We love meeting inspiring people and sharing their stories and ideas. We recently met up with Lisa at MindBodyDance to find out about her ambition to create wellbeing through dance.
We hope you find her story as inspiring as we do.
Life Choices – I Chose Dance.
I’ve travelled… a lot.
I’ve worked… a lot.
I’ve always danced.
There comes a point in life when each of us has to decide where we’re going. That happened to me recently. At 15-years I trained at the Northern Ballet School and worked as a professional dancer for over a decade while teaching and choreographing many shows in between. I continued to teach many styles of dance, predominantly ballet, as well as yoga and fitness, while I studied at university. I then gained a First Class Honours Degree and Masters Degree and worked in media for a few years but I am now teaching dance full time again in Cornwall… because that is where I chose to go. On deciding to set up my own business and teach full time I was faced with the decision of ‘what to teach?’. I have a variety of teaching qualifications that I have gained over the years and I looked at the Cornish community and I thought yes, I could teach things that are more trendy and popular than dance. Regardless, I chose dance. Why? Because I believe in it.
From a personal point of view, dance has been my life. I don’t know what I am without it. It’s the only class I can go to, despite years of training in yoga and meditation, that quietens my busy mind and keeps me 100% present. It’s the only class where I can leave dripping with sweat and aching from head to toe despite never thinking ‘I am doing a workout’ here. It’s the only thing that I don’t ever get bored of (this is a near-impossible task). I have taught yoga and other fitness and conditioning classes, which I also love, but I have never seen results in posture improvement like I have teaching students ballet. The same goes for building strength and flexibility – the most rapid changes I see are in my ballet and dance classes. For those adults who take the ‘brave step’ of returning to dance (or starting it!) after many years without doing it, I see the sense of achievement and self-pride it brings like no other activity does. For the kids I teach I see a sense of discipline, self-motivation and team work build over the years they attend dance class. I have taught dance as a mental and physical therapy and witnessed the dramatic benefits it has bought to the sick, vulnerable and elderly. It’s not just a workout, it becomes a way of life and you can start it at anytime. I founded mindbodydance and like this name because it sums up dance for me. It’s not all about the body – it has so many mental health benefits too. This shouldn’t be underestimated. Repeatedly challenging your brain to send movement signals to various parts of your body is really good for you! Linking together steps, improving coordination and rhythm are all elements of dance and have been proven to reduce mental health conditions such as dementia, anxiety, Alzheimer’s and depression.
I Love Cornwall. It’s not the easiest of communities to get dancing but when I see people convert it’s hugely rewarding. Plus, it’s beautiful and inspiring. I can often be seen prancing around the beach with my headphones in – where better to take inspiration for my choreography than the stunning Cornish coves.
The Misconception of a ‘Dancer’.
In Cornwall I like to compare this to surfing. I am a surfer – as in I like to get in the (white) water and just have a go with my board. Of course I’m not actually any good but I love it and a surfer none-the-less. To be a dancer you just have to attend dance classes and get involved. You don’t have to be a certain shape and size or bendy and strong. All those things are of course achievable but it takes time and dedication and the journey is a fun one!
So, I will continue my mission to bring dance to more people’s lives, so they can experience the ‘dance buzz’ that people are slowly turning to.
Choose Your Life and Maybe Add a Sprinkling of Dance 🙂
MBD holds regular dance classes for adults and children in North Cornwall
And workshops across the county:
There are also free Bodyballet workout videos to do at home: