Our Story

Photo credit: Geoff Dunlop

About The Original Spinners

The Original Spinners is a community dance company founded by Rachael James in 2010.

Our ethos is about bringing people together and celebrating diversity.

Based in Bristol, we create happenings, participatory performances and walkabout theatre for festivals, community events, museum openings and celebrations of all kinds.


Working across all ages and all communities, we believe that through music, movement, creativity and play, individuals can feel valued and respected, transcending difference. This enhances wellbeing, reduces isolation and brings about positive change.

Complementing our use of music and dance we introduce elements of clowning, puppetry, storytelling and play to create honest, simple and magical experiences for audiences of all ages. We create intergenerational events and have worked with Bristol’s Roma population.


Alongside these projects, we run regular dance classes for people living with Parkinson’s and offer weekly movement sessions with Misfits, a theatre company for adults with learning difficulties.

We are also trained to deliver dance and clowning for people with dementia.

All of our workshop leaders and assistants hold enhanced DBS checks and Public Liability Insurance.

Want some of The Original Spinners magic?

"It was really beautiful and moving. Be very, very proud."  

Marie Mccluskey MBE

Director at Swindon Dance

"Thank you so much for being part of Bristol Open Stage on Sunday. It was a really evocative piece of work, which really added to the variety of arts seen in Showcase 1.  The feathers/flight sequence was particularly effective. The music choices were great, too."

James Perries

Bristol Old Vic

"A massive well done! You did the city proud." 

Katy Noakes

Arts Officer Bristol City Council

“It makes me feel good, it gives me a workout, it has emotional content and it requires interaction with other dancers. All these benefits enable me to live with a little more ‘joie de vivre’ in my life.”

Class participant

Southmead Dance for Parkinson’s

"I say about the dancing: it’s beautiful, it’s enigmatic, plenty of fun!"


Misfit’s movement sessions

"One thing I took from Shambala this year was remembering how to play – which is a wonderful thing. It was hitting the clowning workshop straight away that helped me throw off the 'self-consciousness and status anxiety', so... thanks!"

Workshop participant

Shambala Festival

"I need this. When I came I felt a bit low and down but now it’s okay. I’m happy!" 

C Varga

Getting to Know the Roma project

The Original Spinners are supported by