Monica’s Story

From then, until now

The burning desire for self-expression has always been my catalyst for changing direction.   It has inevitably resulted in exploring something completely new and different that will then reset the proverbial ‘needle on the radar’ putting me back on course towards what feels good and authentic.  The result has been a varied career from Dance, to Film and TV industry, health and fitness into therapeutic movement and wellness coaching.

Monica - Dance Years

Thargoh Ballet School, Adelaide, 1972

The Dancing Years

From aged 10 years I was eager to begin learning classical ballet, but sadly the family budget was unable to stretch to accommodate that early yearning desire. Finally, serious and dedicated training began later than most, at 14 years of age. 

I accelerated my training over the next two years passing all RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) exams from 4 to Advanced which culminated in my becoming a member of the South Australian Ballet Company.  A desire for both travel and further learning took me to London where I studied full time for two years with a private tutor in Covent Garden – Roger Tully. Two years later I was selected to join the Perth City Ballet, Western Australia.

In 1981 met Lloyd Newson, who was to later become Artistic Director of DV8 Physical Theatre. Together we danced for a small UK based company called “Dance Spectrum”.  This sortie into the Contemporary Dance world opened up a whole new level of appreciation of creative expression through movement.

The TV Years

In the Studio at BBC TV Centre

The TV & Film Years

In 1979 I returned to London to begin a new career as a TV and Film Make-up Artist with the BBC.

After seven years, at Television Centre in Shepherds Bush I left the BBC to begin a new working life as a freelance Make-up Artist working with London Weekend Television, Granada, Sky as well as independent film companies.

In the latter part of this career the aerobics industry was booming. In 1989 my initiation into the fitness industry began with meeting Kim Connell from Los Angeles, fresh off the film set of “Perfect” staring Jamie-Lee Curtis and John Travolta

LA – Main Street Dance and Exercise Studio, Santa Monica, 1991

The Aerobic Fitness Years

From 1990 I travelled to Los Angeles two to three times a year to take classes at the Voight Fitness and Dance Centre, Jane Fonda’s Studio and many other including the Main Street Dance and Exercise Studio in Santa Monica. In 1991 I was invited to spend 6 months as guest teacher at the studio in Santa Monica where actors Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell and 'Staying Alive' star Finola Hughes regularly attended my classes.  

During the time spent in LA, I achieved my Exercise to Music teacher qualification with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and became a member of IDEA (International Dance and Exercise Association). Upon returning to London I launched a series of fitness courses to train and inspire new and evolving teachers.

In 1991, I mounted the UK’s first ever Sport Aerobic Champ Camp, sponsored by Reebok featuring the US World Aerobic Champions. Five delegates went on to win both UK and European titles

Monica Linford 1993

Adelaide, South Australia, 1993

The Reframing Years

Alarmingly in early 1992 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also called M.E.). At the end of 1992 decided to return to Australia to take a sabbatical and much needed rest. Upon my return I was introduced to Michael Porter, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

My personal healing journey transported me towards the pandora’s box of the natural and preventative approach to health and wellness began with achieving a certification in Shiatsu, and further study of oriental medicine, yoga, meditation, Qigong, Feldenkrais Method, Franklin Method, Clinical Pilates, Zen meditation, breathing and deep relaxation.

Five years later in 1997 I launched “The ChiBall Method” - an holistic exercise programme that went on to reach 26 countries around the world

ChiBall Photo Shoot, 2004

The ChiBall Method

It was during my Shiatsu training that I began to formulate the idea of using Oriental medicine as the foundation for a holistic exercise programme. The next stage was born when I began using a small ball to make TaiChi type movements and yoga poses easier to learn and execute. The unique blend of ancient wisdom and modern practices was born. The five elements completed the concept – exercising and living in harmony with the seasons.

In 2000 my book “Awaken Your Body, Balance Your Mind” was published by Harper Collins. In recognition for my contribution to the fitness industry, that year I also received Fitness Professionals UK's “Award of Excellence”.

Over a ten year period, The ChiBall Method reached 26 countries around the world. The teacher training programme was translated into five languages. In 2009 the programme was handed over to new ownership which freed me up to move into the next phase of living and learning.

1-1 Coaching @ Scorpio Clinics

The Therapeutic
 Coaching Years

In 1995 a close working relationship was formed with Nicole, Kyle and Jane Brammy – founding sisters of Precinct Physiotherapy and Therapia Physiotherapy in Adelaide, South Australia. This relationship, I am proud to say, has spanned more than 20 years.

Those informative years spent at the Brammy sisters' Physiotherapy clinics combined with my background in dance, fitness, Pilates, and yoga, forms the  foundation for the work I have immersed myself in for the last 10 years as a Therapeutic Movement Specialist.

Today I work in a wonderful space at Scorpio Clinics, Virginia Water - UK.

New concept coming soon...

What's Next...

Following on from my original ChiBall Method, Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Pilates, Feldenkrais Method and relaxation will once again be the formula for a new series of movement programmes - WuMotion, WuPilates, WuYoga, this time aimed at the 50+ age group.

Whether starting from scratch or advancing an already well established movement regime, the aim of WuWellness is to offer practical solutions on everything from recovery regimes to natural remedies, blog topics, tutorials, podcasts and more to promote longevity and slow graceful aging.  

This next phase of creative inspiration is going to be without doubt, another interesting journey of discovery. I am looking forward to meeting a whole new worldwide family in health and wellness over the next few years.

See you again very soon!

Monica Linford

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