I became interested in movement out of necessity as a result of physical problems that I had with myself ever since I was born. I have been working consciously with movement now for nearly 30 years and these days most people don’t see that I had such problems before.
My journey back towards recovery began when I was 24 and suffering from terrible back pain. At the time I was working as a journalist in London (1989). I turned to osteopaths for help who encouraged me to swim. This was contrary to medical advice I had received when I was 14 which was: “to lead a sedentary life: not move to much, avoid lifting things and never lift anything heavy.”
Swimming not only made me feel better but rekindled a childhood passion for movement and sport which had always been thwarted by frequent injuries. After a year, I was advised to take up a sport again. Wanting to avoid the competitiveness I’d experienced in my youth, I started going to acrobatics, trapeze and trampolining classes at Circus Space in London (1990). It was like a big children’s playground for adults and I couldn’t get enough of it all.
Returning to study
I studied mime and physical theatre, then went on to study circus arts and physical theatre at what is now Circomedia (1991). By the time I arrived there, I had begun to get interested in improvisation as a performance mode. There I quickly discovered the Feldenkrais Method, followed by contact improvisation, and finally contemporary dance through a workshop with Mary Fulkerson. The areas that I continue to work with.
My interest in contemporary dance and the somatic disciplines associated with it took me to the SNDO (School For New Dance Development) in Amsterdam for two years (1993-95). When I left, I continued to study with many leading teachers in this field. In 1996, I settled in Bristol (UK) where I began to offer classes. I continued to travel abroad to study, to take part in performance and research projects, and later to teach.
I spent 15 years making improvised performances. I often made solos that mixed words and movement. I later became interested in how dance is interpreted and this led to a series of solos where I danced to spoken word soundtracks.
Developing a teaching practice
Developing a teaching practice, I moved to Finland in September 2001 attracted by an exciting and growing contact improvisation community and also by an offer to teach for some months in the dance department in Outokumpu. In the following years, I worked freelance teaching on many dance educations in Finland including from 2003 to present at the Theatre Academy of Finland (TEAK). I also offered public open workshops in Contact Improvisation, the Feldenkrais Method and something I call BodySchool.
Since 2006, in Finland I have taught and contributed to he development of the one-year Education In Dance And Somatics programme at ISLO in Joensuu where I currently teach for around two months a year. From 2008-2012, I held a post as a part time senior lecturer in the dance department at the Theatre Academy of Finland (TEAK). Since mid-2015, I started spending more time in Denmark and teach regularly in the Contemporary Dance Department of the The Danish National School Of Performing Arts in Copenhagen.
I have also been offered opportunities to teach outside of the performing arts. I led the practical component of a year-long Somaesthetics seminar for the philosophy department at Helsinki University, contributed to the Situation Lab course at Fine Art Academy of Finland, and I have taught somatic approaches to embodiment at conferences, on trainings and for professional associations of psychotherapists and psychologists.
In 2010 I began offering short two- and three-weekend BodySchool courses as part of the TEAK Open University programme which proved very popular.
In 2019, I moved to Vienna. I can be found touring Europe teaching at dance centres (eg. TanzQuartier Wien; Independent Dance, London; TanzFabrik, Berlin; K3 Hamburg; Zagreb Dance Centre) and festivals including ImPulsTanz and Tanzwerkstatt Europa. I also taught on the Yante programme for the education of dance teachers in Palestine.