dance and Performing Arts.

At Active Dansa we pride ourself on providing rigurous dance programs with a professional approach but always accompanied with a caring and warm environment. We consider our school a big dancing family and building a sense of community is one of our most valued principles.

Active Dansa strives to provide high quality dance 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).

From beginners to vocational level, Active Dansa caters for everyone. We love getting to know every single one of our students and work with their individual skills to help them achieve their goals. Our passionate and friendly team are always here to support you.

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. 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

Your dance career and journey is in good hands with the expertise of 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 (Classical Ballet, Rythmics Gymnastics, Commercial, Jazz, Contemporary and Lyrical).

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

I hold several dance teaching qualifications with renowned examination boards such as bbodance, Acrobatic Arts and I-Path, allowing our school to offer training programs of a high standard.

  • 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 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 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, Acrodance, Introduction to Dance and Modern) 

My name is Tia Davies, I am a Teacher and Performer from the West Midlands.
I hold professional performance and teaching qualifications in Dance, Performing Arts, Acrobatic Arts and Cheerleading. I am currently studying further in teaching with IPATH; An incredible organisation of which will further my skills to qualify me in my Level 4 Diploma in Teaching Performing Arts in November 2021: this will allow me to progress on further, to finally completing my degree equivalent.

I have always had a passion for Movement, Creativity and Fitness and I have been dancing since the age of 3, starting off in Ballet and Tap. Then exploring more genres in Performing Arts and Dance toward my Teenage years.

I have performed in shows and competitions around the UK, then I was asked to join the Mardi Gra, where I then continued to perform around the UK for many years after.

After leaving secondary school, I moved on to studying Performing Arts at Stratford-upon-Avon College. Where I danced with the Royal Shakespeare Company and completed my professional qualifications. It was an absolute dream to dance in such a beautiful theatre!

I have a well developed background in Teaching. I gained most of my knowledge when I became a Dance Manager for a dance company in England, where I taught many genres and entered my students in competitions across the UK. During my time with this role, I went on to qualify as a Cheerleading coach with The UKCA.

As your teacher, my goal is to ensure that you receive support, kindness and positivity throughout your journey. My goal is to share passion with you to help you grow. My goal is to help you see your self worth and help you to feel self acceptance in all that you do and what you want to achieve. My goal is to help you see how incredibly CAPABLE you are and to help you see that YOU CAN DO IT! My goal is to create a happy, safe space for each and everyone of you.

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Lauren Dick – Dance Teacher (Introduction to Dance, Commercial, Jazz 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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Debbie Mercer – Dance Teacher (Ballet , Contemporary, Jazz and Performing Arts)

My name is Debbie and I have been dancing from the age of 3. I was dropped off in my little pink leotard to my first ballet school in Carrickfergus and I have loved it ever since. I continued with my RAD Ballet grades until the age of 18 when I decided to go and study Dance. I found my passion wasn’t just for dance but also for singing and acting. I recently graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Musical Theatre from Edge Hill University in Liverpool.

In my final year of study, I had the opportunity to perform in the premier of a brand new musical called Angry Birds written by Dougal Irvine, with an all-female creative team; Clare Chandler and Debbie Norris. The musical is about the Suffragettes and their fight for women’s rights! It is a fast paced, punk musical with high intensity dance numbers, and it pushes a performer’s stamina as well as their versatility! It was a wonderful experience!

Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with industry professionals and fantastic teachers who have inspired me to learn and grow as a dancer, an artist and a teacher. I have been able to explore many dance styles from a young age including Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Lyrical/Contemporary and Commercial. I also have experience as a dance fitness and Zumba instructor. Not only do I love dancing and performing but I love teaching and choreography. I have lots of experience with this through my studies and in Girls Brigade. More recently, I have worked with Flax Trust Arts, The Music Yard and with primary and secondary schools across Northern Ireland.

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Clara Kerr – Dance Teacher ( Contemporary & Jazz )

My name is Clara and I started dancing around the age of 3. I originally started off as a festival Irish dancer and completely fell in love with dance. After deciding that I wanted to make dance my career, I took up ballet, completed my Grade 8 RAD exam and auditioned for the major dance schools to train as a professional dancer.

I was lucky enough to be offered a place on the foundation course by the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and then offered a place on the BA Hons dance course for 3 years where I graduated with a first class honours degree.

During my time at LIPA I studied all the major dance styles including ballet, contemporary, jazz, commercial, pointe, tap and aerial silks and bungee and loved every second. I also discovered my love of choreography and have choreographed two full length dance pieces since leaving, one of which was performed as part of the Belfast Children’s Festival with Young at Art.

All throughout my dance career I have loved teaching, I even went to America for 3 months to teach dance, as well as teaching Irish dancing from the age of 16, and numerous workshops and adult classes. 

Since leaving LIPA I have had some exciting professional dance opportunities including dancing in the NEC arena Birmingham, creating my own dance show and making a Screen dance piece for Maiden Voyage Dance. 

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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.