Founder & Artistic Director
Derya Donaldson founded DNPA in 2015 out of her desire to give children an opportunity to build confidence and to be the best performers they can be. It’s a great way for them to explore and find their strengths, whether in dance, drama or singing. She passionately believes that children deserve the chance to be able to take to the stage and have their moment in the spotlight and not be pushed to the back!
Derya’s passion for teaching derived from her job as Choreographer and Assistant Director in the Young Persons Theatre Company (YPTC) in Camden Town, where she worked for over 10 years, putting on productions around the West End.
She trained at the prestigious Urdang Academy and was a performer, working for some of the top names in the music industry including Cher, Paul McCartney and Technetronic.
Additionally, Derya modelled, acted and had regular appearances on Top of the Pops, CD UK and Pepsi Chart Show as an artist and backing dancer touring worldwide. She now focuses on work as a choreographer and a movement director including theatre and adverts. Derya often works alongside Natasha at the Southbank Centre with Southwark Music Service on their mass participation shows.
Derya is also a mother to young performers and models, which inspired her to embark on her chaperoning journey, with her base being The Lion King (West End). She has also worked on Matilda (West End), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (West End), Emil and the Detectives (National Theatre) and Adrian Mole, through her experience Derya is well connected within the west end.
Natasha Khamjani is professional choreographer and an education specialist that has always taught for other schools and organisations – the Southbank Centre, the Royal Opera House and East London Dance to name a few, so when Derya asked her to come on board and teach street dance for DNPA she jumped at the chance to train young people in her local community.
She mainly works as a movement director across the industry including theatre commissions as well as commercial and corporate jobs. Her signature is to fuse a variety of styles together with a strong and sometimes humorous narrative to create something spectacular.
She is also Co Artistic Director of www.folkdanceremixed.com an outdoor performance company who annually tour the UK. Other credits include – all four Olympic Ceremonies, Commonwealth Games, Rugby League World Cup, Villa Plus TV ads, Cookies at the Haymarket, the Big Dance Bus and Silver Birch – for Garsington Opera.
She has been thrilled to be part of the Garsington Opera’s virtual ‘Monday Motivation’ team and was delighted to be asked again to teach a warm up for U Dance Digital – the UK’s national youth dance festival which was online this year. She is also a regular host at ‘Move It’ – the UK’s biggest dance convention.
Associate Artistic Director
Milli Marosh has been a professional Actor for over 25 years having trained at Rose Bruford College. Under her stage name of Milenka James she has worked extensively in Film, Television, and Theatre including National and International Touring of Theatre for all ages.
Her love of Acting started at an early age whilst she was still in school. She was a member of various local theatre companies and she also spent 3 summers performing with Cumbria Youth Theatre working with acclaimed directors – Gregory Doran and Lawrence Boswell.
Milli joined DNPA as a co- Director on the Musical Theatre course whilst her own children also became a part of the acting company, working on her first production of BUGSY MALONE. Since then she has worked on the last 2 productions with the company helping them take the next step into local theatres including THEATRE PECKHAM. Milli currently also provides the Stage Management support for these shows – including set, lighting and costume designs and prop making to help bring a near professional experience for all the young company members involved.
Administrator & Teacher
Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness is a valued member of our team and has been assistant teaching on the Musical Theatre course since DNPA’s founding in 2015. She has professionally worked in the industry with leading roles in the musical theatre production The Lion King, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, Save Me (Sky Atlantic) and Deep Water (ITV). Not only does she dabble in every part of DNPA on and off-stage but she also teaches the students singing, acting and dancing, does the music arrangements for every production, and is a part of the administration team.
Originally from Aberdeen Scotland, Tracey gained a BA(Hons) in Musical Theatre from The Arden School Of Theatre. Since then, Tracey has had a varied performing career, whether it’s been singing and dancing on cruise ships, donning a pair of fairy wings over pantomime season or masquerading as a singing waitress at weddings – there’s never been a dull moment.
As well as performing, Tracey has over 15 years of teaching experience working with companies such as British Youth Music Theatre, Footlights Manchester, Ridgeway Theatre Arts and Musical Mayhem London to name a few. Tracey teaches piano and singing and has coached students through LAMDA and ABRSM exams with 100% pass rate. Tracey has also coached students through auditions with successful clients performing in Shrek (West End) Annie (West End and UK Tour) The Sound Of Music (UK Tour) and Les Miserables (West End).
Tracey is extremely passionate about singing and loves to see her student’s confidence build as they explore their own individual musical journeys.
Alex has been coming to DNPA for 3 years and requested to assist with the younger group a couple of years ago. He is a great role model and mentor to the younger students and helps with spacing, cleaning routines and entrances and exits in production weeks. He trains in both our Musical Theatre and Street Dance classes bringing all his Acting, Singing and Dance skills to the stage.
Film Maker & Technical Advisor
Dean Holness joined the DNPA team in 2015 as a sound technician and also started working as cinematographer in 2017 on the productions ‘Bugsy Malone’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Combining film and Theatre and helping give the children the opportunity to learn both sets of skills.
Dean has been working in the film and television industry on and off-screen for the past 20 years and has worked on feature films, television, projects for Sky, and an award-winning Nike advertisement.