I was born in Perth and was introduced to ballroom dancing at the age of seven so that my sister and I could waltz at a family friend’s wedding. Another seven years on and hundreds of ballroom competitions later, I quit the sport to pursue acting at a performing arts school. However, it was my ability to dance that offered many opportunities and it was when I was asked to dance in a production of Graduation Ball, for a youth dance group, I saw ballet and ballet dancers up close and I fell in love with both. I was attracted to what these dancers achieved with their bodies and the dedication and discipline I saw in them. This attraction would ultimately reward me with a long and fulfilling career.
After three years training at the exclusive Australian ballet school, I was invited to join the Australian Ballet Company and later the Sydney Dance Company.
As a dancer, my focus and fascination turned to the power of the mind and the conscious approach to control required to meet the physical demands of movement. During this time, I was introduced to Pilates and found that it gave me a whole new level of understanding about my body – how to balance, strengthen individual weaknesses and build whole body awareness.
Beyond my time as a dancer, I wanted to share the benefits and my love of Pilates with others. At this time, I learned the Pilates approach at a tertiary level and began teaching other dancers. There are many expert teachers of Pilates and I’ve been fortunate enough to have trained with many of the Sydney based ones over the past 20 years. My own understanding has grown and developed from the diverse skills and knowledge of these incredible teachers and I wish to acknowledge my gratitude to them.
Pilates has been linked with the dance world for almost a century. Very few dancers these days would not have experienced Pilates in some form of their training. I’ve had the great honour of teaching the members of the Australian Ballet Company for over 10 years as well as other leading companies and performing arts schools in Australia. It’s by working with these elite dancers that has lead me to create the Conscious Control Pilates series.
This series was developed at the request of these dancers to provide a recording of the classes I teach them, so that they could continue to train with me when they are away from me.
Through years of teaching Pilates, I have worked out how to best serve the dancer. Their work schedule is so intense that my aim is to give them the maximum benefits of Pilates by warming up and strengthen the entire body, focus on the development of the core muscle group, and minimize the effort involved by encouraging micro-movement. This prepares them for a full day’s rehearsal and performance without fatiguing their bodies.
In the same way, anyone wishing to understand Pilates in depth, safely develop strength and flexibility, or receive the same training of a dancer will love the Conscious Control Pilates series.
My love for both dance and Pilates has provided me with an outlook and satisfaction where some twenty years on, I am delighted to still be teaching both in person and through the Conscious Control series.