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Monday 27 July: Co-creating choreography: disabled and non-disabled dancers creating together

With Laura Jones and Chris Pavia from Stopgap Dance Company

At the 2019 Summer School, the Stopgap Dance Company team explored approaches and techniques for disabled and non-disabled people dancing together and co-leading. This year our one-day course focuses on the co-creation processes that enable dancers to produce material that can be shaped into choreography. Through practical tasks, observation and discussion, the course will explore communication methods, developing tasks and activities that enable participants to generate and form choreographic material. 

Learning outcomes:

Agree roles and responsibilities
Gain confidence in communication 
Identify the choreographic intention within movement 
Develop tasks and activities for generating movement content 
Develop inclusive choreographic techniques and practices.

Participation requirements:

This course is open to any dance practitioner. Participants applying as a pre-identified disabled / non-disabled partnership will be given priority booking for this course. 
Laura Jones biography

Since joining Stopgap in 2001, Laura Jones has been integral to the growth and direction of the company and is a fierce advocate for the dance and disability sector, speaking at events such as Move it! and the Dance UK : The Future conference.

Laura started her training at Linda Butler School of Dance.  Having sustained a spinal injury in 1998, Laura went on to become the first wheelchair user to complete 100% of the A-Level dance syllabus. Since then she has worked with numerous choreographers including Yoshifumi Inao (Batsheva Dance Company) Caroline Bowditch, Kevin Finnan (Motionhouse) Thomas Noone (Thomas Noone Dance) Rob Tanion (Stan Won’t Dance/DV8), Gary Clarke (Pit Fleur/ Fetherstoneshaughs), Bettina Strickler (Protein) Nathalie Pernette (Compagnie Pernette), Filip Van Huffel (Retina) and Adam Benjamin, touring their work nationally and internationally.

Laura’s extensive teaching experience ranges across all ages and abilities throughout the UK as well as many projects across Europe, including for Mixed Ability Dance EU in Romania and Albania, 2010, and in Berlin for People Moving 2006 and Tanzfabric, 2012.

Laura worked as a Dance Captain for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, assisting with the choreography of all dance sections, teaching the 3500 volunteers and performing in the ceremony itself.

Laura’s own creation credits include A:Version for Resolution! (2009) and directing and editing the dance film Re:Bound.(2004). She also presents the live online streaming for various Dance UK events.

Laura has collaborated with Stopgap on Triple Bill, Double Booked, Portfolio Collection, Tracking, Trespass, SPUN Productions, Artificial Things and The Seafarers.

Laura was Interim Artistic Director of Stopgap in 2016 and in 2018 while Lucy Bennett was on maternity leave, and became Head of Talent Development in 2017.


Laura Jones. Photograph: Chris Parkes

Chris Pavia biography

Chris Pavia was the first of the current dancers to join Stopgap Dance Company in 1997, as a trainee, and is now a Senior Dance Artist.

For Stopgap, Pavia recently choreographed The Awakening, making him the first learning-disabled choreographer in the UK to create work for national touring. In 2019 Pavia choreographed The Journey Between as an independent artist. 


Chris Pavia, People Dancing Summer School 2019. Photograph: Rachel Cherry