Michael Heatley is the founder and Artistic Director of Hit The Ground Running Dance Theatre Company which was awarded a grant from Arts Council England in 2016 to research and develop a professional Physical Theatre piece which challenges the stigma surrounding men's mental health.
Following the success of ‘Macho’ in 2016 and 2018 Regional tour of the North East, supported by Arts Council England, the company is now planning its National and International tours and Macho Digital.
Michael is also embarking on the next part of his creative trilogy in ‘Suitcases’ in which he will be collaborating with international Artist Jon Crispin from Massachusetts USA.
Michael Heatley is also a Choreographer/Dance Facilitator based in the North East, with over 15 years of teaching experience. Working with all age groups from children to adults, beginners to professionals Michael aims to develop physicality, creativity, confidence and musicality.
Kathryn began her professional journey with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain’s’ company performing in various productions, Heart Of Ice Battersea Arts Centre, Lionel Barts’ Maggie May Royalty Theatre, Amphibious Spangulatos Greenwich Theatre. She was inspired by North East director Ed Wilson (NYT’s director) who empowered young actors from across the country to aim high in the creative arts industry. Kathryn then carved a career in acting and drama facilitation for companies such as Live Theatre, The Customs House, Barbican Theatre, BBC Radio Four, Berwick Arts Centre.
Kathryn then progressed to become Principal at Stagecoach Theatre Arts Durham where her passion empowering young performers became priority. Students performed regionally in professional theatre projects (with national acclaimed companies).
Jordan Mcgowan hails from Blyth Northumberland. Previously trained with the national youth dance company (Sadler Wells). Toured the UK with Akram Kahn.
Graduated Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and collaborated with the likes of Ben Wright, Stephanie Schober & Wayne Mcgregor.
Alongside performing with Hit The Ground Running Dance Theatre company’s North East Regional Tour of Macho in 2018, Jordan has co-lead numerous outreach workshops for the company for both children and adults of all abilities.
Currently in production with his next role playing ‘the grave digger’ in the company’s second chapter of work focusing on the stigmas of mental health ‘Suitcases’.
Cora Jay graduated from a degree in professional dance practice in 2016 which led her to become a professional freelance dance artist working and touring for numerous dance theatre company’s and choreographers in the UK.
Interested in all aspects of the arts, Cora Jay has worked in rehearsal directing and project management/ assistant producing some companies. She also teaches within the community and in a professional setting as a teacher/choreographer for the Centre of Advanced Training Program at Dance City in Newcastle. Alongside various community classes of all ages in care homes, inclusive practice classes and fitness sessions.
Jackson comes from Washington Tyne and wear and originally started breaking in 2007 under the teachings of the UK Champions ‘BAD TASTE CRU’. Jackson then went on to be one of the founding members of Battalions Cru in 2010, one of the current top Crews in the UK. His main passion is competing in battles, competing all over Europe, America, China, as well as being the Red Bull BC one UK champion in 2019 to then go on and make the Top 16 at the Red Bull Last chance Cypher in India.
Jackson transitioned into Contemporary dance in 2014 graduating with a BTEC diploma in dance at Gateshead Collage/Dance City studying Contemporary, Ballet and modern dance. He has then went onto to work with companies such as ‘Hit The Ground Running’ and touring theatre shows with Battalions Cru around the UK.
Jackson has over 10 years teaching experience in breakin, contemporary and creating local theatre pieces with schools and community groups. Experienced in teaching all levels and ages including elderly groups and groups with disabilities.
Phoebe is a dancer and actor from Newcastle and is currently training at Leeds Conservatoire on their BA Acting program. She began her training in acting and musical theatre and went onto dance for Youth Company, Youth Dance Tynedale as well as attending MGA Theatre Arts in Edinburgh. Phoebe also culminated her training in pure acting at the Theatre Royal of Newcastle.
Phoebe has a particular passion for physical theatre and hopes to combine her dance and straight acting into a hybrid of the two. She is thrilled to be working with Michael and Hit the Ground Running on 'Suitcases'.
Catherine has been involved in performing arts, movement and dance from a very young age, graduating from Newcastle College with a Performing Arts Diploma in 2010 and went on to specialise in Contemporary Dance at The Northern School Of Contemporary Dance, Leeds where she graduated with a First Class Honours and the Outstanding Performers Award. Since graduating, Catherine has worked as a dancer, singer & circus artist with a diverse range of companies and artists both nationally and internationally including James Wilton Dance, Parkour Dance, Abbott Dance Theatre, Gary Rowntree (Ireland), Lets Circus, LoGiudice Dance,The D Project & Mad Ramblings Dance Theatre.
Jonathan is a filmmaker and photographer operating out of his own studio in Newcastle upon Tyne. When taking an image or creating a film, Jonathan, likes to find a way to creatively communicate an idea or document the story in front of him in a way that captivates the viewer or audience. To do this he tries to establish a connection, either emotionally or abstractly, which he hopes, in turn, will lead to a personal response from the viewer and stay with them.
“I enjoy collaborating with Hit The Ground Running Dance Company as the work they produce combines both aesthetic beauty and meaningful stories; often giving a voice to marginal groups or subjects.”