The judges

The competition judges are leading and influential experts in the dance industry. They have extensive experience and a broad understanding of diverse dance forms. We'd like to thank them for providing their time, support and expertise. Find out more about our judges below. 

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Ryan Jenkins

Ryan is Creative Director, lead choreographer and president of iD-Dance and a scout for the UK’s biggest TV show Britain’s Got Talent.

A finalist on So You Think You Can Dance series two, Ryan works internationally on creative projects and has collaborated with some of the world’s leading creatives such as Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Arlene Philips, Matthew Bourne, Adam Garcia, Nigel Lythgoe and Michael Flatley, to name a few.

Ryan’s choreography credits include Puma Clothing, Red Bull Racing and the TV show Dance Mums. His theatre credits include Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Wicked, Grease, the Musical, Cabaret and Kismet.

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Lauren Cuthbertson

Lauren is a principal of The Royal Ballet. She was promoted to a soloist in 2003, first soloist in 2006 and principal in 2008, becoming the youngest female principal in the company.

Her roles with the company have included Juliet, Manon, Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty), Giselle and Odette/Odile (Swan Lake). Christopher Wheeldon created the title role of his Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with Cuthbertson in mind, describing her "unique ability to make her dramatic persona on stage natural, honest, fresh and to the point". Cuthbertson’s other role creations include Hermione (Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale) and in Wayne McGregor’s Tetractys.

In 2007 Cuthbertson won an Arts and Culture Women of the Future Award. Devoted to inspiring the next generation of dancers, she is an active patron of the National Youth Ballet and the London Children’s Ballet.



Mechanikool was a semi-finalist on the TV show Got to Dance in 2013, making a big impact by introducing the style of animation in its traditional form to a large UK audience.

Mechanikool has specialised in popping and animation styles for two decades and has had the opportunity to learn under the guidance of popping legends like Pop N Taco, Popin Pete and members of the Electric Boogaloos, all of whom worked closely with Michael Jackson for a number of years.

Mechanikool was UK Popping Champion twice in 2006 and 2011. He now travels all over the UK and Europe teaching and sharing his knowledge and philosophy on dance, and recognises the power of dance as a tool for building confidence in individuals.

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Kate Hartley

Kate is an Engagement Producer and specialist Dance for Parkinson's artist at  English National Ballet (ENB). 

Trained professionally at English National Ballet School, Kate performed at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall before focusing on teaching dance in a variety of styles and contexts at the Royal Academy of Dance, English National Ballet and English National Ballet School.

Her current role is centred on talent development and delivering English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s in Oxford, teaching English National Ballet’s youth dance company and Choreospace for emerging artists.