Lynne Spicer – Chariman
My love of historical dance started when I attended some workshops run by Lucy Graham over 25 years ago. I now run Grantham Danserye with my husband and am a member of two other local historical dance groups. My background is in libraries and education and I am keen to pass on my love and enjoyment of historical dance to other people. My particular interest is in the dances, music and costume of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Richard Smithies – Secretary
For all general enquiries, subscriptions, etc.
Lizzie Abusch – Treasurer
I am a qualified bookkeeper and am currently studying for an accountancy licence so that I can open my own practice specialising in work for charities and freelancers. It hasn’t always been my ambition, there have been quite a few others – to start with I was a serious ballet student but then I broke my shoulder and the loss of complete mobility put an end to that.
When I left school I went to work in a hospital but my heart was in the Arts so I got a job at the Old Vic in theatre administration and from there I worked for theatres and productions in eight theatres in the West End, English National Opera, and the Royal Albert Hall. At the moment I work at the London Library in Piccadilly where Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities and Bram Stoker wrote Dracula and scribbled disrespectfully in the margins of many of the books on werewolves. I am married to a Mummer.
Anne Daye – Director of Education and Research
Anne Daye is a founding member of HDS, having been the first Secretary of the Dolmetsch Historical Dance Society, then its Chairman. As a trustee, her role as Director of Education and Research involves planning courses, encouraging good teaching and stimulating excellence in dance research.
Anne’s primary research and teaching interests are in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and she is also a leading expert in the Elizabethan and Stuart masques, the ballet de cour of England, having completed a doctoral thesis on the Jacobean masque from a dance perspective. Another speciality is in the country dance in Britain across the centuries, alongside the cotillons of the Regency period.
Several publications in leading journals and edited dance books, alongside the production of dance instruction books and music recordings for HDS, keep Anne busy, as well as teaching and coaching dancers for HDS, Bedford Early Dance and Music and Herts Early Dance.
Talitha McKenzie – Archivist
Talitha MacKenzie has had a passion for both music and dance since early childhood. Starting lessons in Ballet & Tap at age three, she switched to piano the following year and began teaching music professionally at age 13. Having had a grounding in Square Dance, International Folk and Modern Dance at school, she went on to attend the 1973 American Dance Festival, where she was introduced to Historical Dance by Ingrid Brainard (Renaissance), Wendy Hilton (Baroque) and Daniel Nagrin (20th Century.
She obtained a degree in Music History/Ethnomusicology from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston), where she performed Renaissance & Baroque dance and music with Dr Julia Sutton’s Collegium Terpsichore, fully adopting Sutton’s holistic approach of always having dancers learn the music and musicians learn the dance.
After moving to Scotland, she performed traditional Scottish dance and music with the Folk Ensemble Drumalban, released several Celtic/World Music albums and toured throughout Europe and North America.
She currently lectures at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow), where her Choice Module ‘Historical Dance & Dance Music’ (15th-early 19th centuries) has been enthusiastically received by students from a wide range of departments. Chair of the Steering Committee for the Edinburgh Quadrille Society, she has been instrumental in resuscitating Regency quadrilles published by Nathaniel Gow, featured in three Edinburgh Assembly Rooms Bicentennial Balls, and continues to teach regular Quadrille Classes at the Institut Français d’Écosse.
In 2019, she founded the Historical Dance & Music group Rossignol. A member of the Friday Night Branslers, she regularly attends gatherings hosted by Chris Elmes & Cait Webb of Gaita. A confessed clothoholic, she spends much of her time obsessively creating period costumes.
Talitha is currently acting as HDS Archivist.
Helen Young – Summer School Administrator
Helen Young was first introduced to historical dance in 2002 at an initial course run by HDS and Anne Daye. Immediately hooked, she (with husband Stephen) took advantage of every opportunity to build her skills and understanding, particularly in dance of the 15th and 16th centuries.
With a background in adult education and staff development it was a fairly natural progression that she would be drawn to teaching opportunities in historical dance. Having joined Herts Early Dance in 2004, she now shares in teaching and leading dances at the club on a regular basis, organises the dance programme, and in recent years helped to keep dance going for the club over Zoom.
Helen is also a member of Stratford Renaissance Dance and is enthusiastic about bringing historical dance to a wider audience through HDS activities, or whenever events present themselves.
Helen’s retirement in 2020 afforded her even more time to devote to HDS in an organising capacity and she is an active member of the Teachers’ Subcommittee. She assists in preparing publicity and overseeing bookings for events and as trustee and summer school director, she is responsible for organising the annual summer schools.
Natalie Kershaw – Trustee
Natalie D Kershaw BA (Hons) PGCE MA (Mus)
I am a musician, teacher, and current PhD research student at the University of Birmingham researching the role of the 17th and 18th century musician. I am a Trustee on the HDS committee, and I bring my background of education, music, community outreach and engagement with me. I am particularly interested in the music side of the society and the role of the dance musician. I am also passionate about encouraging young people to engage regularly with HDS. I am new to dancing, but am thoroughly enjoying having a go!
Stephen Collins – Trustee
Stephen Collins – Trustee