About Lavinia Magliocco

Lavinia MaglioccoEnthralled with movement, music, and the human body from a early age, I embarked on a career as a professional ballerina, attending North Carolina School of the Arts and School of American Ballet between 1977-1980. I was derailed by illness at age 18 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. For decades I struggled with debilitating symptoms, underwent two surgeries, and was given allopathic drugs and treatments which simply created a roller-coaster of remission and illness. Forced to give up dancing, I took up my writing, literature, and mysticism at University of Cincinnati, where I earned a BA Magna Cum Laude.

I discovered the work of Joe Pilates in 1990. With the help of both my ballet teacher and Pilates therapist I made a full comeback to the stage, dancing with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York City for six years. In 2004, I met an extraordinary teacher of QiGong, Tai Chi, Kung Fu. After practicing QiGong for two months, I stopped taking any drugs for the Crohn’s, and I have been well since, though I am careful and conscious in living around the possibility of illness. Illness afforded me the opportunity of exploring  the meaning of physicality and asking the question: How, when diminished by illness, does one continue to fully express  one’s essence in the world? What does illness mean, if anything? how is our connection to others and the Divine shaped by illness? And finally, how do we continue to live in hope with the attendant grief and consciousness of our fragility? I continued studying the body in university and in partnership with Dr. Richard Gellman, orthopedist and surgeon at Legacy Emmanuel Hospital in Portland, OR, where I also taught ballet at Oregon Ballet Theater and set up the first Pilates program at Nike headquarters.

I am passionate about how we express essence, and how consciousness shapes our bodies, lives, and relationships whether from dis-ease or health, from incapacity to extraordinary achievement. Through exploring the challenges of teaching ballet technique, retraining my own body from complete collapse to health, I found ways to connect to our deepest sensations and wisdom, a process I continue to explore and learn. I feel a deep conviction that we are imbued with the capacity to awaken health at a cellular level, and it is important that we embark upon the journey of exploration towards consciousness and intelligence on every level.

I teach dancers and non-dancers at my studio called Equipoise – enlightened exercise in Portland, OR where I combine various disciplines and a holistic approach to encourage body awareness, integrated movement, and well-being. I also teach at Portland Festival Ballet under artistic director John Magnus.  I am a certified Pilates instructor and specialize in chronic injuries and pre-and-post-op rehabilitation and conditioning. I have led the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in QiGong during retreats and Assembly. I am the official Soul Motion guide in anatomy, motion, and physiology, a discipline I call TerpsiCoreAnatomy.