As a teenager, I never thought I would have a life that would involve performance, let alone dance. My only interest at school was art. I was fortunate to have an inspired art master whose mantra, regularly drummed into us, was ‘the eye perceives all’. I always think about what I see. I was also fortunate to have to wait for a bus home from school directly outside a small guitar shop. Idly wandering in one day, I met the Spanish guitar virtuoso, proprietor and teacher who inspired me to play.

At art school in Cornwall I danced to the Two Tone reggae and New Wave Punk of the eighties and discovered the unspoken joy of sharing and expressing rhythm with an accomplice. After art school, by coincidence and with no plan ahead of me, I met a man who owned a shop that sold craft materials and in a box, a little sheet music. When buying an arrangement for guitar of the Lachrimae Pavane of John Dowland, it transpired he also made musical instruments. He lent me a lute and so my interest in early music developed. With the winter country evenings to fill I went with him and his wife to a renaissance dance course. There I discovered pavanes, galliards, Italian balletti and the wonderful canarios.

One thing led to another and another and another and through a very happy life of coincidence and opportunity I met all the people I now enjoy working with. I count myself very lucky to have been inspired, led and encouraged to experience all these different means of communication, for I have hopped and strummed my way around the world and entertained people on four continents, and we are all the same.

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