I am

I am a West Virginia farm girl at heart.  I thrive on fresh air, big gardens, and lots of trees.

My college years (2001-2005) were spent in Salt Lake City, Utah earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.  Dance is one of my passions and at different times in my life has also been my occupation through teaching, performing, and choreographing.

I love

In 2007 I married an amazing man.  Tate is patient and intelligent, athletic and determined, adventurous and brave; many qualities that, lucky for me, have had a very positive influence on me over the last dozen years!  His path to become a doctor of chiropractic moved us from Salt Lake City to Portland, Oregon.

I live

Portland was like coming home.  The city embraced me.  I danced in a company, produced my own choreography, worked at an amazing yoga studio, and started teaching fitness classes.

I travel

When Tate graduated in 2008 the economy was rocky and Portland was flooded with chiropractors.  We have always loved to travel, especially in Latin America, so when an opportunity to live and work for a year in Lima, Peru, arose, we jumped on it.  Living abroad was amazing and we decided to extend our adventure with a six-month backpacking trip through South America and Asia. You can read more about it here.

Living outside of the United States and all the creature comforts that come with your own culture taught me innumerable lessons about myself and how I relate to the world.  It has also led me to discover how I can create and gracefully maintain physical fitness and health while away from my gym,  fitness magazines, health food stores, routine, and support network.


Day to Day

In 2010, after 18 months of living abroad and traveling we “settled down” in Charlottesville, Virginia.

These days, life revolves around working at Tate’s  chiropractic clinic, teaching dance, and offering fitness training and Pilates classes in my studio.  You can check out the clinic here and Gracefulfitness Training here.

I’d love to hear from you!  Send e-mail to gracefulfitness@live.com

I eat for pleasure, I eat for health

Food is amazing.  It’s a life force.  It’s a pleasure.  It’s a past-time.  It is medicine.  I eat whole, real food because it makes me feel like a whole, real person and connects me with the essence of the food.

I move

I grew up without a television and spent my days playing in the fields and gardens or creating dances on the front porch.

I’ve never thought of myself as exactly athletic, but always active.

Dancing has always been my priority and passion.  As a dancer I am extremely grateful to have grown up in a studio with teachers that never once mentioned my weight or shape, a very rare phenomenon in the dance world indeed.

When I was about 16 my mom signed us up for a family membership to the brand new gym in town.  I became a total gym rate.  I loved getting sweaty, feeling my heart beat fast, and engaging my muscles in new ways.

I quickly saw how exercising improved my dancing, my mood, my energy, and yes, my metabolism.  I was hooked for life and this pure love of exercise and all of its benefits has led me to writing this blog and teaching classes.

Gracefulfitness is infusing your life with movement that makes you feel good.

Gracefulfitness is acknowledging your body’s boundaries while still working to that edge of challenge.

Gracefulfitness is always striving to be authentic in your body.

Gracefulfitness is finding strength, confidence, and balance despite the reality of body image issues and negative self-talk.

Gracefulfitness is relinquishing excuses and getting moving yet languishing in rest when the time is right.