Offering fresh perspectives and dynamic energy, Jerrel and Sonia are two of the region’s most inspiring next generation leaders. They will be bringing their vision, experience and innovative ideas to inform and guide DX in its pivotal role in the growth and development of dance in the Midlands, connecting people with great dance, nurturing young dancers and championing some of the UK’s best artistic talent.
Jerrel Jackson is a neurodivergent leader working in the social, cultural, education and voluntary sector specialising in theory of change, inclusion, inequality, injustice and leadership. He is the co-founder and CEO of Creative Academies Network (CAN) a multi-layered organisation that supports the development of children & young people in the Black Country to accelerate their full potential through Cultural Education, Creative Practice & Civic Leadership. He is the recipient of several awards including Young Educator of the Year, the Princess Diana Memorial Award and the Arts Council England Fellowship through the Clore Leadership Programme.
I feel privileged to be joining the DX family as we transition to be bigger, bolder and braver, to drive the power of dance in the region that is a true reflection of its rich cultural heritage.
Sonia Sabri is a multi award-winning dance artist and choreographer and is Artistic Director of Sonia Sabri Company. She is one of the world’s leading Kathak dancers with an international reputation for collaboration across dance styles and art forms, receiving commissions from The BBC, Channel 4, Tanzhaus, ARTE, Birmingham Hippodrome, South Bank Centre, and London Olympics 2012. Sonia Sabri Company is an Associate Company at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Despite my successes, I am always reminded that I am working class, from an underrepresented community, and a British Asian woman. There have been and continue to be several challenges because of who I am and represent, and these challenges continue to be experienced by young people, the contributors of our tomorrow. There is a field of talent yet to be discovered, or already on the horizon unnoticed.
As a board member, I believe that I can share my experiences and approaches to break down barriers for young people and people from underrepresented communities, and enable DX to become a powerhouse for supporting and nurturing diverse talent. I am looking forward to being part of a visionary potential.