Company Biographies

Jemima Hoadley

Jemima Hoadley

Director Highfliers Company


Jemima Hoadley is a choreographer, dancer and dance leader, with a special interest in working inclusively with disabled and non-disabled artists and making exciting, touching work, that is accessible to a wide audience, including those who are deaf or blind.

Jemima is delighted to take on this new role of Director of Highfliers.  She is a Candoco Associate Artist – teaching, delivering training and choreographing on commissioned projects, including a choreographic summer intensive at The Place for CAT (Centre for Advanced Training).

She trained at Laban between 1994-97 attaining First Class BA(Hons) in Dance Theatre. She was awarded a Winston Churchill Trust Fellowship for her integrated choreographic work with Corpuscule Danse in Québec in 2004/05 and also the Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund for her choreographic collaboration with Navtej Johar in India in 2002.

In 2013 EPiC Arts UK commissioned Jemima to create All in an Instant and Duologue in 2010. These works were performed at Big Dance, Liberty Festival Trafalgar Square, Liberty Festival Olympic Park, Laban, Spitalfields and Lillian Baylis Theatre, Sadler’s Wells. Jemima was also commissioned in 2010 to choreograph Prelude on Australian dancer Kyra Kimpton, which premieried at Arts Activated Sydney 2010 and further developed and performed in Adelaide, Australia in 2011.

As a dancer, Jemima has worked with CandoCo Dance Company, Colin Poole, Daghdha Dance (Eire), Theatre EnCorps, Chisato Minamimura, Hannah Gilgren, Annie Pui Ling Lok and has performed in a project by Siobhan Davies Dance.  In 2008/9 The Place and Moving East awarded Jemima an artist residency in collaboration with Dylan Elmore. They were invited to develop their work at Swindon Dance for DanceFilm Lab. Together they created Terrain, a multi-media sight specific duet.  Jemima is currently working towards a performance project in collaboration with Dylan Elmore and Danish dancer Kristian Tirsgaard.

Jemima has freelanced as a project manager in the dance and education sector, particularly with Conservatoire for Dance and Drama and was Assistant Policy and Projects Officer at Council for Dance Education and Training 2001-03.  Jemima was commissioned by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) in 2011 as a consultant, to manage a capacity building project for an environmental social enterprise in London, working with 10 London Boroughs.

Jemima teaches regularly for Candoco and has taught dance and physical theatre at Laban summer schools, Dance East, Chippenham College and in Canada, Mexico & Colombia and Australia. She was commissioned by Southbank’s Unlimited Festival 2014 to deliver a dance and sign language workshop to over 70 people, which culminated in a participatory performance with the KAOS Choir.

Jemima is a Pilates teacher since 2005. She works part-time for City Lit and freelance as a British Sign Language Communicator (Level 6). Her writing has been published in Dance Matters, Dance UK newsletter and The Mother Magazine.

Hannah Dempsey

Hannah Dempsey


Hannah has been with Magpie Dance for 11 years.  She was the first person with a learning disability to complete Magpie Dance’s Inclusive Dance Practice training programme and works with Magpie as a dancer, volunteer and assistant facilitator.  She recently won a Jack Petchey Foundation award for leadership for her work with Magpie Dance.

She also dances with Anjali, a contemporary dance company for people with learning disabilities based in Banbury, including performances in Madrid and Hamburg and at the opening ceremony of Special Olympics in Leicester.

She was the subject of a short film “Hannah” commissioned by South East Dance filmed in Iceland, Zante and France; and featured in a one hour documentary film “I Love Special Olympics” shown on BBC4.  This followed her exploits as an accomplished skier in the World Games in Idaho, USA, in 2009 where she won a silver medal in the giant slalom, and as a swimmer in the GB Special Olympics.

Owain Taylor


Owain Taylor was born in London into a family of musicians and developed a love of performing and the theatre from a very young age. At school, he took an active part in the drama and dance shows and studied improvisation and acting with Jonothan Dawes.

In 2006, he completed the ‘Drama, Music and Dance Performance’ course at Redhill RNIB College achieving NCON/WJEC/CBAC credit qualifications and from 2010-2012 completed the ‘Greengoose Performing Arts’ course at Bromley College achieving his ASDAN certificate.

Owain joined Magpie Dance in 2007 and has performed regularly since then with the Youth and Adult Groups. Appearances include 2009 ‘Rumble’ at Sadler’s Wells, ‘Co-Motion’ at Laban in 2009 and 2011 as well as collaborations with Siobhan Davies Dance in 2010, Richard Alston Dance Company in 2011, and Matthew Bourne’s ‘New Adventures’ in 2011 and his Re:Bourne 2012. He also appeared on television in the ‘Got to Dance 2012’ competition.

Other notable performances include – In 2013, Owain played on of the T-birds in the Ravensbourne Light Operatic Society’s production of ‘Grease’. He also appeared with Slo-Mo at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley and in 2014 won a Community Links Volunteer Award for his work the theatre.

In 2014, he joined Highfliers. He has choreographed his own dance moves and is a Peer Mentor for the Magpie Dance Community Class. His other interests include skiing and sailing. In 2005, he won a Gold and two Bronze medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Japan. He is also learning to play the French Horn.

Daisy Garrett

Daisy Garrett


Daisy joined Highfliers as a member of the 2015/16 cohort.

Daisy has been dancing since the age of 3 and gained a GCSE in dance while studying at her secondary school. She has been an active member of community dance groups in Wiltshire performing in many annual shows.

She is also a member of Anjali, a contemporary dance company for people with learning disabilities based in Banbury. Performance credits include: the 2009 opening ceremony of Special Olympics in Leicester, the 2012 Paralympic flame ceremony at Stoke Mandeville, Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival, Southbank Centre’s Moby Dick Unabridged live reading, and more. As a member of the education team, Daisy helps to deliver bespoke workshops and residencies to many different groups and organisations.

Hannah Westerman

Hannah Westerman


Hannah has been a long-time member of Magpie Dance and has performed over many years with the Adult Group. She also has a passion for rhythmic gymnastics and has won many awards in this realm. In September 2015, she joined Highfliers.

More details coming soon …


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