Claire Moore. Photo by Vince Bushell.

Claire Moore

If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, or perhaps I should say experiencing, Claire Moore, maybe you caught the Art Cart Race at last month’s Center Street Daze. Claire was one of those pink-shrouded lovelies cavorting on and around the “Pink House” cart, doing their best to thwart their opponents’ progress at the turn, with high-spirited leg lifts and other siren-like movements. In line with almost everything else in Claire’s life, this ebullient demonstration was a synthesis of her personal strengths and endeavors. Her dancer’s expertise and body (some would disagree with her self-appraisal that she never had the “Balanchine body”) and unfettered zest for life were put to good use in the exposition – an almost subtle advertisement of her new business project, the Pink House Studio. Opening October 21, the Pink House Studio will offer a number of services and classes including Yoga, Fu Hu Gong, Pilates, Movemefree Eclectic Dance, Massage and Movement Coaching for starters, with plans to add more in the future. Claire will be doing the massages and the movement coaching, as well as leading the Pilates sessions. She has been a certified massage therapist since she was 19. “I didn’t realize it was going to be a career. I just knew I didn’t know where I was going to go after high school and I didn’t want to go to college yet,” she explains. She liked taking care of people and the non-violent touch aspect. Since there was nothing here at the time, she looked for a massage school curriculum with the most stringent requirements which would allow her to go anywhere in the US after she graduated. “That was my dream,” she says with a laugh. She chose Albuquerque but ended up coming here afterward, for love. “The things we do for love,” she says, still laughing, and adds, “when we’re young.” Claire’s also a trained dancer. Starting at 6 she studied ballet for fourteen years and later participated in five years of modern dance and five years of African dance classes. She worked with Foothold Dance Co. for a while, during which time she developed a project for a psychology class she was taking, with dance as the strategy for teaching children about science. She gleefully recalls, “I created a science project where the kids acted like molecules!” Regarding this combining of fields, she explains, “That’s what I’m all about, learning things from different avenues. Kids don’t always know that they’re learning when they’re taking things in, and sometimes you just want to give them the experience that learning can be really fun. And the world becomes a much more fascinating place than ‘Let me get drunk or high’! You know, there’s so much about it that’s so intriguing.” The psychology class was part of her university study. She’d returned to school at UWM with plans to be accredited as a physical therapist. As a result of her years of dance and massage, she’d acquired a desire for a better understanding of how the body worked, a technical, scientific knowledge she could put to use. After a couple years of the high pressure of keeping up the 3.8 GPA required for a degree in Physical Therapy, however, she switched majors, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in jewelry and metalsmithing. For our interview Claire is wearing earrings she created; graceful silver depictions of two ballet masters, Baryshnikov and Nuryev. She voices slight disappointment with our time constraints, which prevent us from going to view more of her visual artwork. She identifies strongly with her art and describes herself as a visual person, not prone to communicating through words. Yet, we share a hearty laugh at how well she’s doing at filling my pages with notes. Claire was still on a waiting list to continue toward a Physical Therapy degree when she was offered a chance to complete an Associate Degree in PT through MATC. She took the opportunity, got the degree seven years ago, and has worked in the field, mainly in outpatient orthopedic settings. Much of her therapy work has been in spinal specialties where she works with the patient in order to prevent the need for surgery. Her Movement Coaching integrates a plethora of her skills, knowledge, and experience. She offers to people who have become “deconditioned” or have some particular physical goal, ways “to put things into their everyday lives to regain some of the skills they’ve lost.” Often the problem stems from a loss of muscle mass due to disuse and habit. “How they can make it easy and enjoyable for themselves,” Claire says, “is something we explore.” “I have an incredible love of beauty and nature,” exclaims Claire, when the subject turns to her involvement in land stewardship and the GreenFolks Garden. She is a “main driver” of the Garden and a member of Milwaukee Urban Gardens (MUG). As much as she would love to live in the country she knows she needs to be in the city. “I really want people to know the beauty that’s around them,” she says. She believes that people are bound to pass on what they know to their community. Claire has a seven-year-old son, Alexander, who spends half his time with her and her partner, John Gorecki, a product designer in the windmill field, and their dog, Sam. A remarkably involved community member, Claire loves Riverwest’s eclecticism, uniqueness and melting pot quality. “I like how the people come together,” she says, “and I love the creativity!” Speaking of creativity, keep your eyes open for Claire Moore!