I am a creative practitioner who works across the forms of dance, movement, theatre, education and therapy; I am also a teacher and a registered dance movement psychotherapist (DMP). I have practiced in community/professional arts settings and within the health/social care and education sectors since 1993 and have created over 4o productions and multi-disciplinary collaborations working across the generations.
Within the fields of dance and movement I have always been drawn to forms that invite in a sense of self-discovery and offer a spontaneous connection to creativity, to the environment and to each other. Improvisation, Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, Butoh, Yoga, Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms, Open Floor Movement Practice, Gaga Dance and Dance Movement Therapy are some of the forms within which I come alive to myself and others, feel connected to energy, weight, flow, life, land, sky, a shared humanity.
For many years I have made contemporary performances working with a strong dance/movement and visual/live art/music focus. When I moved from the central belt back to my home ground of Findhorn in 2000 this practice shifted from collaborating with professional artists to collaborating with communities of people. This has continued. Children, young people, family members, college students, adults with ASN and Autism, support workers, often a mix of ages and abilities, people who come together to be a part of a creative journey, to explore, to play, to craft and to make something that reflects aspects of who we are in our worlds now and to share this becoming and engagement with others.
Another aspect of my creative practice is process based. In a creative DMP session the invitation often is to listen to what is moving in and through the participants/myself and to explore and expand upon this. To nurture a game to grow out of its rules, to sense an energy arriving in a body/the group/room and say yes to moving in and through it.
As a teacher and a mentor to theatre students at the University of the Highlands and Islands/Inverness College, I hold a space for young people to discover/recover/adventure with, their innately creative selves, their bodies, imaginations, thoughts, mind, feelings and passions. To listen to what moves and inspires them, to be attentive to what issues concern them, values support them and to make something that they want to see spring from these starting points into the world.
During the lockdowns and over the past 20 months of the pandemic I have had time again to reengage with and explore my own movement practice and creativity outside of teaching/mentoring/being a therapist. Often outside, moving in the land alongside and within the seascape, alone/with others/humans and seals.
I have also been working within a local Primary School developing an Embodied Learning Programme (ELP) for 10- and 11-year-olds. This programme blends movement forms and practices including yoga, creative dance, dance movement therapy, improvisation, relaxation, breathing techniques, prop work and personal story telling to develop emotional literacy, self-esteem, confidence, resiliance and self/group empathy and understanding.