Laura trained in contemporary dance and has a BA and MA from TrinityLaban. She has spent twenty years performing and teaching technique, conditioning and creative work, nationally and internationally. During this time Laura trained in Aerial Circus, Parkour, Laban Movement Fundamentals, Yoga, Aikido, Japanese Swordwork, Clowning, Alexander Technique and Stand Up comedy, in order to create a broad and flexible knowledge of human expression. After a long season of mental and physical ill health, Laura now focuses on wholeness, grace and sustainability in her physical practice. In 2014 Laura began to develop her mental health and disability work in settings such as charities, universities, and the Civil Service. Laura is currently training to be an Integrative Therapist at London School of Theology where she just completed a Post Grad Certificate in Integrative Theology. Laura has been looking for more ways to encourage and champion embodied worship and is delighted to join the Psalms & Stretches team!
Psalms & Stretches Instructor Network
No instructors near you? Many of our instructors are offering online classes at this time. Each instructor's contact details are listed below in their profiles.
Psalms & Stretches Founder, Ruth Carpenter, is currently on maternity leave. For all enquiries please contact Emma Wilson.
Ruth is the Founder of Psalms & Stretches and is a Pilates and fitness instructor with over 10 years of experience. Originally training as a contemporary dancer, Ruth graduated from Laban and went on to receive a post-grad Diploma from The Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Ruth began her journey into the fitness industry as a practical way to transfer her skills in movement and went on to complete a wide variety of teacher training programmes (from Barre Fitness to Kangoo Jumps Bootcamp!) She is also a qualified Sports Massage therapist. Ruth specialises in Pilates, having experienced the benefits firsthand during her dance training, and believes it to be an invaluable influence when approaching any kind of exercise. Ruth began developing Psalms & Stretches in 2016 after feeling called to combine her skills in teaching and creating movement with serving God in a creative way. It was the class she wanted to go to herself; a place where ministering to her wellbeing wasn't separate to her faith but complementary. Ruth has been teaching Psalms & Stretches in her local church and for Christian events across the country alongside creating the instructor training programme. She has also written for Woman Alive Magazine.
Emma was previously a dancer and is now a dance film-maker and also a practitioner in dance, teaching at The University of West London. An accomplished performer, having trained at the Royal Ballet School and LAMDA, and had a career on the West End, Emma also has years of experience running dance classes as part of church outreach. She knows firsthand what an important part creative offerings can play within the church's ministry to the community around it. Emma previously lead the Soho Vineyard church with her husband Ed, which is how Ruth [P&S Founder] and Emma met. Having known Ruth for years and seen Psalms & Stretches develop, Emma felt called to use her skills and experience to help further the vision and has been a great support since she joined in 2019. Emma is passionate about sharing the vision of Psalms & Stretches, connecting instructors, churches and communities with this exciting new resource. Please contact Emma for any enquires while Founder Ruth is on maternity leave.
Class location: St John’s Hampton Wick, Church Grove, Hampton Wick, KT1 4AL
Church website: www.stjohnshamptonwick.org
Monday 8pm (1hr) & Friday 10am (1hr)
Emma is using Whatsapp to organise her online Zoom classes - please provide your mobile number when you contact her
Sara wears many hats! She is a Licensed Lay Minister at St John’s Church, Hoxton. She is a Community Organiser, who is passionate about fighting injustice and making positive change in people’s lives. She is also a musician and Choir Director for “Sing for a Change”, which uses the power of music to make a difference in the world. But before all that, Sara trained as a dancer and musical theatre performer, spending many years singing, dancing and acting as well as teaching and doing choreography for many different projects. Sara was introduced to Psalms & Stretches by Emma Wilson, and after taking part in Emma’s classes was inspired and excited by the potential of this powerful ministry. So much so that she completed our P&S Instructor training and now adds “Psalms & Stretches Instructor” to her hat collection!
Kim is originally from the US and has lived with her family in West London for 28 years. Kim grew up dancing, joined the majorette drill squad in High School (think high kicks and jump splits in sequins!) and has always kept physically active. As a teenager she recognised the link between physical exercise and mental wellbeing for herself. She is a qualified Gym Instructor and a Level 3 Personal Trainer and enjoys encouraging others to keep active especially as one moves beyond youth! Kim loves Psalms & Stretches because it combines stretching and strengthening with spiritual growth and meditation on the bible. She was inspired by the way the Psalms come alive as the words take on physical shape through movement, and the opportunity Psalms & Stretches creates for spending time listening to God as He whispers just what we need to hear that day.
Surrey / Berkshire
Stephanie is a wellbeing writer, yoga teacher and SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga instructor. She is also a qualified Sports Massage Therapist and founder of Gracefulbow Wellbeing. With a background in TV, Film and Theatre she is passionate about the Arts. She enjoys singing as part of her church’s music worship team, painting and loves being in nature. Stephanie has also worked within education as a Drama and Theatre Studies teacher alongside supporting the younger generation through pastoral care and leading a bible study/prayer group for youth. She has a passion for nurturing people’s wellbeing, confidence and creativity. Stephanie now adds Psalms & Stretches as another string to her (Graceful) bow! With her years of experience in movement and wellbeing, Stephanie was drawn to the healing aspect of the Psalms combined with the flowing movement, giving you time to hear from God, to rest and refresh in his presence. She can’t wait to share God’s moving word with you in this unique way. Contact Stephanie directly to find out about her classes.
Gen first discovered the connection exercise has with both physical and emotional healing when attending Pilates classes in between having her children. After baby number four (her children are now aged between 2-12!) she really understood the power movement has in “putting you back together” and making you feel like “you” again after childbirth – so much so she was inspired to train as a Pilates instructor herself, gaining a Level 3 Diploma in Pilates. Gen is a youth worker at her local church, St. Paul’s Church Kingston Hill, where her husband Adam is the vicar, and is passionate about helping people discover a relationship with Jesus. Being a mum of four, she understands how difficult it can be to create space and time to nurture your own wellbeing – spiritually, emotionally and physically – so when she was introduced to Psalms & Stretches, she knew this was for her! The combination of movement and meditation creates a space to rest, receive from God and be renewed by the Holy Spirit and Gen can’t wait to share that with others through her own Psalms & Stretches classes.
Clare's career path might appear eclectic, but wellbeing has been the consistent thread. She has always loved movement and sport, but having studied psychology, she began her working life in recruitment, then management consultancy and training. A few years in and she felt her first ‘nudge’ from God to use movement and her hands to bring healing. She joined her church staff team whilst studying a range of manual therapies, biomechanics and physical fitness (including Level 3 Personal Training). She spent the next 10 years working with full-time athletes, exhausted desk workers and the chronically ill. During this period came her second ‘nudge’, which was to create a restorative movement sequence focused on scripture. She began to explore ideas, but then started a family and moved abroad with her husband. Several years later (and quite by chance), Clare heard about Psalms & Stretches, and was delighted to see that the vision had been brought to life through Ruth, in such a beautiful format! Psalms & Stretches is the ideal vehicle to bring together so many of Clare’s existing skills and we are so pleased to have her on team! To find out about Clare’s classes please contact her directly.
Helen has been dancing ever since she can remember, and for much of that time has been passionate about using movement as an expression of faith. She trained at Roehampton University and as an apprentice with Springs Dance Company, after which she developed a ‘two-pronged’ career in community dance and charity finance. As a community dance facilitator, Helen has worked for many years in schools, churches, community centres and residential homes. She loves the capacity movement has for improving people’s physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and was delighted to discover Psalms & Stretches. During a time when our holistic health has been brought into sharp focus for us all, Psalms & Stretches has been a real source of nourishment for Helen and she looks forward to giving that same opportunity to her community. Do contact Helen to find out about the classes she is offering, which will also include chair-assisted Psalms & Stretches classes.
Sarah has always had a love for dance and movement. After discovering and falling in love with contemporary dance at college she went on to study Performance and Communication Arts specialising in Dance at York St John university, obtaining a BA Hons. Sarah and her husband served in a church in France for many years where she was a worship leader and where 3 of their 4 children were born. On return to the UK Sarah then relished the opportunity to run a Christian performing arts academy on the south coast training children and young people in dance, drama and vocals. Sarah now enjoys adult ballet and contemporary classes in her spare time and has been delighted to find Psalms & Stretches. She loves how the Psalms are combined with movement as an act of worship and is excited to help others benefit from the classes.
Robyn is an accomplished dancer and dance teacher who founded So Sacred; a Christian dance company, based in Bournemouth. She runs several dance classes in the area of Dorset, is an active member of her church, Destiny Life Church, and is also currently studying Physiotherapy at Southampton University. Robyn is passionate about worship through movement and helping others take care of their wellbeing. She was inspired to become a Psalms & Stretches instructor as a way of continuing to use her gifts to bring glory to God and to expand her offering to her community.
Sophie has always loved to act and dance. She studied ballet, tap and modern from a young age and then contemporary dance and physical theatre while at university, where she graduated with a 1st class BA(Hons) Degree in Performing Arts. She trained with Springs Dance Company in their Elevate programme and has since worked as a professional freelance dance artist and choreographer on various projects in theatres, schools and within the community setting. Sophie has spent many years working for Full House, a children's theatre organisation based in Bedfordshire and funded by Arts Council England. She is also a Zumbini instructor (music & movement for children aged 0-4 years). On discovering Psalms & Stretches Sophie saw a way to combine her faith and her art together. She found the experience of moving the body whilst reading out scripture really connects mind, body and soul together, and as a mum of three, Sophie knows firsthand the benefit of carving out some quiet time to spend connecting with God! She can't wait to share the Psalms & Stretches experience with you!
Claire "Fizzy" Grant
Claire (aka Fizzy) originally trained as a dancer at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (BPA Hons) and the London Contemporary Dance School (Post Grad Dip.). She then went on to complete a PGCE in Dance at Bolton University (1st Class Hons). As a dancer, Claire performed in London’s West End and all over Europe for over 10 years. Her credits include Dance Captain, West Ends ‘The Snowman’, Performer, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, productions for Opera North and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Claire has been teaching dance for over 20 years and Pilates for 8 years. As a Pilates instructor, Claire qualified with Stott Pilates in Mat-work Reformer and Total Barre. She also has a Level 4 qualification in falls prevention accredited by Later Life Training. Claire believes that exercise heals the mind, body and soul and that Psalms & Stretches can play an integral part in a journey to wholeness. Claire was so excited to have found Psalms & Stretches and is 'sold for life’! She hopes you will be too, as you make P&S part of your routine prayer life for God. Claire is excited about creating new supportive P&S communities both online and off.
Estelle is a trained Ballet dancer, who also studied Contemporary Dance and Music at the ‘Conservatoire De Danse et De Musique’ in Lille, Northern France, where she is originally from. She now lives in Saltburn-by-the-Sea with her husband who is a vicar in the Church of England. Estelle is an experienced dance and fitness instructor who owns DanceFit Saltburn, which offers a wide range of dance fitness classes. She is also a dance coach for a local theatre, working with adults with learning difficulties, and has worked in schools and nursing homes. Estelle now brings her passion for movement and faith together through Psalms & Stretches and is incredibly excited to bring this powerful ministry to her community! Please contact Estelle directly for more information about her classes.
Kirsten has a wide range of experience teaching dance to people of all ages, from youth groups to care homes. She studied at Performing Arts Studio Scotland, graduating with a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Performing Arts and a Higher National Diploma in Dance, and was also a Zumba fitness instructor. Kirsten was inspired to become a Psalms & Stretches instructor because of the holistic approach to wellbeing – the idea of facilitating and creating space for people to relax and meditate on God’s Word as well as to nurture their physical strength and mobility. Kirsten is also a Massage Therapist and her work in complementary therapies, as well as for the NHS, have informed her restorative approach to wellness, an approach that is gentle, caring and God-centred. We couldn’t think of better qualities for a P&S instructor and we are so excited to have Kirsten as our first instructor in Scotland!