ABOUT US

We are an inclusive dance company that has been based at Bishops Down Primary School since 2016. 

 

Our inclusive classes are open to anybody who loves or wants to dance and be creative. We are delighted to have formed a well-established group of dancers and over time we have seen them flourish and grow from strength to strength. At ‘This Is Us’, we work very hard throughout each session to make sure all children are growing in confidence and independence, and have the opportunity to be themselves.

 

We run in association with Stopgap Dance Company as one of their IRIS syllabus youth groups. This is a specialised inclusive syllabus to allow our dancers to work towards an end goal as well as develop their dance and social skills. Dance Teacher Hannah has worked for several years in a number of professional Contemporary companies, including that of Stopgap, and has gathered all that she has learned to create her own unique style of inclusive teaching to allow children to feel proud of who they are. 

As well as our Junior and Youth Company, we are proud to deliver outreach sessions across schools and social organisation groups. To find out more, please contact us

DSC_0486.jpg

Our Mission

This Is Us gives everyone access to the Arts which allows them to express themselves. In doing this, everyone is able to be seen, heard and belong.

Our Vision

This Is Us have the vision to continue sharing the importance of this very resonant statement:

“Diversity is being invited to the party, but Inclusion is being asked to dance.”

- Verna Myers.  

DSC_0623.jpg
IMG_0686_edited.jpg

Our Team

We have an amazing team of support staff who are hugely committed to This Is Us. As well as being fortunate enough to have our very own Choreographic Assistant, Isabel. This company could not run without the support of these wonderful people.

 

The company itself is co-directed by Jan Cockburn, Hannah Rotchell and Peter McLoughlin. 

JAN COCKBURN

Jan is a teaching assistant supporting children with different needs in a mainstream primary school. 

"I came across more and more families who struggled to find extra curricular clubs for their children, dance specifically was particularly hard."

After a lot of research Jan came across a professional inclusive dance company Stopgap, based in Surrey and after a number of emails, phone calls and visits… was introduced to Co-Director Hannah. 

HANNAH ROTCHELL

Hannah is a professional dancer and choreographer who has worked in inclusive settings with Stopgap Dance Company as a performer and trained IRIS facilitator. She has also worked inclusively with Casson and Friends and Jasmin Vardimon on their Valuing Voices, Paul Hamlyn project.

As a dancer herself she knew how important it was for these children to experiences the beauty of the arts.

"The rush of adrenalin gained from performance is indescribable - it is an emotion that takes over you - and a feeling I wanted to make sure our dancers were able to experience. At first this may seem daunting, but to learn and watch them grow with this is simply wonderful."

PETER MCLOUGHLIN
 

Peter is a parent of one of the This Is Us dancers and supports the importance of creative dance for all.
 

"Hi! I’m Peter, one of the co-directors of This Is Us and have been involved in the group since the very outset.  Within the company, my role is to try and take some of the administrative burden away from Jan and Hannah to allow them to focus on the creative side and the continued growth of the company.  I try to focus on making sure we’re planning for the future and that we have the framework and finances in place so we can achieve all we’re aiming for.  I’m also one of the chief cheerleaders – though I do have a vested interest as my daughter has been a member of the company from day one.  I’ve seen first hand the enjoyment, the teamwork, the achievements and the huge confidence boost that This Is Us can provide – so I’m a passionate advocate and cheerleader.  So to sum it up… form filler, drum beater, money raiser and cheerleader!”