After a varied and chequered history, which included Art College, and assorted travelling, I settled in Torquay, Devon in the late ‘Seventies, and took up yoga, studied Human Communication and Ki Aikido, which led me to explore various other psycho-spiritual disciplines. A deep love of music always underpinned everything I did, which led me to learn drumming, and for some years I performed in a drumming band playing around the South West of England. A restless spirit always drove me to search for meaning and peace in my life.
Whilst studying massage I observed another group doing Circle Dancing, and was attracted to the music and the form. On trying it I found that through this movement I was able to feel the inner calm and stillness that I had been seeking. So began my dancing career! Because of my calling to Circle Dance I attended other dance workshops, which included meeting and working with Gabrielle Roth. My appreciation of both the meditative and the dynamic qualities of this dance found a home in her 5Rhythms work. I completed the first teacher training with Gabrielle, in 1989 and the second in 1994.
I have taught the 5Rhythms, running weekly classes in Devon, travelling throughout Europe teaching weekends and longer, intensive, workshops, for over twenty years. Throughout all the twists and turns of my life, at the forefront has been music and rhythm, which is my first love, my constant ally, and my personal medicine. It moves me from inertia, touches my heart, and inspires me. I am known for my sense of humour and lightness of touch.
My work is profound and challenging, whilst being playful and gentle. It is always sacred but not always serious. During the workshops, I weave together all the strands of my life, which include art, rhythm, communication, theatre, music, writing, relationships and humour – all bound together, simply, with the dance. I create a safe space where it is possible for everyone to explore their inner worlds, their attitudes, their patterns, their inhibitions and their own unique beauty and talents.
Whenever possible I work with Gabrielle Roth, to whom I am deeply grateful for giving birth to this work. I would also like to thank all the thousands of people who have placed themselves in my hands and taught me so much about themselves, the 5Rhythms, and myself. I continue to feel a full-time student of this wonderful work, and that greatest teacher of all – Life.
...and then in 2007 I discovered that there was such a thing as Border Morris Dancing - a traditional form of English dancing, with a twist... I checked out what was available locally and discovered Beltane Border Morris - who bring something new, something old, something dark and something shadowy to dancing... so I joined them. Here is a place where I can swing a stick, follow a pattern, dress somewhere between a Victorian street urchin and a lady of the streets, with black face, top hat and fishnet tights. Here is the other side of the coin to the light, circular, feminine, receptive Circle Dancing - this is Border Morris Dancing, which is dark, linear, masculine, mysterious and performance oriented! It is not easy - it is challenging and takes a whole winter of practice to learn only a few dances. I am no longer a beginner; I am a regular part of Beltane Border Morris and still feel my heart beat and my adrenalin pump when I dance! For more information visit their website www.BeltaneBorder.co.uk
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