News Release

A Decade of Dedication for British Pageant Choreographer


The first ever applicant to serve in any capacity for the very first British Pageant was Jonathan Mace, now a husband and father, a Chartered Accountant and Choreography Lead for this year’s 2023 British Pageant in Chorley, Lancashire.

He said he was willing to work in any capacity and do whatever was needed from being a production runner to making photocopies. Fortunately for audiences then and now, Jonathan was asked to be a member of the choreography team in 2013 and created some of the steps which are still part of the Pageant choreography in 2023.

Jonathan says, ”I've always been passionate about the theatre industry and grew up singing, acting, and taking multiple dance classes (ballet, tap, modern) per week.” He danced from age 11-18 years before serving a volunteer mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile.

From the choreography team to Assistant Director, Assistant Stage Manager, Assistant Choreographer in Nauvoo, Illinois, US in 2014 and 2015, Co-Choreographer in Chorley in 2017 and then Choreographer in Nauvoo in 2018 to Lead Choreographer in 2023 in Chorley, UK, this is Jonathan’s  sixth time participating in the British Pageant.

With his work in this year’s Pageant, Jonathan says, “I love that I get to facilitate special experiences as the choreographer – particularly for the Family Cast members who participate with us and share sacred stories through the medium of theatre. I'm aware of my shortcomings and lack of professional training as a dancer, but I try to bring my testimony and love of the Saviour to this work and share that light as I teach the three dances of the Pageant.”

The British Pageant involves over one hundred  Family Cast members who aren't trained dancers, along with Core Dancers who have a dance background and the Core Cast members. Jonathan explains that he and his assistants Leah Lynch and Laurie Decker try to portray sweeping shapes that tell stories on the stage with the Family Cast and saves the more intricate dance moves for the Core Dancers.

He adds, “We only have about two hours to rehearse per dance with lots of moving parts, so we have to teach confidently and fast, but ensure that we're putting the participants’ experience ahead of anything else – they're volunteers after all!”

The Core Dancers perform highlighted, special sections in each dance as skilled and accomplished dancers. They come from across the country, and even from the US. Most of the Core Dancers are currently training or have previously trained at college or university.

“What makes this production different from a dance perspective,” says Jonathan, “is the sheer scale of it and the wide age range of the cast. We try to use the term 'moving with joy' with the Family Cast as we're portraying the early members of the Church and their love of music rather than trying to be professional dancers.”

Jonathan Mace’s six-time commitment to the British Pageant goes beyond his love for the theatre. He says, “For me, the Pageant is a vehicle to invite people to Christ. I love theatre, but this isn't about 'putting on a show' for me. It's about the participants' and audiences' experience and sharing our love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope to facilitate moments where participants and audience members feel the Holy Spirit and are strengthened in their resolve to follow Jesus Christ.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.