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A healthy movement

Report by Michelle Wranik
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A new way to find balance comes to Randwick.

Yoga, Pilates and tai chi enthusiasts will be interested in a new spiritual discipline heading to Randwick this week.

Wu Tao (“The Dancing Way”), created by Perth mother Michelle Locke, is an exercise therapy that combines dance, music and meditation to reduce stress and increase overall wellbeing.

Wu Tao is based on the principle of releasing qi (pronounced “chee”) through a series of five dances expressing the elements of fire, water, air, wood and earth.

According to ancient Chinese wisdom, the human body succumbs to sickness, pain and health problems when the qi energy cannot flow freely. To combat blocked qi, Ms Locke developed Wu Tao, a form of movement based on her knowledge of a number of disciplines.

“I was trained as a professional ballet dancer originally, but I had to stop doing that because of a back injury,” Ms Locke said. “Then I started practicing Chinese medicine and I’d been doing it for such a long time, I guess it was just an extension of that – it was a way for people to get the benefits of the work I was doing without me having to put my hands on them.”

Within the first week of teaching the practice three years ago, demand grew from one weekly class to six. “It’s had an amazing response over here,” Ms Locke said. “It’s a very enjoyable way to do exercise and movement.”

The demand for Wu Tao has been so high that the dance movement will soon be available at various locations in Sydney.

Any skeptics should take heed of Ms Locke’s advice. “Through Wu Tao, I have learned to go with the flow and to embrace every experience, challenging or otherwise,” she said.

Randwick classes will begin at 7pm on Wednesdays at the Randwick Literary Guild, 60 Clovelly Road, Randwick.

For more information, phone Michelle Locke on (08) 9331 1604.