Welcome !

Thanks for visiting this website.

I am based in the UK and since 1979, I have worked as an actor, a theatre director and a writer for stage, academia and in creating short stories for adults.

Here, I am beginning to create a portfolio of my current and past work; I hope to make a record of the interesting challenges and triumphs that go alongside being a creative practitioner. Please be patience as I slowly build this and, if you have any interesting stories to share about working in community theatre over the last 40 years, please feel free to contact me on dianneunderscorehancockathotmaildotcom. Sorry, but I will not respond to marketing offers, robots or scams.

If you are interested in my work as a Feldenkrais and Yoga teacher, please visit my other website here


Feldenkrais Symposium at Bath Spa University

On 27 June 2015 I will be part of the team of contributors to a Symposium on The Feldenkrais Method entitled “(re)storing Performance: The Feldenkrais Method and Creative Practice”. The event will be held at Bath Spa University and the day will consist of workshops, lectures, demonstrations and academic papers. 2015 is turning out to be a very busy year for the International Feldenkrais community! Here is a link to the Symposium: http://www.bathspalive.com/events/%28re%29storing-performance-the-feld/1435392000/

Why does Feldenkrais make you sleepy?

After my recent workshop, someone asked me this question – I thought it might be useful to post my reply here as it is something that often puzzles people. After all, most movements in Feldenkrais class are gentle and rarely aerobic! It’s very common to feel tired after a Feldenkrais class, even though you have been working gently. This is mainly because Feldenkrais is a somatic practice – that is, the mind and body are working together to create new patterns not only for movement but also in the brain itself. Think about a baby’s way of learning: s/he plays with moving an arm for a while, then sleeps. During the sleep, the brain is busy processing what it’s learnt about moving an arm then, when the baby wakes up, s/he might try moving further. It’s all interconnected but there’s a lot of brain activity going on! The patterning we do in Feldenkrais is pretty much the same idea – we experiment with easier movement patterns in order to get out of the adult patterns of stress and effort and rediscover a more natural way of moving. The brain is re-learning and having to discard previous habits and needs to process all this, so sends you a “sleep” message (a bit like the egg timer on your computer). Hopefully, you felt refreshed the following day! You are also right in that if life has been stressful lately, these sessions do give you permission to slow down and maybe realise how much energy you have been expending.

Norman Doidge

There has been a great deal of excitment over the last few weeks amongst the Feldenkrais community with the publication of Norman Doidge’s new book, “The Brain’s Way of Healing”. Doidge is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst whose previous book “The Brain that Changes Itself” has sold over a million copies worldwide. Doidge is interested in the phenomenon of neuroplasticity – the recent discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to experience. How does this affect us? Well, it means that it is possible to re-awaken lost physical and mental function through movement and reverse conditions thought to be irreversible. The Feldenkrais Method takes up two large chapters of Norman Doidge’s book where he first describes the development of Moshe Feldenkrais’ ideas and experiments and then details specific cases where Moshe and his students worked with severely damaged clients to bring about astonishing improvements in physical and mental development. The book is written is a easy, accessible format that will not please some scientific communities but it means that the notion of neuroplasticity can be readily understood by anyone reading this work. For the Feldenkrais community, we are happy to receive such detailed recognition by an acclaimed author.

Chatting with Paulette Edwards on Radio Sheffield

I very much enjoyed talking to Paulette Edwards on her radio show today. Paulette has recently recovered from an operation and was interested in taking better care of herself. She was brave enough to try a simple bit of Feldenkrais on live radio! If you would like to listen, you can hear it right here …

BBC Radio Sheffield 28.01.15

If you can tell me what I get Paulette to sing, you can have a free Feldenkrais class!