Class Reminders/Info

Life is like a bicycle

First of all I have to apologize for not blogging more. In trying to keep balance in my life (sometimes also known as sanity) I have let this area slip a little, but we’re all just doing the best we can aren’t we? But, I did want to write a post to let you know about my classes and an exciting new class a friend is hosting.

Classes continue as normal for the week of Oct 27-Nov 1st!
While some people have a half term break, I’d rather just keep rolling (besides I’m not sure which half term really fits into my life anyhow).  As such, yoga and contemporary dance classes will continue at the normal date/time.

Contemporary Class NEWS
After much interest from beginners/intermediate dancers I have decided to focus the class on this ability/experience level.  As always, everyone (at any level) is more than welcome to come but needs to be considerate that the class is aimed at this level.
In addition, choreography for the class will continue for the month (there may be some crossover from month to month if we don’t explore something enough).  The goal of this is so that dancers who attend regularly won’t have to relearn choreography each week, and will therefore get to dig into more technical concepts and explore more (less in our heads and more in our bodies!).

If you have questions or suggestions please let me know! You can always contact me at

Oxford has a NEW yoga class!
A wonderful dancer/yogi friend has started a yoga class on Tuesday mornings. Here are all the details!
I will be teaching a new yoga class at Linacre college on Tuesday mornings 7.30-8.30am starting on the 22nd October. This class will be suitable for beginners, but also challenging for those who have already done some yoga. I have been practicing astanga yoga for nearly 14 years and taught yoga classes in Finland and in Germany for ca 6 years before moving to the UK. Now it is finally time to start teaching again. I charge £5 a class and all you need to bring is a yoga mat. Please contact me: if you are interested.

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter we need to bring more light and warmth into our lives – yoga and dance are the perfect ways to do this!
Hope to see you soon!
Namaste ~ Erika

Monday Yoga: NEW TIME!

September has somehow magically appeared, and with it will hopefully bring the return of routine and schedule!  After a wonderful summer of travel, fun, wonderful work and lots of time in Canada I’ll be back in Oxford shortly… which means Yoga and Dance classes are back on very soon!

Monday morning yoga will undergo a slight time change to help facilitate those who have to head to work.  The new time will be:
MONDAY 7:45 – 8:45 am!

I hope that this will enable more of you to start the week off in a relaxed and less stressful way!

Yoga classes will resume Monday September 9th, and contemporary dance on Friday September 13th.  I look forward to seeing you then!

I’m back!!!

Just a reminder yoga & dance classes are BACK!  I’m excited to share practice and some new dance combinations after a happy visit to Canada.

Monday August 12, 8-9 am
Monday August 19, 8-9 am
Classes are in the multi-purpose room at the University Club on Mansfield Rd.
Drop in £7 or £5 for University Club members!

Friday August 16th, 7:30-9 pm
Classes are in the multi-purpose room at the University Club on Mansfield Rd.
Drop in £7 or £5 for University Club members!

Email if you have any questions or enquiries.


Class Update: July 11th

My Dear Dancers, Yogis and Yoginis!
First of all I wanted to share how much I’ve appreciated your interest in the classes and for sharing your practice and dancing with me these past few weeks.

I am unexpectedly returning to Canada in order to coach at my old gymnastics club and as a result classes will be on hiatus until next month.  I apologise for any inconvenience this causes. I have really enjoyed the classes we’ve shared and look forward to more in the near future!

The next YOGA class will be Monday August 12th 8-9am

The next DANCE class will be Friday August 16th 7:30-9pm

For more information please check the class calendar page and as always, if you have any questions or feedback I would LOVE to hear from you:

Be well until I see you next, and keep on moving every way you can!!
Best wishes and Namaste!

My Nanna is 90!!!!

Today is my dear Grandmother’s Ninetieth birthday. It is an incredible accomplishment and another exciting highlight in a wonderful life that is far from over!  My nanna, Eris, is a kind, generous and feisty woman. She is the kind of person that when she wants something, it happens.  She makes it happen – through determination, dedication or perhaps sheer will.

I was blessed as a young person to have my grandmother come and live with us.  I was very lucky she was around, especially during high school when she would make my dinners (according to the latest dietary requirements), drive me to practice, and help me remember my apparatus when I was on the way to overseas competitions (TRUE STORY: I’m in the airport waiting to go through the security check, and my nanna casually asks “Are you not doing the hoop at this competition?” After some gasps and sighs my parents quickly drove home to retrieve the hoop – and thankfully we only live a short drive from the airport and I was still able to make my flight!).

I’m so grateful to have such an incredible person related to me, and to be a role model of what a strong, brave and kind woman is.  My dearest Nanna I wish I could be with you today, but thinking of you, celebrating the tremendous ninety years you’ve had already and wishing you many more joyous birthdays to come!



I never had the privilege of meeting him, but for the number of times Malcolm has spoken about him I feel like I’ve meet Harry Parker many times.  He was an incredible coach, and a wonderful man.  It is always tragic when the life of someone so gifted is cut shorter than everyone would hope, but his wisdom and passion will exist forever in the hearts and minds of all those he taught, inspired and who’s lives he impacted.

Coaching (or teaching as Harry said in the video below) is one of those blessed professions where you have the ability to make a huge difference in other people’s lives.  And with the best teachers/coaches, more often than not, the greatest impact has very little to do with the subject matter.  My favourite teachers and coaches have helped me in every aspect of my life, become a better person as I picked up those skills/knowledge.  I have seen the impact that Harry has had on my husband, and I know the greatest legacy is to honour those teachings by one’s every day actions.  So Harry, thank you for the role you played in helping shape Malcolm into the incredible man, athlete and rower he is today.

Harry Parker: Why We Row video
Row2K Remembrance Article
Harvard Crimson Article
Harry and Abigail: Doubles Race at Head of the Charles 2012

Class update!

I’m thrilled to announce classes in Contemporary Dance are starting!  The first class will be this Friday!

Contemporary Dance
Intermediate-Advanced drop in(if beginner please contact me! I’d love for you to join too)
Friday 7:30 – 9 pm
Oxford University Club (11 Mansfield Rd), in the basement
£7, £ 5 (concession – for University Club or OUDS members), 5 class pass for £30

Contemporary Classes will feature a warm up, centre exercises, combinations and diagonal work to get us moving, exploring space, and practicing technical elements such as alignment, articulation, clarity, musicality, and performance etc. Erika aims to combine an attention to detail, a sense of play, and a passion for moving through space in an open and fun environment.

I’ll be filling in for my wonderful friend and dancer Helen Wadge’s class this Wednesday:

Wednesday June 19th 7:30 – 9pm
Old Fire Station (studio)
£ 7, £ 6 (concession)

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at


I’ll always be…

No matter what age I am…
No matter where I am in the world…

I will always be …. Daddy’s little girl.

This picture captures my dad perfectly.  So in love with his family.  And though I am not always the best at showing it (sometimes it comes through as tough love right?!), I always hold a special (very big & very full of love) place in my heart for my dad.  He, like me, wears his heart on his sleeve.  You’ll see us crying together at something (yes even a commercial), and always quick with a love and a hug.  We’re not perfect, but we’re a lot the same – which is why I think I’m often a bit too hard on the guy (sorry about that papa bear).  But through it all, he’s always been my biggest supporter and number one fan.  I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done for me…. but I’ll love him forever and a day to try to show him.  Thanks for being you daddy!


Every day should be…

I think every day should be Mother’s Day…
Where would we be in this world without them?  I have heard a quote that describes motherhood as having a piece of your heart walking around outside yourself – or something to that extent.  As I approach this stage of my life, and having been so far from my mother and family for the last few years this day is always bittersweet.

I miss my mom.  Pretty much every day.
But I feel so blessed to have such an incredible, passionate, loving, caring and inspiring woman as my mother.  Below is a picture of me as a little girl. As you can see I bore a striking resemblance to Little Orphan Annie.  When I was little I hated my curly hair. I would beg my mother not to blow dry it after my shower/bath because it was straight when it was wet.  My mother, to make me feel better about my crown of ringlets, got a perm.


She’s that kind of lady.
I hope to be like her one day. I hope my children will think of fondly of me as I do of her…

This loving message is also being sent out to the mothers who aren’t my mother.  My incredible Mother-in-law who accepts me like her own child.  My coach who nurtured me both as a gymnast and young woman.  For my aunts, great-aunts, cousins, sister-in-laws, and friends who have supported and loved me, and been incredible role models of powerful, strong, and capable of anything women.  I love you all.

Happy Mother’s Day to each and everyone of you. And to you…

SirtonHowardWedding_0679 copy

Taking on the World

Today I woke up to a lovely little inquiry from a dear friend, and so this blog post is for you Alana, for you and for your athletes who are ready to take on the world!  But this also goes out to my Turquoise Ambition girls who’ll be shining bright at Westerns!

Competitions, performances, and tests are these incredible things we love and sometimes may love to hate.  It’s the time when we have to put everything together, the days-months-years of work, sacrifice, dedication and passion.  Since I was a young girl I loved performing. I loved sharing what was so much fun with others as it made it even more enjoyable.  And then there came a time when competitions were less fun and way more stress.  From that time I have worked very hard to get back to that original mindset… and these are some of the things I do.

1. You have the same job to do. 
What you are doing (your routine, the skill you are performing) does not change whether you are in practice, at a local competition or at the world championships or Olympics.  The only thing that may be different is your mind and how you are seeing it.  So choose how you see it.  Use your mind to visualize your home gym or a comfortable environment.  Or begin now to visualize where you will be performing.  Trust your muscle-memory.  While you need to be aware and calm enough to assess what’s happening in that moment, you need to rely on your auto-pilot to a certain extent… as Nike says: Just Do It. No more. No less. Exactly as you’ve practiced day in & day out.  You don’t need to be better you just need to be YOU.

Remember pressure doesn’t actually exist, it is just your perspective. Change your mindset if it’s not working for you.  But know too that nerves are a good thing – they help give you that edge. Make them work for you too!

2. Trust.
When the mind believes the body can achieve!  In moments of doubt we change the way our mind and body perform an action or skill. Doubt leads to hesitation which throws off your timing, speed, power etc.  When you believe in yourself and commit fully you’re able to do it ‘like you always do’ and are calm and aware.

You must trust your teammates and your coaches implicitly.  And if you begin to question yourself remember their faith in you.  Do it for one another.  Friendship is a powerful motivator. Know that together you can do more.

When we dream alone it is only a dream, but when many dream together it is the beginning of a new reality.” ~ Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Depending on your personality and tendencies you may live more in your head, your heart or your body.  But often our thoughts and feelings can lead our actions astray…. If we ‘feel’ nervous we may begin thinking negative thoughts and our behaviour follows suit.  However if we act with confidence, faith, strength – all of the qualities of a champion we are cultivating winning thoughts and feelings.  So stand up tall, chin up, shoulders back, strong core, be proud, eyes focused & centred.

4. Be a conduit
When I have experienced flow (or peak performance state) it feels as if the performance is coming through me.  All you need is within you, so how can you ‘get out of your own way’ and let that skill, talent, strength come out?  You don’t need to force it – trust your training, and give over to all of the work you’ve put in.

5. Enjoy
Attitude is everything.  When we’re having fun we can do all of the things I’ve mentioned much easier – trust, flow, let it happen, go for it.  And at the end of the day, and in many years down the road the joy, the fun, the incredible memories you made is what you’ll remember…

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” – Henry David Thoreau

Courage is the capacity to confirm what can be imagined.” – Leo Rosten

There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Winnie the Pooh