What I Teach
I have many interests in dance and movement and my teaching reflects this, however there are several strands that I’ve followed consistently throughout my teaching.
Floorwork and Flying Low
I teach floorwork, through the material of Flying Low, which is a technique initiated (and taught) by David Zambrano, and now has numerous teachers around the world. It is a specific approach to floorwork that uses simple principles like expansion and cohesion and spirals to move into, out of, and across the floor with great efficiency, safety… and pleasure! I’ve studied Flying Low for over six years, initially with David Zambrano, then with Leila McMillan, now continuing with extensive research myself.
My approach is to start with a very detailed breakdown of principles and movements, finding the fuctionality of the movements before putting everything back together for some full-bodied dancing. I help dancers to link the principles found and practised in Flying Low to an expanded vocabulary.
Contemporary Dance Technique
“Contemporary Dance Technique” is such a wide term as to be almost meaningless! Some more definition might be needed. Though constantly in flux, my approach draws broadly on Steve Paxton’s Material for the Spine, martial arts, release techniques and my own researches. Throughout the class we’ll explore principals and movements; anatomy, geometry, gravity, resistance, senses, breath – using these investigations to define and refine connections and distinctions within ourselves, tasting potentials for ease, sensitivity and power. We’ll gradually build from these into longer phrases, finding ways to soften and sharpen our attention and movement, inviting spatially complex full-bodied dancing.
Currently I’m interested in group composition, drawing from my own dancing and numerous workshops with some great improvisers such as Francesco Scavetta, Rosalind Crisp, Julyen Hamilton and David Zambrano. Workshops aim to investigate ways we can rigorously and playfully place our pathways, phrases and movements in relation to others’ in space. We start from walking and running patterns, with tools for opening our attention and decision making, and then bring this work into our dancing. There is an overarching attitude that generating movement is not the end point of improvisation, but rather dancing that is relevant to the situation and communicative to all participants and audience.
It’s often said that walking is one of the hardest things to do onstage, I disagree, but it is most certainly one of the most overlooked!
I look at building suitable walking and running forms from an investigation of thier basic principles and the options available to us, rather than attempting to apply an existing “correct” form onto our bodies. This understanding can then be used as a base to create infinite variations; practical, or otherwise. Running safely and softly, fast or slow, in straight lines or curving, stopping, starting and changing speed and direction, strategies for running together with others, for moving forwards, backwards, sideways… How our anatomy and running is in relation to gravity and the reaction of the ground. These principles can then be taken into our dancing, to open up new possibilities of locomotion.
Where I Teach
I teach open professional level classes several times a year at Tripspace and Greenwich Dance, as well as numerous classes and workshops elsewhere with various focusses. See Upcoming Teaching for more information.
I also teach company class and movement training for companies and individuals. Most recently Scottish Dance Theatre and National Dance Company of Iceland.
I’ve taught at conservatoires and universities; The London Contemporary Dance School and EDGE, Trinity Laban and Transitions, Northern School of Contemporary dance and VERVE, Rambert School, The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, Winchester University, Salford University and The University of Central Lancashire.
Throughout 2018-20 I’ve taught at the TrinityLaban Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) Programme for dancers under 18. I am on the Russell Mailphant outreach teaching team.
If you’re interested in organising some teaching please do get in touch with me via the contact page.