About the Company

Michael Heatley is a Choreographer/Dance Facilitator based in the North East with over 15 years of teaching experience and is founder/Creative Director of Hit The Ground Running Dance Theatre Company.

His company Hit The Ground Running Dance Theatre, established in 2015, was awarded a grant from Arts Council England to research and develop a professional Physical Theatre piece which challenges the stigma surrounding men’s mental health. MACHO was premiered at Dance City in May 2016 and following its success was awarded funding for and has recently completed a highly acclaimed regional tour of the work.

In his work as a Dance Facilitator Michael works with age groups from children to adults, beginners to professionals and specializes in the delivery of boy’s dance in mainstream and SEND schools. He has lectured in Movement Studies and Dance Performance for Actors at New College Durham, delivered the Physical Theatre module at Gateshead College and delivered workshops to both Fe and He to dance students at Newcastle College. Michael has also delivered classes and workshops for Dance City, Theatre Royal Newcastle, Ydt Northumberland, Epinay Business & Enterprise School, Newcastle University & Peanuts Casting Agency.

The primary aims of my work as a Dance Facilitator are to develop physicality, creativity, confidence, musicality and engagement with dance.


About the work

In an attic at the Willard Asylum, New York, 427 suitcases belonging to Willard patients were found… The suitcases. Beautifully preserved epitaphs to a few of those who lived and died at the Asylum and a poignant remembrance of the lives they left outside. Hit The Ground Running Dance Theatre Company, will produce a piece of dance theatre which explores the stories behind the Willard Suitcases, examining the treatment of mental health and the devastating effects on the lives it touches.