My interest in bodywork came from exploring my body’s own physical limits. I danced professionally until 2001. I performed with London City Ballet, the original cast of The Lion King and West Side Story, among others.
During my dance career, I visited a number osteopaths and physiotherapist for dance related injuries. Their intricate knowledge of the body and its workings held me with an almost mystical fascination. I always felt it was something I was drawn to and might pursue one day.
Later, I attended equipment Pilates classes to help refine my dance technique and manage various injures I had accumulated over the years. I found it enormously useful, and again I was spellbound by the teacher’s ability to make subtle adjustments that radically changed the way an exercise felt and how effective it was.
I felt I had to obtain this kind of knowledge for myself, so I trained as a Pilates instructor with Alan Herdman. When I completed my training with Alan, I was lucky enough to be asked to stay on and work in his studio. I learnt a lot working alongside Alan. It was there I was first exposed to Gyrotonic®.
I travelled to Germany, just outside Freiburg, to train as a Gyrotonic® instructor with Juliu Horvath. Juliu devised the movement system in the early 1980s. Back then, dancers were pretty much the only people doing Gyrotonic®. The exercises demanded a lot of flexibility and strength. Since then the system has opened up. Over the last few decades, the repertoire has changed and caters for a wider audience and it has become a lot better known.
Part of what I loved about teaching Pilates and Gyrotonic® was being able to help clients with their injuries – finding ways to improve function and reduce their symptoms. Although I could help a lot, I felt slightly frustrated that I was unable to diagnose and treat these problems.
I then decided to train as an osteopath. There was an enormous amount of course material to learn and I had to apply the discipline I learned during my classical ballet training. In 2007, I graduated from the London School of Osteopathy with a first class honours degree, where I was also awarded both the technique and clinical competence prizes.
Upon graduation, I started working as an osteopath at the Garry Trainer Clinic in primrose hill. I wanted access to a different patient population and to work as one of a team. I have met some very interesting and gifted therapists in my 10 years there. I still work there on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
I continue to work in the field of professional dance. I have worked with the English national ballet, Rambert Dance Company, The Laban Centre and Elmhurst Ballet School. I have also had the pleasure of working with professional circus performers and athletes. Being up to date is very important to me. I frequently train in new techniques. It offers me a fresh perspective and helps my patients achieve better results. I also like to exchange ideas with therapists from other disciplines. There is always something to learn that I can incorporate into my practice.
Over the last decade, I have had to manage the changes in my own body, as I get older. My exercise routine has had adapt to meet my new needs and respect my new limits. I look at this as an opportunity to learn how to manage and solve my client’s issues better – adaptability and evolution are essential.I have a keen interest in food and nutrition. I am often in the kitchen finding new ways to make exciting, delicious and healthy food. This may well become part of my future practice. After all, what we put into our bodies has such a profound effect on shake and general health.