Michelle Wilkinson – MOVING NATURALLY

As a small child Michelle spent much of her time outdoors playing in woodlands, fields, by rivers and in streams around Stroud and in the Wye Valley. She dreamed of being a dancer, nurse and teacher. In late childhood and her teenage years she set up her own school dance group, was a member of the British Red Cross Society and  created a one-classroom school in her parents’ garage where she taught primary aged children. This evolved into an Education Degree in Movement and Dance from Exeter University in 1980. Following this Michelle spent a post-graduate year at the Laban Centre, now Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London  where she studied movement and dance in the community. On her return to Devon she attended a variety of local yoga classes and workshops which has developed into a daily practice. She also completed  four years of training as a Shiatsu Practitioner in schools in Totnes and Bristol.

Since the early 8Os she has been teaching weekly sessions, individual sessions and workshops in movement and dance to a variety of people and groups in and around the Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth area. These include babies, children, students, professional adults, adults with special needs and retired residents. Michelle is a Professional Individual Member of the Foundation for Community Dance (People Dancing).  In 2011 Moving Naturally became a  reflective title for this community movement work. The Body Talk Sessions and other Studio and Outdoor Workshops encourage a participant's spontaneous movement explorations. The Mat Movement Sessions are a synthesis of Yoga, Qigong and the Awareness of Movement of Moshe Feldenkrais.  From 2017-2019 Michelle brought her community work and artistic personal development to an MA in Dance and Somatic Well-being at the University of Central Lancaster; see Solos page of website for module projects. In 2020 she registered as a Somatic Movement Educator with ISMETA.

Moving Naturally has been greatly influenced by Michelle's practice of Transformational Shiatsu with Keith Phillips www.bristolschoolofshiatsu.co.uk and Feldenkrais with Shelagh O’Neill www.nicefelenkrais.co.uk and Tricia Woods (Exeter). She has attended regular yoga sessions with practitioners Duncan Hulin www.devonyoga.com  and Jax Vessey www.lotus-loft.co.uk and Qigong sessions with Amelia Murray. Michelle receives Body-centred Therapy with Cheryl Jenkins www.cheryljenkins.co.uk and studies Life Cycles and the Extraordinary Vessels with Suzanne Yates www.wellmother.org.  Since 2005 Michelle has participated in workshops, one-to-one sessions and trained in non-stylised and environmental movement with independent movement artist Helen Poynor in East Devon & Dorset www.walkoflife.co.uk 

Michelle gives thanks to the participants of her sessions and workshops who are on their own roads to self-discovery and have passionately supported this Moving Naturally work over the last four decades. She feels deep gratitude to the studio, land and seascapes which wisely guide her in the river of life. To the right of this page are four videos depicting her personal movement practice in celebration of the seasons. Michelle would like to thank her husband Nigel professionally for this website and personally along with their son and daughter, other family and friends who have been a big part of the Moving Naturally adventure. A special thanks goes to textiles artist Pauline Dyer who since 1997 has been attending sessions, supporting solo dances and collaborating in movement installations.