Laura Jones

Head of Talent Development

Laura Jones

Laura joined Stopgap in 2001 where she has been integral to the growth and direction of the company.  She is a fierce advocate for dance and disability, inclusion and equality, advancing the sector through teacher training in inclusive practice, public speaking and consultancy work.

Laura started her training at Linda Butler School of Dance, aged 5.  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 accumulated a wealth of experience, working with numerous choreographers, gaining extensive creative and performance experience, touring internationally in both traditional and non-traditional settings, including Street Arts festivals and Rural Touring.

Additional choreographic and performance work includes the collaboration with Abi Motimer (Lila Dance) and Suzie Birchwood on the dance film “a part”, and performing with Step Change Studios.  She choreographed the Heritage Flame Ceremony for the Rio 2016 Paralympic handover, and, as a Dance Captain, assisted in the choreography and teaching of the mass volunteer cast for the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony and performed in the ceremony itself.

She also choreographed A:Version for Resolution! (2009), remounting it on IND4 in 2016. Laura also directed and edited the dance film Re:Bound (2004). She was Queen Mouse in the CBeebies Panto The Nutcracker (2016) and performed in Broadcast from Biscuitland (2015) as part of their On Stage: Live from Television Centre event.

Her extensive teaching experience ranges across all ages and abilities, with a passion for empowering future generations of diverse dancers. She has been instrumental in the development of Stopgap’s IRIS Dance Syllabus for disabled dancers and the Seedbed teacher training program. She has also contributed to the ISTD’s and RAD’s inclusive practice.

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

She is on the board of trustees for East London Dance and English Folk Dance and Song Society, where she has a focus on Artists, Safeguarding and Diversity.