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 various contemporary dance company's and choreographers such as lo-giudice dance, Hit the ground running dance theatre, Joss Arnott, Kerry Nichols, Southpaw dance company, the vedettes and State of Emergency.


Interested in all aspects of the arts, Cora Jay has worked in rehearsal directing and project management / assistant producing. She also teaches within the community and in a professional setting as an assistant for the Centre of Advanced Training Program at Dance City alongside various community classes, care homes and inclusive practice sessions.

Originally from the West Midlands, Charlie moved to London to train at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance working with choreographers such as Adam Rutherford, Theo Lowe and Daniel Squire. Since graduating Charlie has worked as both performer and education officer for 2Faced Dance touring internationally. He has also established his own company Meta4 Dance alongside lily Horgan performing dynamic physical theatre. Charlie joined Hit the ground running dance theatre in 2018 touring Macho across the North East. 

Hit The Ground Dance Dance Theatre Company

PHOEBE DODD

Professional Dancer

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 its premiere of ‘Macho’ in 2016 and more recently its 2018 Regional tour of the North East supported by Arts Council England, the company is now planning its  National and International tours. 

Michael is currently 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. 

Since the beginning of Michael’s teaching key areas of his work include:
• Specialising in boys dance in mainstream and SEND schools.

• Delivering classes and workshops for Dance City, Theatre Royal Newcastle, YDT 
Northumberland, Epinay Business & Enterprise School, Newcastle University, Newcastle College & Peanuts Casting Agency. 

• Lecturing Movement Studies and Dance Performance for Actors at New College Durham.

• Lecturing physical theatre at Gateshead College.


• Assistant Franchise Manager and dance coach at Stagecoach Theatre Arts School, Newcastle.

JONATHAN MEWETT

Professional Dancer

MICHAEL HEATLEY

Founder and Artistic Director

KATHRYN ACKLEY

Acting Coach

Phoebe is a dancer and actor from Newcastle, beginning her training in acting and musical theatre she went onto dance for youth company Youth Dance Tynedale as well as attending MGA Theatre Arts in Edinburgh. She 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'. 

JACKSON WATSON

Professional Dancer

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.

She 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), such as Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat, Whistle Down the Wind, Madam Butterfly and Shakespeare 4 Kids. In 2006, Kathryn developed Shotton Hall Community Theatre School, which was the first theatre school based in East Durham where talent has been nurtured and high standard teaching and learning inspiring students to audition and appear in Billy Elliot West End(Nick Evans and Lee Hall), Channel 5 Don’t Stop believing (Creative director Kim Gavin), CBBC Glee Club 2010-present(Professional Judges Cary & David Grant, Stacy Soloman, Cisco Gomez) and National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.

JONATHAN ACKLEY

Filmmaker and Photographer

CORA JAY WILLIAMS

Professional Dancer

Jackson began dancing in 2007. His main style of dance is B-Boying which has allowed him to compete in countries such as Oslo, Holland, Denmark and all over the UK. He also does Hip hop theatre and has had the chance to perform all around the UK in the likes of Breaking Convention, Jam and Juice Intl and many more. He first started learning breakin from Irish/UK crew Bad Taste Crew for around 4 years and then created his own crew called Battalions Crew with 9 other breakers. In 2012 he studied Dance at Gateshead College for 2 years which created amazing opportunities to then go on and start performing as a professional contemporary dancer. He now combines breaking and contemporary together to create a unique way of moving.

After graduating from the University of Chichester with a First Class (Hons) degree in Dance, Jonathan toured as a member of postgraduate company mapdance, performing works by Richard Alston, Kevin Finnan, Liz Aggiss, Lila Dance and ildance. Upon completion of his formal training, Jonathan has been dancing professionally, and performed works by choreographers Tony Adigun, Corey Baker, Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster and Sally Marie, as part of C-12 Dance Theatres international outdoor tour. Jonathan has since worked with Rosie Kay Dance Company, Protein Dance, Salah El Brogy, Flexer & Sandiland and Katie Dale-Everett Dance. Jonathan joined Hit The Ground Running for the 2018 north east tour of Macho and is excited for the future of the work. 

Jordan Mcgowan hails from Blyth Northumberland, Newcastle and is currently based in London.  Jordan previously trained with the national youth dance company (Sadler Wells). Toured the UK with Akram Kahn. 

Graduated Trinity Laban Conservatorie of Music and Dance and collaborated with the likes of Ben Wright, Stephanie Schober, Hit the ground Running DTC & Wayne Mcgregor. 

Alongside performing in Hit the ground Running Macho regional north east tour Jordan lead numerous outreach workshops for the company for both children and adults of all abilities. Jordan will be returning for the National tour of ‘Macho’ and joining the cast for the company’s next big project ‘Suitcases’ in 2019. 

JORDAN MCGOWAN

Professional Dancer and Workshop Facilitator

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” 

Macho Hit The Ground Running Dance Theatre Company

MEET THE DANCERS

CHARLIE DUNNE 

Professional Dancer

CREATIVE TEAM

T: 0773 100 1767    E: michael@hittheground.dance

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