Alison Evans, founder of Stretchworks, began developing this exercise programme over 25 years ago. Having initially trained in Russian Classical ballet and then Jazz dance, she went on to work with top choreographers, including Arlene Phillips, and teaching at the Pineapple Dance Studios.
Towards the latter part of Alison’s dancing career she became aware of repeated injuries that dancers were sustaining and how various forms of exercises were exacerbating these problems. Exploring alternative approaches in collaboration with medical professionals gave Alison the opportunity to develop Stretchworks, and the programmes began to evolve.
Initially she was asked to work with athletes and dancers and, as they were experiencing fewer injuries and recuperating relatively quicker, Alison was soon brought to the attention of elite athletes: spending 3 years with a Premiership Football Club, and working with Torvill and Dean as they prepared for their 1994 Olympic comeback. With each sport, whether it involved ice skaters, footballers or other athletes, Alison was able to adapt the work around the sport and, more importantly, the individual.
With growing demand for Stretchworks, and seeing the numerous long-term benefits both physically and emotionally, Alison decided to develop the work further so everyone could benefit from Stretchworks, regardless of age or ability. As well as helping those with overall fitness and rehabilitative care, Stretchworks now welcomes clients through GP referral for specific health issues (including MS, osteo/rheumatoid arthritis, and post operative mastectomy for breast cancer), and through psychotherapists for depression and other emotional issues.
Due to overwhelming demand, Alison released a Stretchworks General level fitness DVD, and now has plans to produce a series of more advanced and specialised Stretchworks DVDs. Currently, Alison is preparing a teacher-training manual with the assistance of medical professionals, and is very much looking forward to training other instructors to teach Stretchworks across the UK.
…seeing the numerous long-term benefits both physically and emotionally, Alison developed the work further so everyone could benefit from Stretchworks regardless of age or ability.