Dollie Henry MBE
Teaching Staff - Musical Theatre Dance
Dollie has led a respected career of over 39 years as a performer, choreographer, director, creative Jazz artist and educator and is recognised as one of the most formidable exponents of artistic and creative Jazz theatre dance in the UK, Europe and internationally. She has shared her passion and philosophy of creative dance in every continent of the world, with a reputation that is widely revered and respected.
Dollie started dancing at the age of four and went on to professionally train at Laine Theatre Arts (UK) receiving her teaching qualifications with ISTD for Ballet, Modern and Tap, her LAMDA Drama Certificates (Bronze-Gold Medals) and was awarded ‘Most Outstanding Student’ in performance and choreography. At 17, she was invited to join The Olivier Briac Dance Company based in France as soloist dancer, later becoming resident choreographer/assistant director for the Briac Company. Returning to England at 19, Dollie was invited by director & choreographer Dougie Squires to join his company The Second Generation for TV work in the UK and Europe, numerous dance/musical productions, leading to her position as Assistant to Mr. Squires over a further 3 years.
Dollie was mentored in USA, by many Jazz choreographers and theatre directors including, Charles Augins (American School of Performing Arts) George Faison (Mentor), Louis Johnson (Mentor), Frank Hatchett (Broadway Dance). Working with renowned choreographers and directors – George Faison, Dianne McIntyre, Woody King Jr, and performing
opposite film actress Lynn Whitfield in the NYC theatre production Zoraesque, produced/directed by George Faison (Tony Award Winner of the Broadway production The Wiz) performing at his Faison Firehouse Theatre in New York.
In her role as Co-Artistic Director & Choreographer/Educator, Dance Companies include: The Bill Louther Company (UK), Jazzxchange Dance Company (UK) and Malmo Dans City (Sweden).
Dollie has directed & choreographed over 15 National pantomimes for Paul Elliott of E&B Productions Ltd, (latterly Qdos Productions). She has also choreographed/staged for opera and ballet productions including, Cry of Innocence and Carmen, I Got Rhythm with Northern Ballet Theatre – National UK Tour. The Jazz Ballet Voyages with Artistic Director Stephen Jefferies (Hong Kong Ballet & Suzhou Ballet Companies China). As a Co-Producer, with music producer & composer Paul Jenkins and lyricist/writer/performer Ray Shell, Dollie co-created, directed and choreographed the orignal RnB musical White Folks – A Musical Fable, with successful productions at Nottingham Playhouse, The Cochrane
Theatre, The Tricycle Theatre and the off West End Pleasance Theatre (UK).
In 1996, Dollie put her true artistic and creative passion into evidence and founded her own Jazz Theatre Company Body of People aka BOP. In partnership with composer and jazz musician Paul Jenkins, the company, now in it’s 24th year, has created and produced an array of productions and dance concerts that have been performed both in the UK and internationally. A selection of BOP productions and theatre works include: I, You, We … Rise, Daughters of Eve, Touches of Miles, Sacred Space, Trumpet Trilogy, Dizzy Heights, Duke’s Place, A Journey of Jazz, Up Close and Personal. Miles Ahead – A double-bill programme featuring new company works with Footprints in Jazz and their inaugural Jazz theatre production Touches of Miles, was presented at the off West End, Cochrane Theatre and subsequent UK tour supported by the Arts Council of England. The company’s most recent production Spirit of Jazz was filmed for streamed online performances at the Curve Theatre Leicester as part of the the LDIF International Dance Festival (May 2021). Through the company’s international recognition, Dollie’s creative and commissioned works have been performed at dance and theatre venues worldwide. In 2012 BOP became artistic Company-in-Residence at Morley College, London.
As part of her ongoing Educational Philosophy, Dollie has initiated The BOP Jazz Dance Education Programs ‘Jazz Dance for Life’ in the UK, Europe and the Caribbean and over the last 32 years has presented her ever popular Jazz Dance Residencies, workshops, mentoring programs and masterclasses at dance venues throughout the UK & Ireland, Africa, the Caribbean, Austria, Croatia, China, Poland, Germany, Israel, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and USA. Dollie has achieved creative commissions from the State of Lithuania as the first international jazz artist to be invited by the State to present lectures/workshop and devise a jazz programme and performance projects for the Klaipeda Music Theatre, alongside Jazz commissions with the Austrian Youth Ballet – (Graz Austria), Rytmix Dance – Konin, and Kielce Dance Theatre Company – (Poland), Malmo Dance City (Sweden). Jazz Arts International Festival 2018 at Wellington College – Shanghai, China. Recent BOP international dance projects, include collaborations and commission with EBB Contemporay Dance Company (Madrid), Associacoa Nos da Danca (Portugal).
Ms Henry is resident Jazz Practitioner and choreographer at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance and Mountview and Performance Preparation Academy (PPA Guidlford) and continues to be in high demand as guest Jazz practitioner/mentor at established UK and international dance and performing arts institutions. Dollie is an Associate Teacher of ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers Dance) and Honorary Member with IDTA (International Dance Teachers Association). Head judge and creative associate for the dance organizations, Dance World Cup – International and Dance World Cup – Spain and a sought after and respected judge worldwide in her capacity as a specialist and advisor in Jazz
and Musical Theatre. Dollie is a regular guest Jazz choreographer/teacher at Broadway Dance Center, Dance Space Inc and Faison Firehouse Theatre (NY) and can still be found teaching her spirited open Jazz dance class in London at Pineapple Dance Studios.
As an advocate for the Arts, Dollie is on the panel of the The Black British Theatre Awards, an appointed Patron of The Hammond School, Cheshire and Ignite Dance Theatre Company UK. Artistic Guardian and Diversity Advisor for the CGO Institute, working with the next generation of International Theatre Producers. Creative consultant with Tired
Movement (UK) and Audition Circle, supporting and mentoring dancers and performers to attain and sustain a professional career in the Arts. Dollie is a recognised advocate and voice for Black Dance Arts and jazz theatre dance, working to improve equality, diversity and inclusivity in UK dance curriculum delivery and progressive changes for
equality within the performing arts sectors.
As an experienced dance and theatre practitioner, Ms. Henry is instrumental in mentoring the careers of many dancers now performing in established dance companies, musical theatre and concert dance shows all over the world and continues to mentor the next generation of Jazz dancers and professional performers, through the educational and
creative outreach of BOP Company and within performing arts organisations.
Aside of all her commitments, Dollie alongside Paul Jenkins are the authors of the new dance book The Essential Guide to Jazz Dance, published by Crowood Press (Oct 2019). This unique book about jazz dance and its inherent partner, jazz music, offers a practical guide and insight to the history, lineage, practice and creative expression and so much
more of jazz dance art form.
In January 2022, BOP Company launched a new platform Jazz Theatre Arts UK (JTAUK). JTAUK has partnered with One Dance UK to initiate a new Member Lead Network. The aim to advocate, advance and align greater visibility and delivery for our UK Jazz Theatre Arts and Artists and all practices of the form within our British Dance sector. Dollie has been recently nominated for the AWA Dance Charity – Women in Dance Leadership Award 2022 and was a nominee for the Black British Theatre Awards 2020 for Best UK Performing Arts Teacher. In June 2022, Dollie was honoured on the Queens Platinum Jubilee Birthday Honours List receiving an MBE for ‘Services to Dance’. A great recognition and acknowledgment to her 40 years years of work, dedication, passion as a catalyst for Black women in the arts and tireless energy to uphold the art form of jazz dance theatre, diverse dance education.
Dollie Henry epitomises all it is to be a consummate, all-encompassing creative dance theatre artist and educationalist who continues to work in all aspects of the performing arts industry and crosses between both the artistic and commercial landscapes. A fusion of immense expertise and genuine expression of creative spirit, allows this lady to sustain her position as the catalyst for the jazz dance art form and its legacy in the UK & Europe, enabling her to share her passion and creativity not just on her home ground, but all over the world.
Contact: +44 (0)7508 589812 | firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
BOP Website: www.bop.org.uk | www.jazztheatreartsuk.org
Twitter: @DollieHenry | @BOPJazzUK | @jtauktribe1
Instagram: @DollieHenry | @bopjazzuk | @jazztheatreartsuk
Facebook: Dollie Henry | BOP Jazz Theatre Company | Jazz Theatre Arts UK