Exim Dance Company practitioners undergo regular training to ensure we are up to date and as well equipped as possible to lead our projects. All of the team have DBS checks and hold First Aid and Reactivate Covid-19 awareness training Certificates.
Artistic Director and CEO
Laura was appointed as Artistic Director of Exim Dance Company in late 2016.
2022 saw Laura selected as one of ten South West business entrepreneurs to be supported through the school of social entrepreneurs business leader 2022 programme and was selected as one of nine community leaders to be showcased through Action Funder as part of International Women’s Day 2022. In 2021, was shortlisted in the One Dance UK category Inspirational community dance practitioner award.
2019 saw her selected as one of fifteen South West women to be a part of ‘Women in Leadership Programme’ led by Women’s Resource Centre London where she was invited to deliver a speech at The House of Lords. Laura is a ‘This Girl Can’ ambassador for the South West campaign led by Active Devon. She has and continues being mentored regularly by pioneers of dance, health and business coaching.
Laura graduated from University of Plymouth in (2013) in Dance Theatre, deeply embedding herself into the dance/health communities specifically within the South West of England, specialising in working within community settings, delivering dance wellbeing services predominantly in deprived areas to those deemed disadvantaged.
Her passion is breaking the social-political barriers that surround dance. One of Laura’s main focuses is to help enhance the health and wellbeing of all the participants she works with and to make dance diverse & accessible for all.
In addition to her work with Exim Dance Laura is an independent community dance wellbeing facilitator, regularly mentoring students and professionals and leading regular workshops for dance organisation and educational settings. She is an associate lecturer at the University of Plymouth & on the professional University of Plymouth mentoring cohort. Laura is a qualified Young People Wellbeing Counsellor and is currently undertaking a Youth Work degree.
Away from work commitments her downtime is very much based around all thing’s plants, flowers, yoga, her family and her two cats.
Strategic Operations Lead
Hires & Events Manager
Kaitlyn is a Creative Arts Practitioner based in Plymouth, Devon specialising in Dance and Taiko, after graduating with a First Class BA Honours Degree in Dance Theatre from The University of Plymouth (2017). Kaitlyn leads sessions weekly and has extensive experience across a wide variety of classes and workshops, focusing on facilitating through a person centred approach that holds wellbeing at the heart.
As well as being a lead practitioner Kaitlyn manages our Community premises – Oxford House Creative Hub and our in-house and outreach events such as, Traverse Youth Dance Platform and Scratch Nights. Kaitlyn loves her work with Exim as she feels connected to the roots of her community. She enjoys working in a manner that makes a real difference on an approachable and accessible level where everyone is welcome.
Kaitlyn’s practice in dance lies within celebrating and discovering unique ways of moving, finding the edges of movement with a high focus on remaining fluid. As an inclusive practitioner Kaitlyn finds joy in celebrating one’s own movement style, always searching to find a place where differences can meet and exceed to their highest potential.
Outside of work Kaitlyn enjoys cooking and crafts to help her relax and switch off. Kaitlyn uses her page Kaitlyn’s Kreations UK to share what she makes as well as exploring new crafts to challenge herself to learn new skills; something Kaitlyn finds exciting and enlivening.
Chloe, originally from Yeovil, Somerset studied both BTEC and A-Level dance. She graduated in 2017 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre from University of Plymouth. Chloe has trained in various dance styles; undergoing training and intensives with renowned dance artists and companies such as Adam Benjamin, Heather Walrond Company, Twist and Pulse and Avant Garde Dance, embedding a contemporary and street dance fusion to her teaching. Chloe is currently Community and Education Manager for Exim Dance Company. She assists in the day-to-day running of Exim Dance Company, leading on community projects such as Communities Together. As part of her role, Chloe develops and establishes relationships with local Primary and Secondary schools within Plymouth. She enjoys working with Exim Dance as she gets to work with different generations to deliver movement and dance sessions, embedding wellbeing into her practice; a keen interest of hers.
Outside of work, her interests are in Well-being, Psychology and Physical Therapy in which she has completed a Counselling Level 3 course and is undergoing an MSC Psychology Qualification.
Hobbies include: HIIT sessions, walking her Dachshund Rocco and exploring new places!
Community Dance Practitioner
Vicki Horan is a freelance Dance and Theatre artist based in Plymouth.
Currently works as a Performer, Artist and Young People’s Practitioner for Beyond Face CIC and Above Bounds Theatre.
Vicki joined Exim Dance in May 2022 and supports the company’s early years and young people’s weekly term time services.
Community Dance Practitioner
Beth, originally from Barnstaple, graduated with an Upper Second Class BA (Hons)
Degree in Dance Theatre from the University of Plymouth in 2021. During her time at University, she has trained in different dance styles including contemporary and
African dance. Since graduating she has also got involved with various organisations within Plymouth including Funky Llama Theatre Company, Plymouth Dance and Plymkids Theatre Company.
Beth is currently training in BSL Sign Language to become a fully qualified
interpreter. Beth includes BSL and Makaton within her movement to be able to
intertwine both dance and sign language within her sessions.
Beth is also trained in Art Therapy, combining these skills into her practice, focusing on using different forms of art to improve one’s overall emotional and physical wellbeing.
Beth leads weekly sessions in local Primary schools within Plymouth and is involved with a series of our adult and young people services, including Primary Dance, Movement For All, Women In Mind, Home Education and Adapt.
Beth’s loves working within community dance and dance inclusivity, focusing on the importance that everyone has an opportunity to be able to get involved in dance and theatre. Beth’s interest is the use of dance therapeutically, to improve all aspects of people’s lives both physically and emotionally.
Outside of work, Beth enjoys painting, going for walks and watching a good movie.
Community Movement Practitoner
Community Dance Practitoner
Sophie is an experienced practitioner working in dance and education for over a decade. She studied Dance at De Montfort University and graduated in 2013 with First Class Honours.
Sophie taught dance throughout her degree and also volunteered for Leicester award winning company Moving Together, where she fell in love with community dance. After graduating, Sophie went on to work for Moving Together and eventually went on to become a company Director. This role saw Sophie create a strand of the company for groups with SEN, be part of strategic vision making for the company and to lead dance in Leicester city as affiliate company for Curve Theatre. Her role also included lecturing as an associate at DMU, leading yearly university student trips to India to facilitate and lead community dance in the slums, creating youth work that went on to be performed internationally after being successful in every round of UDance and selected to represent England among many other incredible opportunities centred around helping people through dance.
In 2018, Sophie undertook a Primary PGCE from the University of Leicester and graduated with First Class Honours. She was also presented with an award from the university for being ‘Student of the Year 2019’ based on her dissertation, which researched inclusive dance practices in mixed age Special Education settings through a PE lens. Sophie taught as a primary school teacher in Leicester and relocated home to Plymouth due to the pandemic. She taught in a mainstream school in Ivybridge for 3 years but always wanted to get back to her dance roots!
Sophie loves working with the breadth of the community, from babies and children to older adults. She grew up dancing through community projects so knows first hand how much of a positive impact dance can improve lives. She believes in holistic teaching and well-being first principles. She is very much a people-person.
Outside of work, Sophie loves to travel in her campervan with her cat Bernard, wild sea swims all year round and going to the theatre.
Further training and qualifications
Mental Health First Aid
Level 1 & 2 BSL
Child Protection and Safeguarding
Duty of Care
Sexual Abuse Awareness
First Class BA Honors Degree
The company offers Sports Leadership Training and Arts Awards qualifications from bronze to gold for which we hold an Accredited Sports leadership trainer and Arts Awards advisor.
Meet Our Board of Directors
Exim Dance Company board of directors have a wealth of experience and knowledge from a range of industries including finance, education, movement psychology and the creative sectors. The directors have the overall legal, artistic and strategic responsibility of the company.
I first became aware of Exim when my daughter joined their ADAPT group over 5 years ago.
Ever since, Exim has become an important part of our lives and I am now proud to serve as a director.
Following a 16 year career in social housing and community development, I retrained as a teacher and am now Head of School at two nursery schools in Plymouth, whilst continuing as deputy head at a primary school.
“My experiences of supporting and advocating for children and families, and actively promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, alongside my passion for the performing arts, motivate me to support Exim in achieving its vision of improving lives through dance.”
Josh Slater is a senior lecturer at De Montfort University, as well as a contemporary dance artist, theatre maker and performer. Josh is currently a part-time Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Dance Research (C-Dare) at Coventry University. He has created and toured dance and theatre works, both nationally and internationally, funded by the Arts Council England. Josh’s research interests are focused on choreographic practices, risk taking, Dance Theatre, improvisation and collaborative practices. He is also a director on the Board of Trustees for Cheshire Dance in Cheshire, and Assistant Editor for the Intellect Choreographic Practices Journal.
Josh wanted to be a director on the board for Exim because of seeing first hand the amazing work that the team do across Plymouth with the different youth and community groups. He believes that it is a vital and important company for arts and wellbeing in the area.
Board of Director
“I love working and being a director at Exim Dance to support the work they do to improve lives through dance in Plymouth as I get to use my many years of financial experience working with not-for-profit companies.”
Board of Director
I’m a teacher with 31 years experience in education, across all ages and stages.
“I’ve chosen to be a Director at Exim as I know the huge impact it has had on my own daughter who has benefitted from the organisation for nearly 9 years. She has blossomed in confidence and has had wonderful experiences with Exim. I want that to be available for as many young people as possible.”
Board of Director
“Exim Dance Company is an inspirational dance company, holding at the heart of their work the wellbeing of all those they teach and move with. It is for this reason that I am very excited to be a director for them; as supporting our whole wellbeing & creating dance that is inclusive and accessible to all, are the very foundations of my own work too. I cannot wait to see what is in store for Exim and all those who join them over the years.”
Board of Director
Labour Councillor for Stoke Ward
“It is a privilege to be a director of this wonderful organisation and to watch it go from strength to strength – especially during the pandemic – supporting and inspiring young people in our city. Laura and her team are making a real difference and Plymouth is lucky to have them.”
Board of Director
Board of Director
Gemma has a background in health improvement, community development and person-centred service design. She is passionate about accessible, high-quality services and staff wellbeing. She is delighted to join the Exim Board of Directors and support the work they do bringing connection, health and joy to communities in Plymouth through dance.