As far as work is concerned, I am a clinical physiotherapist at Advance Medical Centre in Nicosia, Cyprus. I am a breaking/hip-hop dance teacher in dance schools. I also teach strengthening and conditioning for dancers. I am also a safe dance practice assessor for Safe in Dance International and ISTD in Greece and the UK.
My background is extremely broad. I have been dancing ballet since I was 9, started getting into hip-hop at the age of 15, and into breaking when I was 20. I studied a BA in French Literature at first, worked as a private teacher for languages in the UK, dance teacher and professional dancer for 9 years, lecturer in dance and injury prevention for dancers in the UK, and slowly transitioned to science and medicine after many chronic injuries acquired from my extensive dance career.
Something personal, I was born in Australia, and I left when I was 2. I am now 36, and I have never been back ever since! I had made plans to go in 2021, but unfortunately, the pandemic chose differently.
What is your main area of research / clinical expertise?
My main area of research is hip-hop dance medicine and science. Since 2013 I founded Project Breakalign, an interdisciplinary, international research project aiming to prevent injuries for breakers and hip-hop dancers. Areas of research have involved physiology, biomechanics, injury occurrence and nutrition with my team. However, I would say that I lean more towards injury occurrence and epidemiology, biomechanics and strengthening and conditioning for Breaking.
As far as clinical expertise, I specialise in dancers; my most experience on dancers has been ballet dancers and breakers; in Cyprus and worldwide in festivals, backstage in competitions etc. I have worked extensively with the foot in ballet dancers and strengthening and conditioning to prevent injuries and for breakers, mainly on the upper body. Even though most of my experience has been chronic pain, musculoskeletal and neurological, I am interested in lymphoedema, cancer and autoimmune diseases.
What is your motivation to be a member of the BOSEM team?
With such a great team at BOSEM, what is there to not be motivated about. It has been great to join this group of amazing people with so much knowledge. My biggest motivation is to pick brains and learn from them; I am not excluding the idea of perhaps doing research together.
What is a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
I am really proud of the fact that I have worked in more than 10 completely different professions in my 18 years of adult life, and I feel that every and each one of them has helped me be better at what I do today. I am also very proud of the fact that I am serving on the Board of Directors of IADMS (International Association for Dance Medicine & Science) since October 2021, which is something that I never imagined I would manage to do so early in my career.
Who has influenced you most regarding how you approach your work?
I would say that the one person that has influenced me, and I have only recently realised it is my father. He is a doctor; I have been around him in his clinic environment since I was a very, very young child. And we work together now in the medical centre where I practice physiotherapy; I have never ever seen a physician care so much for the individual needs of every patient; even if it’s Sunday, even if he is sleeping, even if it is 11pm, he will still bother and do what the patient needs; this is extremely unique; in today’s busy world people put more and more boundaries to keep their private life apart from their work-life; but when something like this is embedded in your heart, what gives you joy is to not separate it.
What’s your favourite way to unwind after a busy day?
If it’s summertime, go to the sea, lie down on the sand, and listen to the water. If it’s any other time of the year, order veggie pizza, sit with my other half on the couch and watch an episode of ‘The Good Doctor’.