Movement has always been an important part of my life. From the time I was a young child practicing gymnastics, to later becoming a professional dancer, I was most content when moving my body. Exploring the body while mastering the mind was a practice I first encountered while excelling at sports during my youth. I wanted desperately to continue that feeling into my adult hood and was thrilled when I discovered Modern Dance and Pilates which would eventually lead me on the path to what would become my life’s work, a life of pure movement and exploration that I wanted nothing more than to share with others.
I was first introduced to dance my sophomore year in college. I signed up to take a Modern Dance class, not really knowing what it entailed. Twenty minutes into the class, I knew that I wanted to dance for the rest of my life. It became a tool to express myself in ways that I hadn’t been able to before in everyday language. Knowing that this was a path I wanted to pursue more deeply, I auditioned and was accepted to the dance program at Ohio University, largely based upon my gymnastics experience. I began to excel at dance and teaching to a degree that I had never excelled at anything before. This was to be my gift, my importance in the world. With the support from the talented community of amazing teachers, I began to envision a life for myself encompassing all of the things that were important to me: maintaining a healthy and mobile body, a daily practice in the art of body mind exercise, and sharing my gifts as a teacher.
The dance curriculum at Ohio University included a regular Pilates practice as well teaching to one another. It is here that I developed my knowledge and understanding of Pilates as well as the importance it played in not only maintaining a healthy and wholesome body for life, but also the profound impact that it would play in my life. I would later earn my Pilates Certification through the PhysicalMind Institute in 2002. Prior to studying dance, I had been focused on psychology. My interest in social services led me to work that included becoming a gym teacher as well as a recreational therapist for people with disabilities where I led practices in sensory stimulation and movement activities, and finally as an employment specialist for those with mental disabilities. Combining my interests in dance and psychology, I was able to develop my studies at school to include both Movement and Music Therapy and have completed several additional workshops in these areas over the years. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from Ohio University, I spent three years in Cleveland dancing with several companies and teaching dance to inner-city kids through Young Audiences of Ohio. Upon moving to Portland, Oregon I continued to teach and choreograph. Some of my fondest experiences came from performing with the Portland dance companies tEEth and POV Dance. Continuing on my path of mind body studies I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training certification in 2014 through the Loom School of Hatha Yoga.
My teaching and training experience spans more than 20 years and includes Gymnastics, Pilates, Yoga, Dance, Aqua Pilates, and Fitness. My expansive knowledge and experience has allowed me to work with several different populations including pre and postpartum moms, athletes, and those experiencing chronic pain. My training has helped to provide stability and relief to clients recovering from orthopedic injuries, postural issues, and back conditions such as stenosis and disc related problems. I have worked with dancers, skiers, a professional kiteboarder and NFL quarterback, and with clients ranging in age from 11 to 92 years old. My teaching approach balances attention to detail, and precision of action, with a curiosity based fun approach to learning. I am committed to continuing my education by regularly enrolling in classes and workshops in all modalities, and to incorporating my learning and experiences into my teaching. All combined, my teaching reflects my passion for anatomy and alignment, for movement therapy, Pilates, dance, and yoga.
It is my firm belief that everyone can benefit from movement, and experience the joy of self-expression that comes with it, no matter how old or inflexible they may perceive themselves to be. I have dedicated my life to helping others experience this. My work is motivated by the belief that movement is a means for creating positive change in one’s physical, mental, and emotional states. With a caring approach, and attention to detail, I help individuals realize their full potential by educating my clients on proper execution of movements, with attention to the precision necessary to gain maximum benefits. I strive to address each client’s specific and anatomical needs, while at the same time exuding a passion for the joy of movement.