Leadership & Team

Javier Torres

Managing Director

From Cuba, Javier is considered one of the best Cuban dancers of his generation, a driven artist with a knack for dance and its business. A former Premier Dancer with Cuban National Ballet & Northrn Ballet and a demonstrated history of working in the performing arts industry. His over two decades of professional experience and artistic expertise span the entire spectrum from acclaimed professional dancer to executive cultural manager.

He is passionate and skilled in Research, Dance Education, Dance Leadership, Communication & Business strategy.

He is a Vice-Chair with Serendipity-UK, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the International Dance Council (CID-UNESCO).

He holds a BA Hons in Business Management and Leadership Practices and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Cumbria. He is demonstrably an adaptable and competent professional, unfazed by the demands of the dance industry.


Emma Northmore

AATH Artistic Manager

Emma Northmore, a native of Devon, is a seasoned dancer and founder of Ballet Boost. Her journey in the world of ballet began at Elmhurst Ballet School, followed by her training at the prestigious Engish National Ballet School.

For over a decade, Emma graced the stage as a professional dancer, with eight of those years spent as part of the esteemed English National Ballet Company. Throughout her career, she achieved promotion twice, reaching the position of First Artist. Emma's repertoire encompassed a wide range of roles, from corps de ballet to soloist and principal parts. Noteworthy highlights from her final years include performances as Clara in ``The Nutcracker,`` the Finger Fairy in ``Sleeping Beauty,`` a principal role in Mark Morris' ``Drink to Me,`` the Cygnets in ``Swan Lake,`` and lead roles in ``Coppélia`` and ``Romeo and Juliet.``

Within the company, Emma gained recognition for her remarkable adaptability, seamlessly stepping into new roles and positions with minimal preparation time. This invaluable skill showcased her ability to thrive in fast-paced environments and contributed to her success. Emma firmly believes that professional dance extends beyond technical prowess, emphasizing the importance of versatility and adaptability.

Driven by her experiences teaching as a freelance instructor across the London dance industry and interacting with parents and aspiring dancers, Emma recognized a significant gap. She observed a lack of essential information and support for both dancers and their families, who invest tremendous dedication in pursuing ballet dreams. Motivated by this realization, Emma founded Ballet Boost in 2015.

Ballet Boost aims to fill the void by providing crucial training and guidance to dancers while also supporting and engaging with their families. Emma's vision for the organization includes aligning ballet training in the UK with evolving industry needs and international standards. Through Ballet Boost, she seeks to enhance the overall ballet experience and ensure that aspiring dancers and their families receive the necessary tools and support for their journey.

Emma Northmore's remarkable career and dedication to empowering the next generation of dancers have made her a respected figure in the ballet community. Now under the artistic guidance of Carlos Acosta's curriculum, she continues to expand her offering, making a lasting impact by shaping the future of ballet training in the UK and nurturing young talent.

Luanda Pau

Education & Community Programmes Artistic Programmer Manager

From Cuba, Luanda comes from a legendary dance family in Havana. Her mum Rosa Baquero was the artistic director and choreographer of the famous Cabaret ``Parisien & Tropicana de Cuba``, and her da is the legendary Afro-Cuban dance Maestro Domingo Pau.

Before starting her dance career, Luanda was in athletics. In 1991 she began her studies at the National School of Arts, where she remained until 1994. Later she entered the renowned National Folkloric Ballet of Cuba (NFBC), where she danced as a soloist and principal dancer. She is a master in the role of Oya and Yemayá. She was also a solo dancer in the cabaret show at the Casino de Montecarlo in Monaco.

She graduated with a bachelor's in cultural activities and sports & education and has an extensive history working with children and adults as an independent dance teacher.

Nauris Buksevics

Communications/content & Social Media Engagement Officer

Founder and director of a London-based production company, Poetry Film Productions, since 2015. After graduating in film production from Brighton Metropolitan College in 2014, he embarked on an exploation of contemporary arts, performance arts, athletics, and movement through the digital film medium. He soon began to specialize in content creation, encompassing still photography and video. As a full-time freelance videographer, his commissions span across various genres, including documentary, short film, dance film, music videos, business campaigns, and promotional content for the social media platforms of businesses and individuals.

Within a few years, his production company has produced compelling content for prestigious organizations such as London Fashion Week, Ballet Black Dance Company, Rambert Dance Company, M/Darbnica venue, Riga Last Thursdays event, McNicol Ballet Collective, Fall for Dance North Festival, and the Yuul Yie contemporary shoe label brand, to name just a few.

Born in June 1986, he originally hailed from the former USSR, which subsequently became the independent state of the Republic of Latvia again in 1991. He grew up in the country's capital, Riga, during challenging and transformative times, witnessing the collapse of a regime and the rebuilding of a new cultural identity. In his early adulthood in 1999, he spent time in Toronto, Canada, before relocating to England in 2010. These diverse experiences exposed him to various cultures, lifestyles, and mentalities, all rich in heritage, culture, and the arts, which have significantly influenced him as an artist and continue to inform his practice as a filmmaker and photographer to this day.

Nauris is now engaged with the Acosta Dance Foundation and the Acosta Dance Centre. Serving as the Communication and Media Engagement Officer, he aims to leverage his expertise to develop and expand the foundation's presence and outreach through innovative communication strategies and compelling media engagement. This new endeavor marks a significant step in his journey, and he looks forward to contributing his skills to this dynamic dance community.

Heian Perón Araujo

Acosta Danza Academy Coordinator

Born in Havana, Cuba, Heian spent her childhood between Moscow, Berlin and Havana. In 1994 she moved to Mexico, where she continued her secondary and high school studies. In 2002 she graduated with a achelor's in Psychology from the Autonomous Metropolitan University. She holds Master studies in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and a Doctorate in Fundamentals and Development of Psychoanalytic from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. She is part of the Acosta Danza founder's group and the Company's manager. She also coordinates the Acosta Danza Academy operations between Cuba and the UK.... READ MORE


Aymara Vasallo

Acosta Danza Academy Director

Graduated from the Alejo Carpentier Ballet Elementary School and the National Ballet School in Havana-Cuba, Aymara is a retired professional dancer and now a ballet teacher. She danced at the NationalBallet of Cuba under the artistic-technical direction of Alicia Alonso, where she reached the category of First Soloist. In May 2017, she graduated with a Degree in Dance Art from the University of the Arts (ISA).

She worked as a ballet teacher at the National School of Ballet Fernando Alonso from 2016 to 2019. Since her retirement as a dancer in 2018, she began working at the Acosta Danza Academy as a ballet teacher and assistant director. In September 2022, she became the Acosta Danza Academy Director.

Simon Atkinson

Education & Community Programmes Coordinator

Simon is a master in Capoeria Angola (1st foreign, non-Brazilian and recognised in Brazil), a musician and a fluent Portuguese speaker. He has taught, promoted and practiced Brazilian Capoeira Angola or over thirty-five years. He attended the School for Social Entrepreneurs to use Brazilian culture to impact local communities in the UK positively; he is also the director of CapRumba.

After graduating from The School for Social Entrepreneurs, Simon worked as a freelance teacher. He has vast experience delivering workshops, talks, assemblies, and demonstrations in colleges, schools, universities, community centres and festivals in London and the south of England.

Some regular teaching and performing examples:

Bobby Moore Academy September 2022

Eton Collage 1999–2004 - assembly and weekly classes Oxford University 1998-present

Torriano Primary School

Rushmore Primary School After-school club

Roots of Rumba Presentation - 2016

Grand Union Orchestra & Capoeira East London collaboration Music workshop - 2015

Glastonbury Festival 2009 - public demonstrations

Womad Festival - 2003-2005 - public demonstrations

Haggerston Girls School, Hackney - 1997-2002

Sebright School, Hackney - 2009, as an enrichment learning teacher

St Mary Magdalene Academy Autumn in 2008 as an enrichment teacher Rosetta Primary School - 2007–2009

Glenthorne High School, Surrey - 2008 –2009

Among others.

Md Sehab

Digital content

Md Sehab, digital content specialist, brings not only technical prowess but also a deep-rooted passion for dance and the arts sector to his role. With a career dedicated to email marketing, Md is a mastro when it comes to designing and orchestrating email campaigns that not only engage audiences but also serve as a powerful vehicle for promoting the Foundation's products, services, and artistic endeavors.

His expertise extends to optimizing open rates, click-through rates, and the overall impact of email campaigns, ensuring that every message resonates with the Foundation's mission. Md's dedication to the arts sector is evident in his commitment to leveraging email marketing as a means to connect with the community, patrons, and enthusiasts, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of the organization.

Work with us

Find out all about ADF’s open career & volunteer opportunities.

Skip to content