Cherie Brennan Community Engagement Artist
Cherie grew up in South London attending Southfields Community college where she took BTEC Performing Arts, Music and Dance, starting her dance journey at 16 years of age. Encouraged by her tutors Cherie then went on to study at the University of Surrey.
During her time at Surrey, Cherie was an active member of the student led Dance Company ‘Actual Size’ as well as the Gospel Choir where she became Vice President in her final year and performed as part of a backing choir on the X-Factor. She also took part in workshops led by STOMP, Replica Dance Company and performed in a curtain raiser for State of Emergency’s Sketches from Grahamstown and Desert Crossings. Cherie concentrated on the practical parts of her course throughout her years and focused on traditional African and Caribbean Dance as well as Contemporary, where she received 1st for her end of year performances. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelors Honours Degree in Dance and Culture where she was also awarded a 1st for her placement year with Stopgap Dance Company.
Cherie’s journey with Stopgap started in 2013 as an intern and organised ‘Dance the Day Away’ for her placement project. This project brought teachers together who specialised in different genres of dance to deliver sessions for Stopgaps Youth Company members. Cherie was then offered the role of Access Worker not long after she graduated and worked closely with Nadenh Poan and performed alongside him, Kat Ball, Christian Brinklow, Chris Pavia and Hannah Sampson in ‘Moon Language’. She also co-managed a week long International Inclusive Chorographic Lab involving 37 dancers from 4 different countries.
She progressed onto Access Officer and during this time was a big influence in the creative process of ‘The Enormous Room’ which she then went on to tour with as Assistant Stage Manager. After 2 years it was time to say goodbye to ‘The Enormous Room’ as she decided to leap into the world of Freelance where she became Stopgap’s Youth Leader.
As Youth Leader Cherie taught, supported and co-led many of Stopgaps Youth Companies delivering Stopgaps IRIS Syllabus, choreographing and performing alongside the Youth Companies. She also delivered outreach work in schools, collaborating closely and choreographing with Chris Pavia on projects that had a performance event at the end. Cherie has progressed onto being Community Engagement Artist, where she now also mentors members of Sg2 and is lead facilitator of THRIVE Youth Company, a safe and creative place for young people who may be experiencing difficult life challenges. THRIVE was originally run by The Dance Movement who Cherie taught and performed for before they closed, she has also worked with Casson and Friends, UNIT and DAiSY.