PHOTOGRAPH:  PETE HYLAND
ABOUT RACHEL WHITING

As a movement therapy professional, Rachel comes to her unique approach to the practice, treatment, and instruction of GYROTONIC® and Pilates therapies as a natural consequence of, and complement to her more than two decade career in classical & modern dance.

Rachel was introduced to the rehabilitative & preventative disciplines in the 1990s, while attending The Juilliard School.  Later, as dancer & faculty member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio in NYC, she came to realize that the depth and simplicity of the work were the necessary components to developing, and even reclaiming a strong, flexible, and injury-free body.

Rachel began formal Pilates rehabilitation training in her home state of Colorado in 1999 with Polestar Education and Amy Anderson at the Colorado Center for Physical Therapy.  She then spent the following two years working with Jennifer Reich at Center Strength Studio in Denver, where she was integral in instituting the studio’s Pilates Mat and Modern Dance classes.

Expanding her study further, Rachel obtained GYROTONIC® Level 1 certification under Authorized Master Trainer Lisa Marie Goodwin-Rice and the GYROTONIC® Ladder apparatus with Authorized Master Trainer Debra Rose.

Ever the dancer, Rachel moved to San Francisco in 2001 to perform, choreograph, and teach at the renowned ODC/Dance SF Studio, while also treating a substantial client base at A Body Of Work Pilates and Gyrotonic studio.  Always open to learning more, Rachel furthered her training with master teacher Jean Sullivan, founder of Intergrated Teach Training, and with master teacher Jean Claude West.

Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2004, Rachel joined Angel City Body Kinetics, practicing and enhancing her therapeutic skills with master teacher Marie Jose-Blom.  Rachel has since welcomed new opportunities and developed a substantial practice, consisting of both private clients, and as an independent provider of her unique services to Women’s Physical Therapy and Peak Performance Physical Therapy of Santa Monica.

Rachel, as inspired by her mother, a breast cancer survivor, in recent years has guided her practice increasingly toward post-mastectomy and reconstructive rehab.  Implementing the principles of GYROTONIC® and Pilates, Rachel safely and compassionately introduces the body’s return to movement: addressing restrictions in the full range of motion in the upper extremities, restoring blood flow, strength, flexibility, and confidence to go forward into health.

There are few limitations to Rachel's willingness to use her mastery to bring the body to its full expression:  she has treated children suffering from Junior Rheumatoid Arthritis, patients working through all stages of Multiple Schlerosis, ALS, Lupus, Major Artificial Joint Replacements, Pre & Post-Partum Syndromes, Diabetes, and Arthritis.  She has even helped champion Olympiades improve previously over-trained muscle imbalances, core strength and flexibility, to set current world records.

As a dancer:  Rachel began to study ballet at the age of six, and began her dancing professionally at sixteen with the David Taylor Dance Theatre.  In the twenty years since, she has trained with some of the most well respected programs, and performed the works of a diverse group of choreographers, developing into a much sought after teacher, and launching a promising career as a choreographer.

Rachel attended the Juilliard School in New York  (’89-’91), then was invited to train as an apprentice with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.  Prior to New York, she trained in the summer programs of Ballet West, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and the American Dance Festival.

Rachel continued to widen her dance performance experience by working with diverse choreographers and companies; Benjamin Harkarvy, Martha Clarke, Hector Zaraspe  (Juilliard), Ton Simons, Mark Jarecke, Henning Rubsam’s Sensedance  (New York). Professonalt Compagni Oure, Ny Musik Odense (Denmark), Skaanes DansTeater  (Sweden), Los Angeles Chamber Ballet  (California), Glen Tently, Milton Myers, James Clouser, Gary Abbott  (Colorado), and with Element Dance Theater, Nancy Karp+ Dancers, Shift>>>Physical Theater, and Deborah Slater Dance Theater  (San Francisco).

Her teaching experience began when she joined the faculty of the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio in New York, teaching all levels, from Fundamentals to Company Class. In Europe, Rachel taught and directed the dance program at Oure Idraesthojoskole for 3 years, was the Cunningham technique teacher at Marie Bolin Dans, Dansevaerket  (Denmark), and The Dancer’s Studio  (Netherlands).  In the US, Rachel was artist in residence for Denver School of the Arts, and Douglas County High, Colorado’s first International Baccalaureate dance program. In San Francisco she taught at ODC/Dance SF children’s program, and at Sacred Heart Catholic High School.

Rachel’s work has been commissioned and/or presented by professional companies and schools throughout the U.S., and Europe, including professional collaborations with organizations such as Compangni Oure, Marie Bolin Dans, Ny Musik Odense  (Denmark), David Taylor Dance Theatre, Denver School of the Arts  (Colorado), Contemporary Dance Wyoming, The Kitchen  (New York), and at the ODC/SF Theater’s Pilot Program.