Teacher and founder of the movement education school, MOVE-School
"Movement was always an integral part of my life."
Gwendoline Schlegel, born in 1990, has been fascinated by movement since she was a little girl. As a child, she would spend her free days in nature. At the age of 8, she joined an acrobatic rock'n'roll club, a sport in which she proved herself to be a Swiss Olympic athlete. Since then, she won the Swiss Championship, she reached the 6th place of the World Ranking List and had the honor to represent Switzerland in Sportdance at the World Games 2017.
"I like to do a sport which challenges me both artistically and athletically."
Her perseverance allowed her to meet Maurizio Mandorino who now became a close friend and coach, from who she continues to learn every single day.
"As an incredible dancer and teacher, he profoundly influenced my way of thinking of and understanding movement and teaching."
Her first big expenditure was the purchase of a large outdoor trampoline for which she had to break open her teenager piggy bank. Today she has the opportunity to train with ex-Trampolin National Team Coach Jean-Michel Bataillon, at the National Sports Center in Magglingen.
"We were the first house of our neighbourhood which had a big trampoline in their garden. Now everybody owns one, but we had to import it by ship from the United States."
And because the rock'n'roll training, the gymnastics and the trampoline weren't enough to let off steam, her parents, tired of seeing her moving around all the time, built her a gymnastics facility in the basement. This was the place where she spent her evenings, after school, inventing choreographies, moving and creating her own workouts.
"Very soon I knew that this would be my profession."
After high school she continued her studies at the University of Fribourg and at the Federal Sport Institute of Magglingen where she graduated in 2016 with a Master in Sciences of Sports and Movement. In spite of a growing passion for scientific research and a good collaboration with the Swiss Olympic Medical Center, where she had the chance to write her Master thesis, she decided against a Doctorate to instead work actively in the field. She pursues her studies for a pedagogical degree. Her first job as a teacher was at a Montessori private school, where she was assigned to develop a physical education concept adapted to the Montessori education philosophy.
"Montessori gave me the freedom to create and since then I am filled with new ideas every single day."
In the same year she got in touch with a former colleague from University, Mark Balsom (personal trainer and a passionate mover) who allowed her to discover the teachings of Ido Portal, Fighting Monkey or MovNat. She didn't hesitate very long before going to a workshop from this movement culture. There, she found people thinking, talking and moving in a way she had been looking for all her life. She now belongs to this culture.
"The teachings that I received are both revolutionary and traditional, because even if nobody never talked about movement in that way before, we all carried the principles of human movement in us since the very beginning of humanity."
Today, Gwendoline would characterize herself both as teacher and student. We are as much teachers as we are students of life. It is only by exchanging ideas and practicing that we will grow and evolve until it inspires us with our greatest physical and mental potential.
"Thanks to my obsessive and constant research of the functioning of the human body and mind, I have the chance to exchange ideas with health professionals, medical scientists, movement practitioners and, all around the world, with Olympic athletes, exceptional educators, leading researchers in Sports Sciences and with extraordinary artists."
Thank you all for making my life so exciting.