Virginia Taylor

MA (Cantab), MA (Staffs), PhD
Feldenkrais Training: Malmö 2012
Classes: Wednesdays Penrith and Carlisle
Workshops: Most months: Saturday Penrith
Individual lessons: Penrith by arrangement


Who do I work with? fell walkers, computer users, musicians, singers, dancers: older (balance and gait): people with MS, arthritis, and Parkinsons: but younger people too. Many of the people who come to workshops and classes are practitioners in other forms – Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, Rolfing, Mindfulness, Music, Tai Chi Dance, Massage therapy... but newcomers are welcome too.Having danced professionally and taught/trained dancers for many years, I also specialise in helping dancers dance with maximum facility and minimum discomfort.


Dancing was what I loved first, although as it didn't seem a Proper Job I went to Newnham College, Cambridge instead. (MA Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, and English Literature). At Cambridge I acted with the Mummers: rehearsing after graduation for what we called a mime show (?) I took my first contemporary dance class in London and was smitten. Like many of my generation, I decamped to New York, to the Cunningham studio and elsewhere. I choreographed 50+ dances for various companies, dancing, touring and directing. In the late 70s early 80s I worked alongside the founding dance animateurs, and myself founded and directed Cumbria Dance project 1985-1991.From 1980 I lectured in Choreography, Dance Practice, and Dance Studies on UK and US BA, MA, BfA, BEd & Med programmes as well as in professional training contexts. I returned to academic study myself in 1994 (MA [Staffordshire] Cultural Representation: PhD [Southampton]) and won awards and attention for my writing. Latterly I taught and researched at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, the MA programme at Roehampton University, and was course leader in dance at Liverpool Hope University. I had a damascene encounter with Feldenkrais in summer 2009 when a dancer friend suggested we did a class – What fun it was! After 50+ years of dancing, you [think] you know your body and what movement is and where all your bits are and what way up. What a delight to be wrong! How great to be surprised about movement! And this class didn't require me to sign up to any belief system, to judge, or even to try. Just do the movement and pay attention to yourself as you do it, refine and develop it as seems best in response to the verbal instructions, try it this way and that, discard the things that don't work, go with the ones that do. There was in the world a way for me to enjoy being-me, in-my-body, moving, to re-find that core part of my identity which I thought was lost for ever. (torn knee cartilage, ageism).

I abandoned the academic ship in 2009 to go to Malmo in Sweden to train as a Feldenkrais Practitioner. I am now enjoying sharing Feldenkrais with folk in Cumbria.I still dance when I can, enjoying teaching Dance for Parkinsons.I sing with the Abbey Singers in Carlisle. I love singing high notes, so physical!

.I am Leader of Eden District Council, an alliance of four political groups who declared climate emergency in 2019 and work towards sustainability and well-being of future generations. This takes a lot of time.