I grew up in a traditional Chinese home in the UK, a BBC - British Born Chinese. At home I was surrounded by red and gold calendars, chopsticks and blaring Chinese opera. Outside I was thrust into an English working class city with a hard nosed survival mentality and (then) fear of foreigners. For me the concept of a homeland was not straightforward and I grew up feeling like a misfit, like I didn’t belong.
A shy child, I was a good Confucian student who studied hard but was socially awkward. I buried my head in books where I could excel and gain recognition, but there was a feeling of disconnection, that carved a hole deep into my psyche.
Seduced by its grace and beauty my dancing “career” began with intensive ballet from aged seven. I was a stellar student, and life was a round of classes, exams, festivals and shows. Finally I stopped in my mid teens, disillusioned with the competitive dance world and stolid conviction that my legs were too short to make it as a dancer. After that I was at sea for a while. The only thing that grounded me was to get into my body, move, dance and lose myself in music.
After my BA, and a foray into the media and film industry in London, I decided I needed to go taste and smell the 3D world rather than see and hear the celluloid one. I had travelled the US and Europe alone before, but this time I set off with my backpack on an extended trip - with a one way ticket to India in 1995.
As I was exposed to different values and ways of being in a world that challenged, questioned and expanded my beliefs and perceptions, I had to unravel and unlearn. My travels were not all plain sailing as I was also confronted with myself, and my childhood feelings of alienation. Making documentary films had been my original intention, but instead I “discovered” yoga and meditation whilst continuing to dance. In my own healing journey I experienced first hand the power of the mind and body connection.
Through working in various countries with their differing environments and cultural norms, I have often been out of my ‘comfort zone’. My breathwork and somatic movement practices have helped to pacify my nervous system and navigate big transitions.
My dance has kept me grounded in the present. By keeping me in my body (rather than getting lost in my overactive brain) and in finding my dance, I have directly connected to that other Chinese part of me – the spontaneous, creative Taoist side that explores life with curiosity.
When I returned from Asia in 2004 I began studying Dance Movement Therapy, and in doing so something deep in my body told me that I had found a “home” again.
I continue to update my skills and knowledge in the Embodied, Somatic and Dance Education world, in an area that is continually expanding in diversity. As we discover more about our amazing, multi-layered, quantum human body - from our physical, visceral being through to our etheric realms, through neuroscience, eco-somatics, psychology and other disciplines it is clear how little we really know. And in Taoist belief (amongst others), our individual bodies are made from all the elements in the universe and the part is never separate from the whole. We are like waves in the ocean – there is an essential oneness between us and the world.
In that vein I would love to help facilitate you in your personal journey; towards finding and celebrating the true joy possible through dance, and to obtaining your full, vibrant health.