From a very young age I got a thrill from anything to do with singing and movement, it didn’t matter what, I just loved to move my body and use my voice… I just couldn’t stop! It quickly became a passion and a vocation, yet I’d always felt drawn to being around babies and children too. I had already had some pretty special experiences as a teenager, dancing as a cheerleader for the St Helens and Great British Rugby League teams, as a dancer for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, and performing a musical written specifically for Knowsley Music Theatre, the company I was a member of. We performed it at the Our Town theatre in the Millennium Dome in 2000. The fire for performance was burning most brightly when I was 18 and so I moved from Liverpool to London to seek my fortune!
I studied contemporary dance at Middlesex University and afterwards gained a Masters in Professional Performance from Millennium Dance theatre school. I had many wonderful experiences in my 20’s, touring Italy with Fame the musical, working with contemporary dance choreographer Darshan Singh Bhuller on a personal acting project of his, performing with Caburlesque on Britain’s Got Talent and reaching the semi finals. Working as a body double/stand in for Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 & 2) was a highlight.
I ended up working as a nanny and a music teacher in between performances and auditions. Jobs with children kept coming thick and fast, and when I made the decision to stop auditioning I worked for Gymboree, Monkey Music and Tick Tock Music as well as being a nanny for families with babies as young as 4 weeks old.
I went back to college to study child development further. I obtained the role of Health Visitor Assistant as well as volunteering at The Bridge School, for children with special needs in the music department. I also volunteered as a family visitor for the charity Home Start.
After gaining some experience in what felt like ‘real life’! I got a job as a Family Support Worker on the Neo Natal unit at Homerton Hospital in East London. I gained SO much experience and knowledge working with premature babies and their families, but realised that hospital work and the NHS weren’t for me. While working at the hospital I met an inspiring occupational therapist who was also a baby massage instructor. She suggested I’d be good at it; it would be a way of connecting with families in my own creative and emotional way without the constraints of the NHS.
I have been a baby massage instructor for 5 years now. I have also become something of an entrepreneur in managing to work a few businesses on the go, meaning I could also use my creativity and go back to what I love without the pressure to earn a living from just performing. For example, I set up a covers band called The Clicks, I was singing in a restaurant for a long while, I have now created my own music curriculum amalgamating all of the best bits I’ve learned along the way, and I am a newly qualified choir leader for The Singing Mamas.
All of this experience hasn’t come easily - there were a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns along the way. I have done a lot of soul searching, self development and learning on my journey. I feel like I am only just beginning to blossom and find my true self now, at the age of 35! I am trying to build a working life that includes all of my skills and passions and is fulfilling, creative, gives me autonomy and freedom, and is hopefully benefitting the lives of the families I work with.