37 years ago my cousin convinced my mum that she should send me to Ballet. She did, I tried but I never quite liked the look of pink tights and skirts on me and I objected. I rolled onto to other styles that suited me best and it went on from there. It was the only thing I stuck to. Dance. The world collapsed as I grew, the friends I started dance training with all left to pursue other avenues of life and I stayed on. I used to be asked by many people..so what do you want to do when you re older and my answer was always – I definitely don’t want to teach!
I turned 16 and was shipped off to London on scholarship but the chaos at home meant I couldn’t settle.
Everything I tried just wasn’t gelling with me. Dance was in my bones yet the unhappiness was nibbling away. I turned 18 and my version changed.
I suddenly wanted to teach. It was an internal decision and at that time I had just returned from London with the energy of a bull. I asked the principal of my school if she allowed me to do so and the answer was NO. I was too young.
But the thing is I had decided already that I was gonna teach so any NO meant nothing to me. A few months later, one of my teachers was taken ill and I was asked to replace her.
So my teaching career started.
The dream was to have my own school and that happened too. I started producing shows, my teaching career went onwards and upwards but the unhappiness nibbled away. I went on to replace one of my favourite icons in Dance at the prestigious London Studio Centre and it felt like I had stepped into heaven but something was still missing. My career was booming and it seemed that my mind and my body were in it but my heart and soul craved something else.
I went back and forth, moved countries, shifted work projects but the dullness remained. There seemed to be an invisible sabotage that made my plans crumble every time I started something and I just couldn’t get it. I went through many years feeling confused and saddened that I was doing exactly what I loved yet I was so unhappy.
Then I guess life kinda thought..ok this one is really not getting it so it sent a storm my way so harsh I had to sit and pay attention.
Jules was born and my body was completely destroyed after the birth. My coccyx was severed, my abdominal wall torn with no muscle interruption if I poked it with my finger all the way down to my spine. My pelvis had gone through war and I lost use of my right leg. Doctors were all happy to blame Dance for all this and I knew there was more. They asked me to let go of Dance and surrender to the fact that it is the end of the deal for me. It was comical hearing them say it and they all seemed to have the same version. Janet pack it all up you will not Dance again.
But the thing was that I had decided that I was gonna dance all my life so once again, any NO meant nothing to me
Then heavens opened and I had one of the strongest internal calling towards Yoga. It just came to me one day. My body was a war zone, I couldn’t walk or take care of Jules. A year had gone by and I received no treatment. The only prescription was rest. The body definitely needed rest but it also need to heal and rehabilitate on a more gentle note. I remember being on the phone with this India guy whilst in London and he said – Just offer yourself to Yoga, go to India and do it. I couldn’t at that time as Jules was still a little bub. So I decided to research and device my own way to heal the breakage.
So I did.
Then it finally happened. My career took off on a different level.
I had brought my own body back and word got round and the requests went from – I want to learn Dance to Jan can you fix me? So I started ‘fixing’ people. Through doing it myself in a pure 1st hand experience, I became very attuned to the body’s needs. I had to unlearn the competitive side of physical practise and rebuilt it all from scratch. This gave me x ray intuition and although I am not a doctor, I could just feel and get right in touch with what the person in front of me needed.
I was still teaching Dance but my mission changed.
The spine and the pelvis were my most passionate subjects but sorting the ‘Centre’ became the foundation of my work. Whether I had a client who couldn’t walk after an operation or suffered severe trauma from a car accident or went through brain surgery and lost use of limbs and balance, I found myself going right back to basics.
Once this happened, the transition was smooth. I wanted to focus on one person at a time and very subtly my idea of having a Dance school and producing shows and teaching choreography totally disappeared. With that the internal dullness and confusion also left the building.
It hasn’t stopped since then. My dharma is crystal clear now and collaborating the mind with the body is my main passion. Dance gave me the fluidity and knowledge the body; the injury tested my sanity and took away something precious and Yoga put me on track.
The Yoga then merged with a deeper essence of Mind Therapy and the rest is history
Dancers are still on my agenda but Im not really interested in teaching them steps. I got too much of the deeper stuff to share with them and through this I want to impact as many young artists and athletes and guide them to tap in to their own limitlessness – whether it is healing an injury or getting through a competitive event
So much sadness is connected to being on the wrong path or mission. Direction and clarity aren’t always available from the start and one has to really sit still in silence and listen to that voice saying…This is not it – keep going until you find it.
Dance has been and will always be in my bones but the joy I find in ‘fixing’ people and putting them on the right path now goes beyond movement and performance. I am forever grateful for the natural flow of movement in all my cells; I love the fact that I still break into a dance in the middle of cooking and cleaning and the stage and that spotlight will always call out for me but now there is more…..
To all of you reading this
I am all yours in Dance Yoga and life