Live Streamed Pilates Class Schedule

Weekly Live-Streamed Pilates Classes on Zoom

I now offer live streamed Pilates classes so we can continue to practice safely and keep a sense of community going whilst many of us still have concerns about returning to poorly ventilated group classes at a time Covid infections are rising. Of course some people do not share any of these concerns and simply find the Zoom classes to be enjoyable and convenient. Whatever brings you to these classes you are more than welcome!

Remaining Classes: Week Beginning – 10th January 2022

Saturday – 8:30am-9:30am GMT 15/1/22) 

Saturday – 9:45am-10:45am GMT 15/1/22) 

Live-Streamed Pilates Class Schedule: Week Beginning – 17th January 2022

Monday – 7:30pm-8:30pm GMT 17/1/22) 

Wednesday – 9:30am-10:30am GMT (19/1/22) 

Saturday – 8:30am-9:30am GMT 22/1/22) 

Saturday – 9:45am-10:45am GMT 22/1/22) 

Zoom Class Cost

I am offering each class on a ‘pay by donation’ basis with a suggested price of up to £10 per class. However, I do appreciate that the pandemic continues to be a financially challenging time for many so please pay what you can afford. I would hate to think that someone could not participate due to a lack of funds.

I would really appreciate it if you could pay for each class in advance. Preferably at the time you register for the class, or if not then,  before the class starts please.

You can make payment directly into my account. For those that don’t already have my bank details please email me and I’ll send them to you (

Or, if it’s easier for you (or faster just before class) you can pay via this Paypal link 

When making payment please use the following payment reference (example): ‘Pilates 4th Apr’.

Medical History / Pregnancy 

When online, it is up to the individual to assess whether they are ready for the class that they have chosen. If you suffer from specific injuries or disease it is best to consult with your GP before participation. You must let me know via email before participation of any injuries or medical conditions or if you are recently post-natal. With regret, I am afraid to say that my online classes via Zoom are not suitable for pregnancy.

In registering for a class, you agree to assume full responsibility for any risks, injuries or damages, known or unknown, which you might incur as a result.

Pilates Fundraiser for The Stephen Lawrence Trust

Thank you to each and every one of  you who donated to the fundraiser I set up for The Stephen Lawrence Foundation. I asked my students to donate to the trust instead of paying me to take class in during the week of my birthday. Through their generosity and others who just simply wanted to donate we managed to raise £1090.

In addition to this I put out a call for other teachers to take part and run their own events alongside mine. My Pilates teaching colleague Ainsley Gibson joined forces with me and raised £350 from her fundraising event (Pilates class), so between us we raised £1440 for an important cause. Thank you to you and your students Ainsley!

Social justice and anti-racism are important causes to support and it felt good for me to do something more productive than posting a black square on my social media feed.

It seems my students enjoyed getting behind this initiative as much as I did and I plan on running another charity fundraiser next year and would like to make this an annual event in my calendar.

Thank you so much again!


Updated Post Re: Coronavirus

Like all of you, I’m sure, I have been continuing to monitor the unfolding situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.

It is important for each of us to act in a responsible way and do the right thing to help contain the risk of spreading the virus.

It goes without saying that the only responsible action for me to undertake as a teacher who has the safety and welfare of the community at heart is to suspend all of my ‘in-person’ classes until further notice.

If you have recently booked for a group Pilates class and not been able to attend for obvious reasons, you will be contacted by email with details of the rescheduled ‘block-booking’ dates in due course. You will also be given the option of receiving a full refund.

As you can imagine this is an incredibly challenging time for those of us whose sole means of income is based on teaching groups in-person. Many teachers, including myself, have lost their livelihoods overnight. The onus now falls to us to change our focus and come up with creative ideas and ways to be able to continue serving our community during this period of closure. I am currently working on creating an online provision of my teaching. This is likely to have two strands; (1) an online subscription provision, where my teaching work can be viewed in the comfort of your home at any time you choose, and (2) a live class provision, where participants and I come together at the same designated time to take part in a ‘live-stream’ class. I believe the first option will be much more accessible to the great majority of my ‘in-person’ students. The second option is certainly doable, but takes a little more technical know-how at the viewers end. I’ll help with the latter as much as I can for those who might need a little help. As soon as either provision is ready I shall make further announcements.

Lastly, independent Pilates and yoga teaching business are facing a very real existential threat at present and for the foreseeable future. It would be very helpful indeed if as many of you as possible could support my work through subscribing to the online provision as soon as it is announced.

Look after yourselves, stay safe and don’t forget to wash your hands!

With very best wishes to you all,


Movement is life

“Movement is life: without movement life is unthinkable”

  Moshé Feldenkrais


Back in early 1994 I was leafing through the prospectus of what is now Trinity Laban, the dance school where I did my undergraduate degree, and I saw a very similar quote by Merce Cunningham; “Life is movement”. For some reason those three words really struck a chord in me and have stayed with me ever since. 

Fairly recently I arranged a small A-Level Dance group reunion to go and see Ghost Dances by Rambert. Ghost Dances was the first piece of dance that I was ever introduced to (on VHS!) back in 1992. A couple of things happened in the theatre that night. The first was that as soon as the music started I burst into tears! It came completely out of the blue. I wasn’t sad, but lots of happy memories quickly came to the surface from my years when I was involved in performing arts, which was a very large and important part of my life. I think I realised right then that I was missing something that I needed to reintegrate into my life. Not just the performing part, but the being involved with other creatives doing creative things. That night I was also with an old teacher and mentor of mine and it was like he peered right through me as he asked, ever so casually but with a hint of mischief, “So, where do you see yourself in five years?”. It was a question that made me squirm actually because I knew right then that what I wanted most of all for myself was to reintegrate what I used to do with my teaching and that that might not be an easy path.

Often, I think I ought to do something but don’t follow through with action, especially if it might be a challenge. This time was different. Within a few days I reactivated my long ‘dormant’ Equity membership and with that I could access acting classes at The Actors Centre. That was quite a big deal for me and I was quite nervous at the first workshop. My ‘performing muscles’ had grown a little weak and I felt rusty and a little bit ‘rubbish’. I did really enjoy it though and so I persevered with a few more workshops until I felt like I got ‘my eye back in’. It was at this point that I decided to do something crazy and go the whole hog and audition for Drama School! Acting is really what I have always wanted to do. I actually wanted to do acting more than dance, but I loved dance too and was advised that you can’t really come to dance late in life unlike the other way around. Way back in 1999 I had auditioned for RADA and I think I got as far as it is possible to get a place without getting one. The principal of the college at the time even wrote me a letter saying how well I had done and that I was definitely a candidate for a leading drama school should I audition again in future. Then life took a different path but this ‘near miss’ and a sense of regret always stayed with me. Thus it was a big deal for me to put myself through all that again to see if could go that last step further this time and win a place at drama school nearly 20 years later.

Two speeches learned, practiced and performed later and the recall auditions complete I was thrilled to receive not just one offer but THREE to choose from. The first offer from the Drama Studio resulted in a little tear because it really meant a lot. Then came Arts Ed and finally, the one I really wanted, Drama Centre. Not only does the latter have a truly excellent reputation a part of the actor training is based on Rudolph Laban’s work, so it feels like the perfect place for me after my undergraduate degree at what was then The Laban Centre for Movement & Dance. Getting into drama school all these years later feels like one of my greatest achievements. It held a lot of fear for me and it would have been easier to give the whole thing a swerve and leave it as a ‘could have been’ moment. It was a brave step to take and risk the reality of not getting in. Sometimes you just have to ‘turn up’ and go for it!

Now I stand on the threshold of what I am sure will be a challenging but rewarding year. I feel that if you are pursuing something you love then little can go wrong, no matter what happens. It’s a big crazy, financially stupid, step to take. But at the end of the day, if I allow myself to imagine myself at the end of my life, I’d certainly regret not doing it more than the other way around.

Whilst I am studying my Pilates and yoga classes are continuing at the same times and places. I shall be teaching on Saturday mornings in Sydenham on on Thursday nights on Forest Hill. The rest of the classes I have taught for these past 14 years will be placed in the very capable hands of my colleagues Luisa D’Ambrosio and Barbara Christians until my sabbatical from full time teaching is complete. After that I plan to keep teaching as much as I am able. So this is definitely not a ‘goodbye’. Just some much needed movement.

Pilates, Yoga & Garuda Retreat 2018 (Sold out)

Sold out

Join Adam Murby and Marta Soteras for 5 days of Garuda, Pilates, Yoga and relaxation at one of Europe’s very finest retreat locations.

Each full day will incorporate a full morning and a full evening practice taught by either Adam or Marta. The classes will incorporate Pilates, Yoga, Garuda and Yoga Nidra (yoga sleep).

Thai massage will also be available.

The retreat will include plenty of time for rest and relaxation.

The retreat is limited to a maxumum of 19 participants.


Situated in the pictureque bay of Aiguablava, 1.5 km away from the iconic medieval town of Begur, VILLA PI BLAU could not be better placed. Atop a pine-clad hill and surrounded by a beautiful Mediterranean garden, Villa Pi Blau overlooks gorgeous crystalline water coves and sandy beaches at short walking distance. Modern and ethically built by Catalan architects, Villa Pi Blau is one of the very best destinations for Yoga and Pilates holidays.

Pilates, Yoga & Garuda Retreat 2017

Pilates, Yoga & Garuda Retreat

Join Adam Murby and Marta Soteras for 5 days of wellness and relaxation at one of Europe’s very finest retreat locations. Each full day will incorporate a full morning and a full evening practice taught by either Adam or Marta. The classes will incorporate Pilates, Yoga, Garuda and Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep). Thai massage will also be available. The retreat will include plenty of time for rest and relaxation, including at least one half day excursion (optional). The retreat is limited to a maxumum of 19 participants.

Yoga with Candoco

Candoco were the first professional dance company in the UK to focus on the integration of disabled and non-disabled dancers. It is a company that I have followed since the start of my own dance career back in the early 1990s, so I was absolutely thrilled when they recently asked me to come in and teach company yoga class.

With this post I would like to share my experience and some reflections.

The first thing I noticed  a couple of days before starting, was that the thrill of being asked was beginning to transform into some kind of angst bordering on terror. In fact it even crossed my mind that I should cancel I was worried I might not be up to the job!

My fear was borne out of some concerns and questions, which I was struggling to reconcile.  How could I possibly stick to the given brief of getting all of the dancers warm and prepared for a day of dance rehearsal when there would appear to be the need for so many individual adaptations? How does an able bodied teacher begin to presume how yoga postures or sun salutation sequences might be best experienced by people who use wheelchairs, wear prosthetic arms, or those who would appear to have only one leg? How ethical is it for an ‘able’ bodied person to make presumptions about what is or is not possible for those who are deemed to be ‘disabled’? Even if different sequences of yoga might be prepared for each individual, how do you deliver those sequences concurrently to everybody at once? What language does one use when the ‘normal’, “put you left foot here and the right foot there” might not be applicable? And how does one do all this, whilst simultaneously meeting the needs of the ‘able bodied’ dancers who should be prevented from waiting around and getting cold?

I felt a little stuck between going in with planned sequences based on ignorant assumptions of what might or might not be possible for bodies I had no first-person experience of, and going in without adequate preparation and the fear of being exposed without a clue on the day!

So here’s what happened. I acknowledged the fear and did it anyway. Much better to dive in with the hope that I would come out the other side a little wiser, rather than cancel. There’d be no prospect of growth with the latter!

On ‘having enough’

In my last post, I wrote a critical piece about yoga teachers and the culture of ‘gratitude preaching’, a phenomenon that frankly makes me wince. I did acknowledge though, that it would be quite wrong to be against the practice of gratitude per se, which would surely be an untenable position. I do actually think though, that somehow, I managed to dwell in that untenable position for a number of years. When I was a younger (less reflective; more stupid?) man I actually hated the word content. I put it in the same bracket as settling (for less). And that wasn’t for me. I was aiming for amazing, perfection and more than. Only a loser would settle for content.

What I have realised, and sadly only relatively recently, is that this quest for perfection or more than is actually something of a thief. ‘Not good enough’ can rob you of feelings of satisfaction, achievement and happiness. Shame is a word I thought I knew, but I actually didn’t;  I never knew that it captured feelings connected to ‘not good enough’.

Paradoxically though ‘not good enough’ for many years acted as a kind of fuel. I was stoked up and propelled by it. I suspect many who have a background in professional dance know it quite well. It is part of our job description to not go wrong and do things right; to perfect movement through constant polishing and refining. More than this, a dance career is brutally competitive and an extremely difficult and gruelling career to do well in and sustain. I wasn’t even that naturally talented at it compared to a great many people I met along the way (in terms of bodily facility and technique), but as a result of being driven to do and be better I probably had a more successful career, based solely on the number of dance companies and projects I was involved in, compared to the vast majority of all the people I trained with at undergraduate level. There is no doubt that being a male helped too.  My ultimate dream was to dance for Pina Bausch’s Wuppertal Tanztheater. Very few dancers get to talk their way into doing company dance class with ‘the world’s finest dance company’. I did. The week I spent with them; doing company class, learning the ins and outs of how the company works and getting to know some of the dancers, was a priceless experience. That week ended though with me being informed I wasn’t strong enough to be put in front of Pina for a private audition. For a number of years, this experience tainted my entire dance career. I felt that all of the other very considerable achievements I had attained were clouded. I wasn’t good enough to reach the pinnacle. How terribly sad. What a shame.

Learning to feel that you are enough or have enough can be a very powerful and liberating thing. But it takes practice. One element of yoga that recurs throughout the ages is the steeping of the microcosm in the macrocosm.  Taking the individual out of their normal ways of interacting with their mundane world and placing them into the larger framework of something bigger. There are a gazillion ways of doing this, which many people would not necessarily equate with yoga practice. An example in popular culture is portrayed in the 90s film Grand Canyon when one of the characters (Danny Glover?) tells us that he goes to sit in the Grand Canyon when he is low to get some perspective on his life. Becoming a part of something bigger made him feel better. For me, that experience can be called yoga. I go for walks in a beautiful local park for the same reason. It gets me out of myself. The feeling of connection (might one say communing?) with something larger makes me feel qualitatively better. Walking in the park is a lovely form of yoga.

On ‘Gratitude’ in Yoga: A Critical Perspective

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA (and may all my US friends have a joyful one). This post is not about that though, it just seems like an opportune moment to blog about some thoughts I have had for a while now on the subject of ‘gratitude’. No person could surely ‘be against gratitude’ right? That would be an untenable position. But here’s the thing; I sometimes have to work hard at not audibly groaning when yoga teachers mention the word ‘gratitude’. Does that make me a bad person?!

Let me explain myself; I do actually believe gratitude is a wonderful thing to practice. In my second blog post on this subject, ‘On Having Enough’, I will talk about how I do just that. But today I want to probe into why it is that the word is so seemingly omnipresent wherever yoga teachers congregate. I would happily be corrected, but to the best of my knowledge there is no ancient Indian yogic text that specifically describes a process for the practice of gratitude per se. Equanimity and contentment yes, but gratitude? So perhaps something else is going on. Something sociological. Perhaps like street talk? It seems many yoga teachers like to use the word ‘gratitude’ a lot. Almost as frequently as they use that other word ‘abundance’. It’s part of the lingo. A lingo that others have felt compelled to question and poke fun at with tongue in cheek. Hang around in a yoga studio long enough and you’ll perhaps pick it up too. You’re quite likely to become unconsciously conditioned. And that is surely an irony for a practitioner of yoga.

I came across a great word about the process of this unconscious conditioning last year at Uni. That word is ‘habitus’. For anyone interested in a more academic take on it, (all two of) you might be interested in reading an essay I wrote on the subject in relation to my yoga practice.  The basic gist of habitus is this; in all social contexts one operates there are unwritten and invisible ways of behaving and speaking that individuals pick up and take on. You might look at Prime Minister’s Question Time at the House of Commons in the UK Parliament and think why on earth do they behave and speak like that? Chances are though that if you became an MP, you too would be saying ‘Hear Hear’ when one of your party speaks and be ‘Yah Booing’ the other side within a matter of weeks. Not because any one would tell you to do it, but because that context would pervade you and act upon you. If you want to ‘fit in’ and gain ‘social capital’ you have to play by the invisible rules. Another example would be the taking on of a certain way of walking down the street within a tough neighbourhood. The ‘neighbourhood’ of the yoga sangha (community) is no different. Certain phrases and ways of being get picked up, overused and can become stereotypical. The genesis of my inner groan, I think, might be stirred by an encounter with cliche. It might not be the most elegant response on my part, but I am working on it.

What is yoga?

An answer to the perennial question (without a single reference to postures)

Most yoga teachers, on being asked ‘What is yoga?’, will probably pause for a moment  to think about who is asking the question and how best to answer it, because the truth is there is more than one definition and the answer does require some reflection.

When asked, many teachers will perhaps refer to the etymology/root of the sanskrit word yuj, which is often translated as meaning ‘to yoke, join or unite’. It can then be implied that yoga means a union of mind, body and spirit. This is certainly not wrong, but it is only part of a much larger picture.

Across thousands of years the meaning of yoga has meant different things at different times. Even more confusingly it is a word that has been used differently in the same period of time across different communities.

Perhaps it is more helpful to think of the word yoga as an empty vessel, into which whoever uses the word fills the vessel with meaning. In short yoga means different things in different contexts. For dualists like Patanjali and for Buddhists yoga is not ‘union’, but some Buddhists do maintain yoga is ‘union’ and some commentators think Patanjali’s yoga is not dualist! In the Vedanta philosophy yoga is union; as is the case with Tantra later on. Those seeking the answer to the question ‘What is yoga?’ discover that there is active competition for the word’s ownership.

So in attempting to define what yoga is, where best to start? Perhaps a good place to start would be by reframing the question and asking what the goal of yoga is in the system it is practiced.  At the considerable risk of falling into the trap of being too reductive; throughout the ages, the fundamental goals of yoga have been two-fold:

  1. Spiritual liberation – transcending one’s given circumstances
  2. The attainment of powers – heightened abilities to control one’s worldly environment  and circumstances

There are various techniques of discipline and methodologies of practice that are said to lead to the above attainments and spiritual liberation is often cited as being by far the most superior goal of the two. The techniques of yoga ultimately equip and empower the human individual with a technology that helps them navigate their worldly circumstances more skillfully, which perhaps helps us better understand what people mean when they say, ‘Doing yoga makes me feel better’.

The 5:2 diet

A Yoga Teacher’s Perspective

I never thought in a million years that I would ever embark on a fast. I’d previously placed fasting in the category ‘not for me’, alongside things like marathon running.

It is then a testament to the power of the BBC Horizon programme Eat, Fast and Live Longer presented by Dr Michael Mosley that I was immediately persuaded enough by the health benefits to give it a try.

For any readers curious enough about the programme, it is still available to watch as a series of clips on Youtube. Since it was aired there has been a lot of media coverage including an excellent article in The Sunday Times magazine (behind paywall) and the following article in the The Telegraph by Dr Mosley himself. And since first writing this post Dr Mosley and Mimi Spencer have released a new book and website called The Fast Diet.

The 5/2 diet is essentially an intermittent fasting (IF) routine which means you eat as you normally would for 5 days of the week and for the two other days of the week eat a maximum of 600 calories.

After doing a little more research I settled on Brad Pilon’s version of the diet: Eat, Stop, Eat (ESE). Via this version of IF you consume all 600 calories of your allocated daily allowance in one meal and then go for 24 hours until the next meal. i.e breakfast to breakfast or dinner to dinner. I found his argument to be quite persuasive on physiological grounds as to why this is a more beneficial way of IF, compared to splitting the 600 calories into two meals over the day, but of course it is a matter of personal choice. 

After a bit of a false start; I succeeded with the first attempt but folded on the next two attempts, I cracked it. I am now able to do it relatively easily and have been doing it for 3 weeks.

The results have been quite pleasing and surprising. The pleasing aspect is that I have lost 7 lbs and have gone down a good couple of belt notches. I was not exactly porky to begin with, but since ahem turning 40 it is almost like my stomach was waiting for that number to begin noticeably expanding! It is quite amazing how quickly this has been turned around.

There are two things that have surprised me quite a lot. The first is the lack of hunger that I encountered. I imagined that I would be famished and perhaps a bit light headed and wobbly. I have felt hungry, but it passes relatively quickly and herbal teas can be surprisingly filling. The second big surprise is an increase in energy levels. I guess it wasn’t until I tried fasting that I could have experienced just how much energy is expended simply digesting meals. This was a real eye opener.

Contemplating Death

It’s not the downer you might think!

“It’s only when you’re aware of death… that life screams at you with all its intensity”.
Philip Gould

Nobody likes to talk about death. Of course people find the subject morbid and frightening. Whilst understanding this, I have at the same time always found people’s aversion to the subject quite odd, as it is only by taking the time to look right into the face of death, that perhaps one can feel the forceful vitality of life and all its splendor.

My mother learned this lesson first hand in the five years between her first diagnosis with cancer and her death. Saying this was a bleak time for our family is obviously an understatement and there were some very low lows along the way. But there were also some very significant highs and the larger point of this post is that positive transformation and growth can happen when faced with death.

After a period of anger and grief my mother quickly gained a new ability to see what was truly important in her life and that which wasn’t. Time became finite and life became something to take your time with and truly savor. Her zest for life became more vital and she gained a brand new appreciation and ability to sense the true value of things, especially in terms of the relationships with those around her.

The good news is you don’t need to be terminally ill to learn all of that. You don’t need to be shocked by horrific news to get jolted out of taking things for granted and letting the weeks go by in autopilot mode.

I was just 18 when my mother died. I consider myself fortunate to have been at her side learning this lesson early in life. At the time I was working in a printing factory, which had a single window (behind a cupboard) overlooking Leicester train station. Before losing my mum I used to stare out of that window and daydream about having a more exciting and purposeful life in London (It was a kind of promised land in my teenage fantasy life!).

Four years later I was in a leotard (a leotard!) standing next to ballet barre having won a scholarship to study dance at The Laban Centre. Not only was I literally dancing with joy, I was living in the promised land of London – Well, New Cross Gate to be exact!

Getting up close to death was one of the very best things to have happened to me. Life became a magnified gift.

Having got this experience in the body, it came as no surprise to me in my studies on the subject of yoga to come across a whole series of practices, which might be termed ‘Death Yoga’ or contemplations on the nature of impermanence. It is a subject I will perhaps write more about in future, but for now I would wholeheartedly recommend, to anyone interested in investigating this further, Akiro Kurosawa’s fabulous film Ikiru. The other is the short film above about Phillip Gould, which contains much wisdom.

Memories of Dr. Marion North

A Student’s Tribute

In May of last year, Dr. Marion North, the former Principal of The Laban Centre sadly passed away. There were a few obituaries at the time, a couple of which I have linked to below, that do a much better job than I ever could of describing her work and listing her many considerable achievements in the dance world. The spectacular ‘new’ Laban Centre on Creekside is a truly fitting legacy that she leaves behind. This post is written from the personal perspective of a thankful former student who remembers her fondly.

Like she was with many students, Marion was very generous to me whilst I was studying at what was then, The Laban Centre for Movement & Dance. Pretty much the entire trajectory of my life changed when I met her in an interview whilst auditioning for a place at the school in 1994. She looked at me over her glasses that day and said, ‘You’re not quite as ferocious in the flesh as you are in this photograph, are you? [I had a shaved head on my application form photo]’. A few minutes later I think she had pretty much decided that she was going to give me a scholarship, which was absolutely crucial at the time as the Conservative government in the mid-90s would not provide any funding, at all, for students who gained places at reputable dance or drama schools.

Over the next couple of years we often met whilst passing in the long and winding corridors of the old Laban Centre in Laurie Grove and I, along with others, sometimes got called in to her office to talk about how things were going.

As a third year student things got difficult for me. My father died and I was evicted from the family home I had lived in for most of my life. In the last term of the third year my overdraft ran dry and with no parental support (my mother had died a few years before) and very little chance of finding other work (a typical Laban weekday in the third year is 8:45am-9pm with rehearsals for graduate pieces at weekends), I was in a pretty perilous position.

I went to see Marion in her office, she picked up her phone and summoned the caretaker and the buildings manager (Charlie & Lewis)  and informed them the building was looking shabby and that they could do with an extra pair of hands. She basically put me on the payroll; and for the final 12 weeks or so until graduation I did the early morning caretaker rounds and other general odd jobs. She really saved my bacon that day and I know for a fact that I wasn’t the only one that she helped like that, often out of her own pocket.

One such job, she also gave me was a ‘furniture moving job’ at her home just off Tottenham Court Road. I went round one Sunday and she asked me to move a chair from her living room to her kitchen. After I had done so, she told me to sit down, gave me £60 and poured us both a dram of whisky. We had a lovely chat about what Rudolph Laban was like – “A proper Austro-Hungarian gentleman”, her background, “I’m a Yorkshire lass you know” and Riverdance, “Ghastly. But it just shows you how much people like patterns”. Her husband, Mac, then turned up and he started reciting W.H Auden poems from memory – All in all it was quite a memorable day!

After our third year graduation shows I found out that I had been shortlisted for the Student Choreography Award, which I was pretty chuffed about. Marion called me into her office to talk about it, “Adam, I know the choreography staff like it, but I’m telling you, your piece is boring! You must stop doing all of this improvisation stuff and start crafting dance properly!’.

Marion was infamously direct, but I didn’t mind her ‘firm kind of nurturing’ as it was coming from the heart and she really cared.

After graduating we still kept in touch and I think the last time we met was around 2008 when I went to visit her. She had started to become affected by Parkinson’s disease, which must have been devastating for someone who has spent their entire working life analysing movement. As we were talking she moved her arm and there was a tiny tremor. “Did you see it?!”. I told her it was barely noticeable, which was the truth. But to her it was massive and I think upsetting. After meeting her that time I’ve heard since that she and Marina Benini, who she was very fond of, set up Musical Moving, a dance group for people with Parkinson’s at various locations in London.

I know Marion’s work was incredibly important to her, which is perhaps why she pushed so many people around her to go further and deeper into the fields of performance, dance education, choreological studies, dance movement therapy, Ph.D. research, etc. On reflection I think she might have been knowingly trying to do her part to build a community that would ensure the continued health of the discipline she was such a pioneer in.

Now that the baton has been passed on, I hope those of us who were influenced by her or directly touched by her life might continue to be advocates for movement and dance.


Trinity Laban Obituary

The Telegraph

* Thank you to Mark Whitfield for permission to use the photograph