Nefra Canning is a wonderful dancer and teacher who uses movement to promote the well being of the whole person. I have been to many of her classes and found her to be an inspiring and encouraging teacher. Dancing since she was four, her training is in classical, contemporary, temple dance and Argentine tango amongst other dance disciplines as well as mime and drama. Nefra has performed internationally as a dancer and mime artist with film and TV credits include Milos Forman's Ragtime with Twyla Tharp. She has taught abroad and in the UK at Pineapple, Rambert School, Ealing YMCA, Gymbox, the Vitality Centre, The Tango Club, Dalston Tango and Morley College, as well as abroad. She is a qualified Blue Belt Nia teacher. Full details of classes can be found on her website.
In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?
That I completely love dance and all things related to it and I get to explore and share this for the rest of my life. I love the way that all the laws of the universe are reflected in my own body. In my movement coaching work I discover different aspects of this afresh each day, and see the liberating effect for others as, with attentiveness, they begin to find joy in alignment, connection and freedom.
Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?
Cheryl Stoll - a truly original and prodigiously gifted artist and coach. Her paintings light up my house and she has, over the years, helped me to understand that being present is the only way to remain in a flow that makes it possible to deal with life's challenges with grace. I owe much of my approach to life to her teaching.
What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?
Not to be afraid of doing what I love - just to trust that it is possible. Everything else is detail.
If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?
Make time to get out and walk to connect with nature - to see and touch the trees and plants - take in the sky, the birds and the changes in the light. All of this interacts with something in me to allow something fresh to come into me, creating a renewal of energy. This may also provide inner space so that anything that is waiting to be resolved can come up and be dealt with rather than blocking me.
And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?
Well, I have thought long and hard about this. I like a well-balanced blend of functionality and aesthetic value. Finally, I have decided that I would be a superbly designed, delectable but comfortable Tango shoe that holds the foot well for excellent support, has a strong back that will not break, does not pinch the toes, but is sexy and gorgeous to wear. This shoe makes the wearer feel secure, confident, elegant and alluring, and, of course, dancing in this shoe is effortless because it is the perfect partner to the foot that wears it!