Your journey towards health and wellbeing
My passion and love of dancing, which began at the age of 7, was my first experience of feeling truly alive in my body. It was a way I could really open up and express myself, be fully present in the moment and ultimately be me. Although, I didn’t really realise these things at this age, I knew that dancing made me happy and I felt connected to something deep inside me. This was the starting point of my journey with the body.
I continued dancing through my teens, ballet, jazz, contemporary dance, tap and disco and knowing that I wanted it to be a bigger part of my life, went on to complete A-Level Dance, a Diploma in Dance Foundation and finally the BA (Hons) Dance in Society degree and PGCE(A) at the University of Surrey. It was here that I had my first experience of pilates, although it was only a short course. During the degree, I started having problems with my back, which some intense physiotherapy put at bay for a while. Alongside this, I also had problems with my skin from the age of 14 and then at 19, had chronic stomach cramping and digestive problems which were referred to as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by the doctor. Antibiotics and other treatments I was administered gave me no relief from either issue. Eventually, a combination of acupuncture and cutting out dairy from my diet significantly improved my skin to the extent that it is now smooth and blemish free.
After my training, I taught dance full time for 2 years and then moved to London from Essex to run the Dance Department for Ceroc, a National modern jive dance company. It was whilst here that I started to regularly take pilates and begin yoga classes. I noticed how much my body started to open up and stretch. I continued having problems with my stomach whilst in London and that together with additional emotional stresses led me to a naturopath. It was the first time that anyone had looked at my body as a whole connected being and not individual parts. After three months of altering my diet by eliminating wheat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and supplementing with vitamins, minerals and pro-biotics, my body felt like it had been spring cleaned. My stomach was much better, my emotional state was mightily improved, everything inside was working like clockwork and I felt that I was healing from the inside out.
After 4 years working with Ceroc, I decided to retrain as a Pilates teacher on a one year matwork training course with the Pilates Foundation. At the same time I worked on the reception desk at the renouned Life Centre in Notting Hill. Here, I was immersed in a world of healing through yoga, pilates classes and the various therapies I had the opportunity to experience.
Having finished the course, I started to teach pilates, predominantly with private clients and small groups as well as continuing to practise it myself. This and the initial training really taught me how the body is truly connected; how the way in which we move and use our bodies can either close us down, losing touch with who we are or open us up, becoming more connected with ourselves and the world around us. I am still amazed how our bodies continue to heal themselves once you start to listen to what they need and want. Our bodies can teach us a lot about who we are.
All the while, I continued to be more conscious about my daily diet and was becoming increasingly aware how what we put into our bodies can have either a detrimental or a more positive, soothing, healing affect. Looking back, my interest in food was evident as a child. I had always enjoyed cooking and had I not pursued a career in dance, I would have followed food in some shape or form. And so I have! In 2008, I began studying with the College of Natural Nutrition. The college philosophy, which sees healing ‘as the creation of freedom and movement within all levels of the individual’ was so aligned with my experience of pilates, it added another dimension to the body’s capacity to heal, one which is extremely complementary with the movement form, pilates.
I still love to teach dance and dance for myself, there’s nothing quite like that feeling of self expression, connecting with others and ultimately losing yourself in the movement. I continue to practise both pilates and natural nutrition and feel honoured that I am able to introduce these life changing principles to others. It is such a joy and so exciting to see how people can experience release and flow in their lives, feel better both physically, emotionally and mentally, and ultimately, find a deeper connection with themselves by letting go of the old and embracing the new.