As an osteopathic practitioner and interdisciplinary artist, Lesley has a special interest in bridging osteopathy with movement and vocal principles to support manual practitioners, educators, patients, and arts communities in both her clinical and studio practices.
Lesley has been a manual practitioner since 1996 and completed five years of academic and clinical training at the Canadian College of Osteopathy, Tkaronto/Toronto in 2019. She successfully defended her research dissertation An Osteopathic Concept and Practice of Listening in 2021. Rooted in practice-research, her work is devoted to learning, sharing and creating through listening based, cooperative, body-informed processes.
Lesley was introduced to the discipline of listening as an art practice by composer Pauline Oliveros (1932 – 2016). Lesley studied with Oliveros beginning in 2007 translating aural listening strategies into a physical listening focus with application to movement, voice and bodywork. Lesley’s essay on listening, touch and voice is included in The Anthology of Essays on Deep Listening published in 2012.
Voice and movement improvisation are foundational to Lesley’s research. In particular, Contact Improvisation (CI) and has been a strong influence since being introduced to it in Tkaronto/Toronto, Canada in 2001. Her main interests in CI are physical listening and non-verbal dialogue.
Lesley began teaching CI in 2009 assisting choreographer/dancer/activist Pam Johnson at Humber College School of Performing Arts teaching CI to physical theatre students from 2009-2011. Her Essay on listening in Contact Improvisation titled The Small Dances of Listening will be published in an anthology of essays on contact improvisation in 2023.
A many years long mentorship with singer/teacher Fides Krucker has been formative to Lesley’s understanding of physical expression. She was a teaching apprentice for Krucker’s voice classes at Humber College School of Performing Arts Theatre program from 2008-2011. Lesley is now formally studying Krucker’s Emotionally Integrated Voice method (EIV) working to bridge her osteopathic listening research with what she is learning in the vibrant EIV teaching/learning collective.
Other influential teachers and mentors include; Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Bonnie Gintis DO, Paul Psutka DOMP, Sr Jane McDonell, Nancy Stark Smith, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Irene Dowd, Margie Gillis, Ruth Zaporah, Katherine Duncanson, Esmeralda Enrique, and Carmen Romero among others.
Lesley has been a guest lecturer for graduate and undergraduate classes at the University of Guelph School of The Arts and has facilitated groups at Humber College, Ryerson University, York University, Halliburton School of the Arts, Leviathan Studio (BC), as well as teaching privately and in her local communities.
Lesley is an active member in good standing of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) and the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO).