Julia Gilroy - Dance
I began dancing at an early age and trained intensely from the age of 11 at pre-professional dance schools until the age of 18.
My training was typically tough physically and mentally and one that left me lacking self confidence and unable to assess my actual level of performance. This no doubt generated my curiosity in pedagogical techniques and how they affected the well-being of student dancers.
After five years as a classical dancer I was eager to broaden my horizens and studied at the University of Surrey which was the first U.K. university to offer a full degree course in dance. There was also an opportunity to teach community dance classes on and off campus which was most instructive and fun. After Surrey I taught dance for the LEA (London Education Authority) Pineapple Studios, various private schools as well as for educational projects attached to Adventures in Motion Pictures (AMP directed by Mathew Bourne) This was invaluable experience.
After moving to France the Alexander Technique and LearningMethods work also contributed to crafting my pedagogical approach and style. After gaining a ‘dispense’ to teach contemporary dance in 1994 I taught in schools and at the local cultural centre. Recently I have refined my teaching skills at the PNSD in Cannes where I followed one year of the teacher training course before being officially certified at the National Centre of Dance in Paris.
Alexander Technique & LearningMethods Teacher
My performance career as a professional dancer prompted my interest in body mechanics and well-being. I was introduced to the Alexander Technique as part of the dance studies degree at Surrey University but only began to study it when I moved to Paris.
As a contemporary dancer I used the Alexander Technique to successfully complete long tours and overcome a tendinitis injury whilst dancing several performances a week. I realised how invaluable this information could help everyone as well as dancers and completed a four year training course in the Alexander Technique in Paris in 1999. One of the visiting teachers to the course was David Gorman. I was immediately intrigued by his alternative approach to teaching and his unique insights into the holistic structure and function of humans. He was developing his method called LearningMethods which evolved from his own teachings in the Alexander Technique. I studied with him as an apprentice for several years before certifying as a LearningMethods teacher in 2007.
It was an amazing learning curve and helped to clarify some of the issues I had experienced as a dancer such as the dangers of wanting to be perfect and of trying to please other people – a common characteristic of many Artists. Through Gorman’s work I also came to understand more clearly the theatrical trappings of stage fright, anorexia and nervous breakdowns that I’d witnessed my friends struggle with. Now I had the tools to help people help themselves. Needless to say my work is inspired by both the Alexander Technique and LearningMethods
I am currently an Alexander Technique teacher at MBS Academie in Mougins and at the Pole Santé in PSND. This is my second year as a member of the ADMR committee. (Association of dance and medical research) and I'm a longstanding member of ATI France and ATI. (Alexander Technique International)