niio dance with Helene Su

creative elemental somatic

Hi welcome to my world, I am happy to meet you here!
If I can share the joy, freedom and power that is possible for you through dance that has helped me to see the richness and beauty in this life, then that is your greatest gift to me. Dance has always been my first love, but it is only as an adult that I have realised its power to heal and transform.

Being pure Chinese but growing up the UK was not plain sailing for me and when I have felt disconnected, disillusioned and rootless, dance has always been my ally and my friend. I became fascinated with what happens within when we move and explore into the depths of our being, revealing the intelligence that we have in our ‘soma’ – our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body. Through dance I have experienced powerful shifts of release, flow, connection and wholeness.  

I needed to know more and have since studied with some top dance, somatic, martial arts and yoga teachers and have an MA in Dance and Somatic Well-being. Having worked with children and young people using drama and the arts, I am also inspired by spontaneity, improvisation and explorations into the unknown, which can reveal new dimensions in our creative psyche.  

Over the last 15 years I have given talks and workshops at festivals in UK, including the Conference in Dance and Spirituality, and Europe, including Spain, Holland and Portugal and the International Center for Breathwork. Next March I will be presenting at the Creative Summit for the World Arts and Embodiment Forum.  

Niio Dance is my commitment to helping you to find personal tools to be vibrant, vital and alive.

Some Seminal teachers..

Teachers I have trained with include: Anna Halprin (Life Art Therapy), Mary Abrams (Continuum), Linda Hartley (Bodymind Centering), Miranda Tuffnell, Patricia Martello (Biodanza), Marie Ware (Dance Voice), Shiva Rea (Vinyasa Flow/ Yoga Trance Dance), Dr Nagarathna (Integrated Yoga Therapy) Stephen Ornellas (Hung Gar Kung Fu), Gill Clarke to name but a few. My biggest teachers, however, apart from an initial eight years of intensive ballet has been thirty years of freeform creative, tribal and elemental dance practice on dancefloors both indoor and outdoor around the world, and the students who have come to dance and share their experiences.

Developments in somatic and body mind research

Ongoing discoveries in Body Mind research, reinforce and confirm ancient teachings, and bring fresh insight, and I am continually updating with this new Somatic Movement and Dance Education. 

I would love to share with you its profound benefits, and to empower you to be your authentic, inspired and creative self; to be in tune with your body and in flow in your life. I look forward to sharing, connecting and dancing with you.

My Story

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 and (then) fear of foreigners. For me the concept of a homeland was not straightforward.  

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. 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.

my path of healing through dance

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 path of healing through dance I experienced first hand the power of the mind and body connection.

Dance and calming the nervous system

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.

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. And a new travel journey began.

The Tao

I connect to the spontaneous, creative Taoist side of my Chinese heritage, that explores life with curiosity.

In Taoist belief 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.