Our Stories – Clare Meardon

Clare trained as a dancer at Performers Dance College. She then spent 15 years as a professional dancer working in the Musical Theatre, Corporate and Commercial worlds. With DCD's support, Clare now works as a Dance and Pilates teacher.

"I started my career as a backing dancer for Lionel Richie and then worked for other singers along the way before embarking on the M/V Horizion with Celebrity Cruises. I spent a few years on cruises, having a fantastic time and travelling the world, before coming back to the UK for some land based shows. I then got itchy feet and was off again to Paris for a year, Portugal for 18 months, Italy, Madiera, India … the list goes on! I then had my “swan song” with a UK tour of Musical Theatre.

My transition came at a natural point where I can honestly say I had achieved everything in my career that I had set out to do, and so much more. I was content, but I was also tired of the lifestyle; the travelling, living out of a suitcase, missing out on friends’ weddings, missing out on life. I was done. I was also very happy to walk away at an age where I could still do it (just about!).

I had always liked the idea of being a physio or helping people in a rehabilitation way. All of my dance training had involved anatomy and a lot of learning in that sense so it was something I was already quite informed and knowledgeable about and something I knew I had passion for. I think that is key to transition as a dancer. We spend our lives following our passions and our dreams and when then are over, what do have then? What do we do with all that fire in our bellies?!

I had done Pilates throughout my dance training so I looked into courses and decided to train with Body Control Pilates in London. It was the best thing I ever did. I felt like all my knowledge and years of working with bodies and movement had come together and I had arrived.

The thing is, as dancers we are rarely paid well so most of us don’t leave the career with pots of money to take time out, to pay for courses, to support ourselves whilst we retrain, I certainly didn’t. If I didn’t have the support from DCD I would not be where I am today. I was supported through my initial training to gain my first mat work training and then again to train on the Reformer and also to purchase a Reformer! It was like all my Christmases had come at once!

I now run a very successful studio in Hayle, Cornwall where I teach mat work classes throughout the week and I have another studio in Porthleven where I teach on the Reformer. I have a huge range of clients who I help every week to feel fitter, stronger and more confident. I love my job. I love my life. I love DCD!!!

I would highly recommend any dancer thinking about the future, even if they are not yet ready to transition, to go to an EVOLVE workshop. I was a guest speaker at one and I thought it was excellent. It helped so many dancers there to work out what they wanted to do and to give them clarity about their futures.

Be kind to yourself. Be honest with yourself. Take time to reflect on your career and what you have already achieved. Know that help is out there. Reach out. And remember, you have survived a brutally hard career, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!!”

You can support a dancer like Clare to navigate career transition through the boundless appeal


"If I didn’t have the support from DCD I would not be where I am today.”

"I would highly recommend any dancer thinking about the future, even if they are not yet ready to transition, to go to an EVOLVE workshop. It helps so many dancers to work out what they want to do and to give them clarity about their futures."