Natalie Orr M.A.

Dance and Movement Expert

I used to perform dance by moving the ‘right’ parts of my body at the ‘right’ time. Now I realise that dancing happens when you CONNECT to your body, not manipulate it.

I was born in Leicester, England in 1987 to a Cypriot mother and Scottish father. Music and dance captured me from my earliest years. I even asked for a violin for my 2nd birthday, although I later switched to playing the cello. I grew up listening to a variety of music and freely moving to it.

I took my first ballet class at 3 years old but later changed to other dance styles. I studied contemporary dance at Leeds University where I graduated in 2009 with a BA(hons) in Dance. While studying I started training in Latin dance styles, mainly cross-body salsa and Brazilian samba (batucada) and upon graduating joined Element Arts company as a professional dancer and teacher.

Having been raised in a household which harmoniously combined elements from different cultures I realised as I grew up that the wider world wasn’t so great at celebrating the differences among human beings while at same time honouring our fundamental similarities. For me, dance was another beautiful example of social and cultural differences while still having universal appeal and power. This is what drew me to study a Masters in Dance Anthropology at The University of Roehampton in London.

That year taught me even further the importance of human movement, of shared rhythm, of community, ritual and transcendence. My final dissertation on Rhythmic Movement informs so much of the work I do now, especially The Rhythmic Body project. Other lessons which I didn’t expect about cultural appropriation, privilege, contextualisation and many, many others were literally life changing. I graduated with a Distinction in 2011.

After moving to Madrid Spain in 2012, I took an impromptu ballet class after a 16 year break from the style. I immediately fell back in love and proceeded to train in ballet including one year at the Conservatorio Profesional de Danza (Fortea) in Madrid. Later, I also took the Royal Academy of Dance Intermediate exam and passed with Distinction. Having many previous years of dance teaching experience, I started teaching ballet. I specialise in adult ballet especially beginners and beginner pointe. I feel very honoured to be able to share elements of my own ballet journey with those I teach both in person and online (@nataliedanza) (YouTube).

Having done a lot of work on my own personal development, I decided to study life coaching with specialities including happiness, goal setting, purpose and relationships as well as the Master Life Coach certificate. I have since realised how important a growth mindset is for every aspect of life including movement and dance. I feel it is really my calling to speak about human potential and how movement is a fundamental part of living a meaningful and joyful life.

I have a BA in Dance and a Masters in Dance Anthropology with particular interest in evolutionary and cognitive psychology.