Nadine Hegarty

Founder and Artistic Director

 

 

 

Nadine founded Fireworks DDTA in 2011 and has spent the last 10 years developing and implementing the unique curriculum and growing the company from strength to strength.  Nadine trained in a variety of dance styles, including ballet, contemporary, tap, lyrical, hip hop, and jazz. She has trained with various institutions such as the Midland Independent Dance & Arts Association, The Royal College of Music and Drama, Royal Academy of Dance, Boy Blue Entertainment, and Pineapple Dance Studios and more. She began working professionally at the age of twelve as a dance model in California. Nadine was awarded annual scholarships to the prestigious San Jose Ballet School, from where she gained most of her professional training, and later working with the San Francisco Ballet Company. Nadine also studied Musical Theatre at the University of Essex and holds a BA honours in English Literature and Education from the University of Ulster. She is now working towards a Masters degree in Dance Science and Education at the University of Edinburgh.

As well as directing the company and teaching weekly classes, Nadine continues to work as a professional performer and facilitates workshops in schools and local community groups. She also has regular employment as a choreographer in both professional and amateur dance and musical theatre productions.

Nadine has written a multidisciplinary curriculum which focuses on developing the creativity and artistic skill of each individual as well as their technical capacity. She adds:

‘In an industry and society that demands obsession with the physical aesthetic I have always felt there a toxic underlay which promotes the dancers emotional and mental detachment from the body. In my years as a dancer and teacher, I have sought to develop a higher sense of self acceptance and appreciation for the body within each individual I work with. Physical and mental health of the artist is of utmost priority for me and is nurtured through my pedagogical practice and approach .Furthermore, the development of a healthy society requires instilling a strong sense of social responsibility and creative empowerment in our young people and artists. It is imperative to me that theatre and dance education includes a good understanding of both the history and science of the art forms studied. We tell the stories we want to tell, but when telling the stories of others through any theatre practice we need to know why. Why is this dance important? Why does my body want to move this way? Why is this being taught in my classroom and why are we putting this on stage? By understanding the purpose of Art, we understand its importance in the world.’ – Nadine

Nadine has received certificates CPD certificates in ‘Trauma Awareness’ and ‘Developing Trauma Informed Communities’ and holds a Diploma in Child Psychology. As well as studying for her current Masters Degree, she is now undertaking a level 4 certificate in Counselling Therapy.

Nadine was nominated for Northern Irish Creative Tutor of the Year 2019.

 

 

Danielle Wilson

Managing Director / Communications Officer

 

 

Danielle Wilson is a real life wonder woman! We are so honoured to have her as our Managing Director. Her talents are endless and her hard work and commitment to FireworksDDTA has ensured the company’s success over the years. Danielle is a  business woman and an avid charity worker mother of two, and can literally do anything!

Danielle holds her B.A. (Honours) and a M.A. in History as well as management qualifications from Birmingham University and De Monfort University She has over 13 years operational and strategic management experience. She is also a professionally trained social media manager running her own business ‘Dream Social’. Danielle has a love of the arts and also has her own jewellery making business ‘Crimson Clover’. She is passionate about the ethos of the organisation and is committed to helping it go from strength to strength. The list of skills Danielle has and brings to her role at FireworksDDTA is endless and you will meet her at all of our events in person.

 

 

 

 

Amber King

Dance and Performance Coach

 

 

 

Amber joined Fireworks DDTA in 2013 at the age of 15 and progressed extremely well through the company curriculum. She now studies Professional and Commercial Dance at Shock Out Arts in Manchester. Amber delivers workshops to all of our members during holiday seasons and works as assistant producer and choreographer for company events and performances. As a student who graduated to teacher level within the company, Amber offers key insights and ideas to curriculum development and furthermore remains a proud student of Fireworks DDTA.

“Training under the curriculum has opened my eyes to the strength and importance of inclusion which has impacted the way I teach and my general outlook on life. Fireworks is where I found my spark; not only as a performer but as a person. The lessons I’ve learned while being at the company are lessons you rarely learn at home or in a classroom, tools that you really need to experience life with a very open mind, heart and a very strong appreciation of the arts. Fireworks has taught me how value an extremely powerful art and also value creative freedom in today’s society. I got to discover the dancer I wanted to be,  giving me the confidence to further my dance education. I’m currently in my 3rd year of my degree in professional and commercial dance. Thanks to the connections and knowledge gained during my time with the company I not only have a personal outlet for creating but also have the privilege of teaching the current students which has given me an abundance of experience and the opportunity to pass on current industry training and knowledge.” – Amber

 

 

 

Robin Wilson

Health and Safety Officer

 

 

Robin’s role within the company is a demanding one – but he loves a challenge! Robin ensures all of our events, performances, premises and equipment are safe for our all members, staff and volunteers. Robin’s responsibilities include making sure that Fireworks DDTA fulfils its mission to ‘make performing arts education accessible to all’ and his work helps us to embed our inclusive curriculum for those with disabilities or special educational needs in both policy and practice. For example he ensures sensory rooms back stage or disabled access at events. His role is key to ensuring everyone is safe and nurtured. He makes sure we are always up to date and inline with insurance requirements and government guidelines on paper and in real life – you will meet him at any and all of our fabulous events! Robin has full time employment as a health and safety representative for a local company and transfers all of his training and knowledge to his voluntary role at Fireworks DDTA. We are so lucky and grateful to have him on our team.

The thing I love about Fireworks is the inclusion. The members develop amazing friendships and there is a great support for staff and volunteers. For this reason I gladly give my time and expertise to the company and help put in other way that I can.– Robin

 

 

 

 

Francesca Wood 

Company Counsellor

 

 

Francesca has been a part of the Fireworks DDTA family for over 4 years now. We are delighted to welcome her to the team in recent weeks as a staff member who will be providing an incredibly valuable service to our members and families. Francesca is qualified up to level 4 in counselling through the University of Ulster and is currently in the last year of her degree (level 6) in Counselling and psychotherapy. She was a counsellor for child line and whilst still in the early stages of her career Francesca has a wealth of experience in her field and is well known to the Fireworks members, families and audiences.  As you can see from our schedule, mental health education and awareness is a core part of our curriculum.

I am specialising in teenage counselling because I feel that there is so much pressure on them in this age and they are often not taken seriously enough by their mentors or peers. My desire is to support  and assist as many young people as I can and contribute towards their self empowerment and improve on mental health education. I chose Fireworks as a environment for my daughter because I knew that the desire to support within a non pressured environment was a priority for Nadine as well. I have been so grateful for the nurturing environment for my daughter, and I am more than happy to offer assistance to other members of the company who want to avail of counselling.”  – Francesca

 

 

 

 

Claire Thames

Finance Officer

 

 

After graduating from the University of Glasgow with a degree in accountancy and finance , Claire opened a highly successful accountancy firm in Derry/Londonderry.  Claire plays a key role in maintaining that we are accessible and affordable to everyone. She ensures that the finance of the company is meticulously managed and provides essential support for families who may be struggling to pay fees. Claire works hard to source private sponsorship for trips and excursions so that everyone has full access to our education and experiences. As well as running her own  accountancy firm Claire is a busy mum of 3 yet she somehow manages to find the hours to work for us as well. We don’t have the words to express our gratitude for Claire’s hard work and commitment to us.

 


Honorary Mention


 

 

Joanne Harrigan

Volunteer

 

 

Joanne was a key volunteer at Fireworks DDTA. Joanne sadly passed away in 2018 and is sorely missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her and witnessing her kindness and generosity.

Nadine: ‘Joanne was a crucial support for me at the early stages of developing Fireworks DDTA. She helped me talk out challenges I was facing and provided great emotional support for me. Joanne was so kind to me personally and supportive of everything I wanted Fireworks DDTA to stand for. She worked at all our events a chaperone, a runner, driver, costumer maker and was an amazing woman with unlimited generosity. After a few years of my teaching her family members, our professional working relationship eventually grew into a personal one and she became and dear and loved friend to me as well as a core part of the team. She is sorely missed at our events and I think of her so fondly and often.’