OUR MISSION is to provide training and support for the dance community in order to promote healthy dance practices.

Dance is enormously challenging and competitive. For example, out of the over 800 dancers who auditioned for Rambert2 in 2018 (the junior company of Rambert, a world-renowned dance company), only 13 were selected. To add to this pressure, numerous existing issues in the industry were exacerbated by COVID-19. 

Consequently, initiatives that ensure dancers’ mental health and wellbeing are becoming increasingly essential. During lockdown, Terry Hyde MA MBACP, STEPPS’ CEO and psychotherapist, offered over 1000 free and discounted sessions to dance professionals and students. Following the pandemic, he decided to extend this work and offer training to others through the founding of STEPPS. 

Prior to becoming a charity STEPPS has already made considerable progress in delivering its aims and objectives. The Board is stacked with professionals across a range of industries and is supported by part-time staff and volunteers. STEPPS will fundraise to establish programmes that will ensure dancers and professionals can take care of their mental health, alongside promoting sector-wide change.

Our Aim

Dancers and other artists, regardless of socioeconomic background, are often faced with unique challenges throughout their training and professional careers. STEPPS was created with the goal of providing accessible and specialised mental health support. Through educational workshops, Mental Health First Aid training and online counselling sessions, STEPPS looks to spread awareness of dance-specific mental health issues and work towards a healthy dance profession. 


The interactive Mental Health Self-Care Workshops have been created for performing arts students aged 13+, and for adult professionals. They are also suitable for teachers, physical therapists, dance science students and parents. Workshops run for between 90 minutes and two hours, with additional time for one-to-ones if required. The talks cover not only how to recognise mental health symptoms, but also how they can specifically present in performers. Break-out groups allow attendees to explore subjects such as relationships with food,body image, perfectionism, and the impact of social media. A discussion regarding the relationship between mental health and injuries is included, as this can help with injury rehabilitation and prevention. Participants learn a variety of techniques and coping strategies to help them in all aspects of their performing life. Due to the highly personal and individual nature of some of the issues discussed, a few short and confidential sessions can be offered after each workshop.

Tailor-made workshops can also be provided upon request, for example a one-hour workshop specifically targeting performance, audition and exam anxiety is available.

The Team
Terry Hyde
I’m a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP) and abide by their code for ethical practice. I have been a psychotherapist/counsellor since 2010.

I started ballet classes at the age of 6 and at age 10 I was awarded a 5 year scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dance in London, later attending the Royal Ballet senior school. At 18 I joined the Royal Ballet and later moved to London’s Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) as a soloist.  After 5 years, I moved to musical theatre, performing in London’s West End, Film and TV.

Because of my own experiences as a performer I am able to bring a genuine understanding of the unique demands that are placed on dancers into my psychotherapy practice.

Ann Wall

“I am delighted to be on the board of STEPPS, which is set to fill a much-needed gap in the industry. Every dancer deserves access to support to ensure they can thrive in their lives and careers. STEPPS is on a mission to see this happen.”


Ann is a freelance dancer and teacher based in London. She trained at English National Ballet School and holds a BA professional Practice in Dance from Middlesex University. She is just completing an MA Professional Practice in Dance specialising in Health and Wellbeing. Holds a Diploma in Sports Psychology and Dynamics. Ann has danced professionally with Ballet Cymru, Brecon Festival Ballet, as a principal dancer with English Youth Ballet and engaged with community and collaborative projects.


With a career spanning in television, theatre, and film, Ash Mukherjee is a choreographer & Critics’ Circle National Dance Award UK nominated South Asian dancer. They create work that actively explores the impact of the arts on mental health wellbeing.
Their latest work Pride Face Project is a collaboration with Journey LGBT+ Asylum Seekers group, supported by Sampad Arts in Birmingham.

Ash Mukherjee

“I am delighted to be joining STEPPS in creating a space that is specifically dedicated towards dancers and the unique needs and challenges they face as they navigate learning and their careers.”

Denise Fiennes

“Getting STEPPS off the ground is “vital for the future of the dance profession and working with this diverse and exciting Board” means a great deal to her.”


Denise has had a long history in dance, music, the arts and humanities as a consultant and was Deputy Chairman of English National Ballet for 12 years.  She was instrumental in setting up the ENB School and a long-standing Trustee of The Dance Professionals Fund and Career Development.


James is a corporate lawyer advising businesses on transactions and commercial matters, and I also do pro bono work for charities and not-for-profit enterprises. I love dance and am delighted to be involved in STEPPS as it develops much-needed counselling and support for dance professionals.

James Ellis-Rees

“I am delighted to be joining STEPPS in creating a space that is specifically dedicated towards dancers and the unique needs and challenges they face as they navigate learning and their careers.”

Joseph Powell-Main

I am extremely excited to join STEPPS as a trustee. Dance is a wonderful industry, but the ups and downs can be tough. I believe that having mental health support for dancers of all ages will make dancers healthier and allow them to perform to their fullest potential”. 


Joe trained at the Royal Ballet Lower School, during which time he performed with the Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet. After sustaining a knee injury and being involved in a serious car crash, Joe acquired his disability and stopped dancing for three years. As a professional dancer, Joe has worked with Ballet Cymru, The Royal Ballet as a guest artist, Sweetshop Revolution, Propel Dance and Humans Move, as well as choreographing and performing for the One Young World 2022 Opening Summit.


Matz Skoog is a former dancer and Artistic Director of English National Ballet. He enjoyed a successful performance career in classical ballet and contemporary dance, working with some of the most exciting artists of his era whilst dancing on stages internationally. Matz is now a Career Guide and Consultant, helping dance professionals step successfully from stage to stage at key moments in their careers.

Matz Skoog

“After many years in the business I have learned the dance world is a better place when artists make sensible career decisions that ensures both personal and professional fulfilment throughout their working lives. STEPPS endeavours to promote and facilitate a professional environment where dancers can do so safely and securely.”

Stuart Waters


Stuart Waters is a dance and live art performance maker with 24 years of experience, devising and touring extensively. His critically acclaimed autobiographical work draws from intersectional lived experiences of queerness and neurodivergence. He collaborates extensively, centralising disability-led practice, social activism and allyship; this approach underpins creative processes.


Taira is a freelance choreographer, movement director and is the founder and artistic director of TF Dance Co, a story-based company that draws on strong contemporary and street dance styles. Company credits include four critically acclaimed works as part of the Resolution festival,  ‘Prisoner 466’ funded by The Arts Council and shown at ‘The House Of Lords’, short film ‘Carly’s exit’ which premiered at The San Francisco Dance Film Festival and the New York ‘Dance for camera’ Festival. Snow Patrol’s ‘Don’t Give in’ 2018 with other performances in and around the UK.

Taira Foo

Tim Branson

“I fully support any therapeutic work that helps dancers and performing artists maintain good mental health. I understand the unique pressures on artists, having both personal and professional experience of clients with anxiety, low mood, suicidality and eating disorders”.


I’m a psychotherapist and supervisor of other therapists working in private practice since retiring from the NHS acute mental health team.

Azaria Bradley

After a successful career as an award-winning choreographer, teacher and owner of a social enterprising performing arts school, Azaria now works as an entrepreneurial partner for start-ups and scale-ups, specialising in developmental strategy. Azaria utilises her extensive global network and supports a blend of exciting clients and projects. In recent years, Azaria has secured public investment to lead action research and development, partnering with talent to kickstart ventures.

“It is an honour to join STEPPS as an ex-officio board member. Dancers’ mental health is a cause dear to my heart and work, and it is vital for a healthy and happy industry. It has been a delight to support this from ideation to conception, and now, I look forward to making this vision a reality with the rest of the team.” 

Holly Austin

After finishing her BA in Musical Theatre, Holly pursued a career change and is currently undertaking an MA in Law.

“I am so excited to be a part of STEPPS and hope, through my lived experience and passion for the law, to be a part of preventing abuse in the dance/performing industry and promoting good mental health among performers.”

  • Support, Training,
  • Education, Performance,
  • Psychotherapy and Support
I was pleased to read that you help dancers with their mental health problems. Your being able to encompass their families and those involved in their lives must, I think, play a big part in ongoing support and recovery. As an ex dancer, you are in a unique position to understand the strains and stresses of dance and performance and can draw on your personal experience to help and inspire others. I wish you continuing success with your valuable work.- Dame Beryl Grey CH, DBE
Terry has been a massive help to me and I literally feel like I’ve been through a massive life detox. Like he has helped me pull out at the root all of the subconscious worry and past life events. He has helped me understand myself better through different approaches and techniques. I am now in a place where I am much more full of energy. My IBS has nearly gone, I feel happier and less worried about things! Thank you Terry! You are amazing!- Claire – Choreographer/rehearsal director
Terry provided a safe space for self discovery. After just a few sessions I felt I had shifted completely from where I was. Never focused on ‘fixing’ or dictating a diagnosis, but always allowing and guiding me to make my own observations for us then to discuss. He suggested areas for further independent research which I loved and continue to dive in to. Terry gave me the time and space to consider things about my past and present in their true form, without bias or defence or judgment, and to look at them with honest curiosity. Then I could see clearly the impact they have on who I am today.- P.H. – Actor

Charitable objects:

For the public benefit, the promotion and protection of physical and mental health of dancers, particularly, but not exclusively by providing counselling, training and workshops.

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