How Pain Inspired Charlene Gibbons to Get People Moving

Charlene Gibbons is a bubbly woman with a surprising amount of energy. She wears many hats: college student, Pilates instructor, dancer, competitive air guitarist and cardio dance teacher. Her passion for dance and movement comes from an unexpected place: pain. Charlene was born with scoliosis, a medical condition in which the spine is curved. “When I got really heavily involved in my (dance) performance career, I wasn’t looking after it properly,” she recalls.



During a performance in Japan, her back seized up and she wasn’t able to move her head or neck. A physiotherapist helped her unlock her back, but she knew she was in poor shape and needed to practice proper self care. A visit to a Pilates studio changed her life. She discovered that she could relieve her pain and work on ways to prevent further injury. The next week she signed up for the teachers’ training course. “I just thought, this is the coolest job ever, if I can make people feel the way that I just did.”



“Movement always helps pain.” These days you can find Charlene leading hilarious cardio classes, helping senior citizens increase their mobility or doing one on one Pilates sessions. It is easy to get bogged down and immobile these days. Many of us work in offices and commute in cars. When we get home we watch TV for hours, staying stationary. It’s Charlene’s goal to get people moving, and to make it as fun as possible. Helping people to move properly gives Charlene great joy. She sees a difference in their energy, happiness and posture. She also sees clients developing friendships within her classes. “People moving together, brings people together.”

“We move so much as kids. It’s really intuitive to us, and then we lose that and we get afraid to do that. You should never stop doing the things you love”.

Thanks to Carlos Mengual and Jeremy Nasmith from Dance Teq Centre for letting us shoot in their great dance space.

Creative Team

Cat Mills


Cat Mills is an award winning documentary filmmaker based in Toronto. Her most recent film, Big Men, Small Dogs, went viral with over a million views. She is currently working on her first feature. Her films explore the quirky side of life.

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