I have spent my life stretching as I was raised by a mother who was on a mission to reconstruct her body and fix what didn’t work as a dancer. As I grew up, she stretched 3 and 4 hours a day on the floor which resulted in the development of her powerful technique called Somatic Stretch® that I have been also teaching since 1986.
My mother, Lilian Jarvis, ended up dancing the leading role of Juliet in the National Ballet of Canada’s 25 year anniversary production of Romeo and Juliet at the age of 45. A full 13 years had passed since she had left dancing and she hadn’t stepped a foot onstage during that time.
Where others would have been ‘out of shape’, she instead received a standing ovation in the largest theatre in Toronto, Canada. I was eight at the time and recall my head spinning as everyone jumped to their feet, and I clapped in unison with the crowd as tears streamed down my face. Before that, I thought she just made me great food and did my laundry.
I didn’t know I was part of a lineage of pioneers.