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Rachel Canavan


In 2011, Rachel was funded by the Private Physiotherapy Education Foundation to train with the Mark Morris Dance Company in New York in Dance for Parkinson’s to extend her research following her Masters degree. Rachel then established Dance And Parkinson’s in Norwich in 2011.

From an early age she trained as a competitive gymnast and later in Contemporary Dance at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.  Following her degree she won the Burt, Brill and Carden’s Award and was commissioned as a Dance Artist by the National Review of Live Art in 2004.  She was a finalist in the Dazed and Confused & Topshop Re-Creation Awards in 2005 and has worked with internationally acclaimed dance artists on various screen dance commissions for the Art’s Council of England. Rachel continues to develop her artistic practice within dance film, choreography and photography.

Rachel is also a Physiotherapist with a special interest in dance fitness, dance injury and Clinical Pilates. She is a qualified Australian Physiotherapy Pilates Institute (APPI) instructor and teaches all levels of Clinical Pilates including Pilates for Dancers.

As part of the health team at the Centre of Advanced Training (Dance East) Rachel applies her contemporary dance training and extensive gymnastics coaching directly to her physiotherapy practice to offer the CAT students functional performance enhancement and rehabilitation classes in a contemporary dance context. Rachel strives to find innovative methods of delivery to help reduce injury through adherence, to improve fitness, strength and flexibility and to ultimately benefit dance technique.

Rachel works alongside Elsa Urmston (CAT Manager), Jonathon George (Physiotherapist) and Sarah Lewis (Dance Tutor) and screens the dance students for injury risk by assessing each individuals strengths and weaknesses.  Personal exercise programs are then designed to optimise the dancers function and performance and to rehabilitate following injury.