UDS UK is the UK’s fastest growing,American-style dance competition
Ultimate Dance Showcase UK is the UK’s fastest growing, American-Style dance competition. Founded by Nicole Lacy-Thompson, UDS UK is the place where dancers of all ages and abilities, from all over the UK and the world, can be a part of our exciting dance competitions.
Our staff members and judges are all professionals working in the performing arts, dance and education fields and provide quality adjudication for all of our dancers. Our dancers are awarded for their exceptional performances and extraordinary talent with loads of prizes, special awards and the chance to win the title of Mr. and Miss. Ultimate Dance Showcase. UDS UK provides the highest quality dance events where students gain performance experience, meet other dancers, and most importantly, have fun! We can’t wait to see you soon!
Born in England and raised in New York, Nicole grew up dancing and performing competitively. Throughout her childhood, she trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Modern Technique. After High School, Nicole went on to Oklahoma City University and received her Bachelor of Science in Dance Pedagogy.
Following her Undergraduate studies, Nicole started teaching dance throughout New York City and the surrounding areas. She then decided to further her education and attended Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey where she received her Master’s in Dance Education.
After finishing her Graduate degree, Nicole moved back to England where she has been teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Street Dance, and Modern Technique in Primary Schools and dance studios throughout London for the past three years.
With nearly 10 years of experience as a dance teacher and extensive experience with both competing herself and training her students to compete, Nicole is beyond excited to launch Ultimate Dance Showcase UK. She is thrilled to give all the talented dancers in the UK the same opportunity that she had, and is looking forward to an amazing second season!
Stage/ Backstage Operations Manager
As a tap dancer growing up, Jeff M. Poulin formed a fierce belief in the power of the arts to revolutionise education and transform the lives of young people. Participating in the arts in school and his community, Jeff found early success as a performer, garnering many regional and national dance titles, including being named Mr. Dance of a New Generation and touring the United States for several years. In the dance world, he has worked for such organisations as Dancers Inc, LiveNation UK/Ireland, the Ireland Intervarsities, and more.
In 2019, Jeff founded Creative Generation, which works to inspire, connect, and amplify the work of organisations and individuals committed to cultivating the creative capacities of young people. With over a decade of experience as a performer, teaching artist, education researcher, and arts administrator, he previously led a U.S.-based program, where he worked to advance local, state, and federal policies supportive of equitable access to arts education throughout the country. Jeff is widely published, serves as a reviewer for grant and research panels, and speaks to audiences across the country and around the globe.
Jeff holds a Master of Arts degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin and a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Business from Oklahoma City University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Education from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Assistant Stage Manager
Hannah trained at the Arnould School of Dance and Drama from the age of 3. She went on to perform in productions of ‘Seven Brides For Seven Brothers’ and ‘Cabaret’ as well as competing in Street Dance competitions at National level. Hannah was also on a professional cheer leading team ‘London City Stars’ competing at National and International competitions.
Hannah has been with UDS UK since the beginning in 2017, and is also a fitness instructor, teaching a variety of classes in gyms and health clubs.
Nicky Burke has been dancing since the age of 5 and trained professionally at Liberatus Performing Arts School and London Studio Centre. Nicky’s career began as a dancer for “Juke Box and Bobby Sox” UK Tour in 2012, and during this time she was scouted for the role of Genie for the pantomime “Aladdin.” She went on to play lead roles, and acted as dance captain and choreographer for 3 years. Last year she was offered the role of Swing to the lead actress “Sophie” in the International Tour of Hello Kitty Live, fashion and friends.
In 2015, Nicky was offered a scholarship to train at Broadway Dance Centre, and since her return to the UK, Nicky has been working as a creative/assistant and choreographer for shows including Lip Sync Battle (Channel 5,) Harry Hill’s Tea Time Show ( SKY TV) bespoke flashmob across the UK, social media advertising and singer/songwriters. Nicky is a passionate performer, teacher and choreographer who believes that dance is a universal language which connects all of us.
Nicky is so excited to be on the Ultimate Dance Showcase UK Team and have the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful dancers at this event!
Lyndsey is originally from Ilkley in West Yorkshire and has been dancing since the age of 3. She went on to train professionally in Dance and Musical Theatre at Performers College.
Lyndsey’s professional career began on the high seas dancing around the world on board Saga Cruises and P&O Australia cruises as a Singer Dancer. After catching the bug for travelling she continued on her voyages with Carnival Cruise Lines as a Production Singer and Dancer with Playlist Productions, appearing in a variety of their shows aboard the company’s flagship cruise liner.
After returning to the UK Lyndsey has appeared in many pantomimes with Spillers Pantomimes as Dance Captain and Assistant Choreographer (The Epsom Playhouse) and more recently in Qdos Entertainments production of Aladdin (The Swansea Grand).
She has had the privilege of performing on the stage at the London Palladium in ‘100 Years of Magic’ as a dancer and magicians assistant and was an ensemble member in Spirit Productions ‘Spirit of the Dance’.
More recently she has since continued her love for singing, touring the UK with ‘An Evening of Dirty Dancing’, playing the lead role of Sylvia and also as Dance Captain for the production.
Lyndsey’s television credits include appearing on ‘The Alan Titchmarsh Show’ in a Strictly Come Dancing Special as a featured dancer and also as a dancer in John Bishop’s comedy DVD.
Lyndsey is thrilled to be a part of the judging team at Ultimate Dance Showcase UK and cannot wait to see some extremely talented dancers!
Joel is originally from Stourport-on-Severn and started dancing at the age of 6. After 10 years of training, he went on to train at Laine Theatre Arts for 3 years and graduated in 2016 with Distinction.
He is currently on a UK tour with Louie Spence as part of his “dream team” in his Masterclass Tour. Joel has recently performed in “On The Town” in Tokyo, Japan, in “Cats”, Cyprus as “Mr. Mistoffelees” and is soon to appear in the West End revival of “Hairspray” at the London Coliseum as “Brad”! He has previously performed in ’42nd Street’ at Theatre Royal Drury Lane and toured internationally with ‘Wicked’.
Joel is thrilled to be back as a part of the Ultimate Dance Showcase UK team and looks forward to seeing all of the amazing talent in the 2019-2020 season!
Emma started dancing at the age of 7 and professionally at the age of 19. She graduated from Performers College in 2018, with a distinction in Dance and Musical Theatre.
Emmas recent credits include MOVE IT (Excel Centre), TrioOperas promotional video (Peacock Theatre), the NFL Opening Ceremony (Wembley Stadium) and Tap United (Nancy Chippendale, Massachusetts). As well as Performers College, Emma trained along side Tap Attack Company and Zoonation. Throughout her time with Tap Attack she became a two time World Tap Champion after competing at the IDO Tap World Championships. Emma’s choreography also featured at the world championships in 2016. After just graduating Emma is excited to see what the future has in store.
Emma is ecstatic to be a judge for Ultimate Dance Showcase UK and can’t wait to see all the talented dancers this season!
Tajana is a professional dancer from London, currently based in Los Angeles. She began her professional dance training at the age of 16 at the Brit School, where she gained a Dance Diploma. She then went on to train at Doreen Bird College where she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Dance and Theatre Performance.
Tajana’s first professional job in London was the West End production of The Lion King. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked on shows such as X-Factor, The Voice, MTV Awards, Grammys, iHeart Awards, Tidal, BET Awards, VMA’s and Coachella. She has also toured with artists including Iggy Azalea, Lily Allen, Janelle Monae and Beyonce.
Tajana has a strong passion for dance and is now excited to inspire the generation of young dancers through judging and teaching workshops. She is thrilled to be judging with Ultimate Dance Showcase UK and looks forward to seeing all the amazing talent this season!
At the age of five, Kevin Howe discovered his love for dance and trained for 14 years in Canada. His training included a wide range of styles and syllabi including Jazz and Tap (ADAPT), Ballet (RAD), Hip Hop, Acrobatics and Modern/ Contemporary, training extensively at Leeming Danceworks in Ottawa, Ontario.
Kevin took his professional dance career to new heights with a move to Toronto, where he proudly worked as a dancer with many talented artists and choreographers including Lady Gaga (LaurieAnn Gibson), Ke$ha (Ryan Heffington), Girlicious (Bobby Newberry), and more. His foray onto the big screen includes film and TV credits for Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure with Disney’s Ashley Tisdale, CW’s Hellcats, Disney’s Frenemies, Russell Peters Christmas
Special (Sean Cheeseman) and most recently Guillermo Del Toro’s FX channel hit, The Strain.
One of Kevin’s crowning moments as a professional dancer included being chosen as a contestant on the fourth and final season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, making it to the top 16 performers.
Beyond his career as a performer, Kevin has grown into a renowned and talented choreographer, teacher and adjudicator. Recognised in the industry for his creativity and innovative choreography style, winning numerous awards from as young as 17.
Kevin’s passion and talent for teaching and choreography has lead him to a successful career in teaching Master Classes to both students and teachers in some of the top Studios, Workshops, and Conventions within Canada: The Underground Dance Centre, Millennium Dance Complex TO, MOVE (Shawn Desman), CDX, and Jump Start dance intensive alongside other faculty members including Rebecca Davies and Krista Miller.
Kevin’s career has recently moved him to London, England where he is beyond excited to work with dancers, teachers, artists, companies and more.
Becky graduated from Bird College in 2012 and has been lucky enough to have been consistently working since.
She has performed in several musicals on the West End and UK tours in shows such as Disco Inferno, A Chorus Line at the London Palladium, where she played the part of Val, Chicago where she played the role of Annie and covered Velma Kelly, The Last Tango with Vincent and Flavia from Strictly Come Dancing, and most recently has finished performing in 42nd St at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
She has also worked on television having worked on a different TV series such as the Sky Drama- You, Me and the Apocalypse and Galavant. Becky is also a voice over artist and has appeared in numerous adverts on television and radio.
Becky is very passionate about theatre and performing and loves inspiring the new generation to work hard for their dreams. Becky is so excited to be a part of the Ultimate Dance Showcase UK team, and cannot wait to see new up and coming talent!
Ben Lanham is a professional dancer/choreographer based in NYC. As a proud dance graduate of Oklahoma City University, he has toured Europe in the International Tour of West Side Story and also the U.S. with the 1st National Tours of R+H’s Cinderella, An American in Paris and Hello, Dolly!
Ben has also been seen in over 15 regional productions across America including Spamalot, Mary Poppins, Fiddler on the Roof, Young Frankenstein, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Music Man, and 42nd Street. Ben can be seen dancing alongside James Franco in his TV show, Making a Scene.
Teaching is another passion for Ben and he is on faculty with Stage Door Connection and Broadway Dance Connection in NYC. He is currently touring the country with the 1st National Tour of Anastasia. Ben is ecstatic to join the UDS family and to experience all the talent of the young dancers around the UK!
Born in Texas, Haley started dancing at the age of 3 and grew up as a performer and competitive dancer. After High School, Haley graduated from Oklahoma City University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in American Dance Pedagogy. During her time in Oklahoma City, she trained professionally as a performer, stage manager, costumer, choreographer, and dance teacher.
Haley is currently the Artistic Director of Dance at Sonshine Academy @sonshine_dance in Arkansas where she teaches ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre, and contemporary. Her dance studio has nominated as Best Arts Educator and voted Best Dance Studio for several years running.
Haley is also the Co-Director of Sonshine Competitive Dance Company and has led the team to many victories competing around the United States.
With nearly 10 years of training as a dance teacher and choreographer, Haley is thrilled to embark on this exciting opportunity as a virtual judge with Ultimate Dance Showcase U.K.!
Erica Peréz-Barton is a New York City based performer, teacher, and choreographer. She began dancing at the young age of 3 and began her competition career at the age of 10. She went on to study privately with world-renown tap dancers such as Michelle Dorrance, Jimmy Tate, and Acia Gray, while also partaking in the companies Tap Kids and the Tap City Youth Ensemble.
Erica continued her training at Oklahoma City University where she received her BPA in Dance Performance. In the midst of her college career Erica also studied at Broadway Dance Center with their Professional Semester Program.
Post-graduation she began her career with RWS Entertainment, performing in their Music Box musical, “The Littlest Tree”, and with their Hersheypark company in “Dance, Dance, Dance: America” where she was the dance captain and swing.
Erica has had the privilege of exploring the country with the national tour of “Elf: The Musical” for two years. Between contracts she regionally starred as Stephanie Mangano in “Saturday Night Fever”, and was an ensemblist in “Pippin”. This summer Erica will understudy the role of Mrs.Wilkinson in the musical “Billy Elliot”.
Erica is also an award-winning choreographer, and teacher to studios in the tri-state area for the past 5 years. Her pieces have proudly taken first placements in addition to national titles. She is passionate about not only the strength, hard-work, and dedication it takes to be a dancer, but the love and emotional connection to the art.