Today we’re introducing Rachel Hilton as our #FemaleFollowFriday, originally from Liverpool Rachel moved to London when she was 18 to train as a dancer and performer, but is now back and running her own business Holistic Harmonies.
From a very young age Rachel got a thrill from anything to do with singing and movement, it didn’t matter what, she loved to move her body and use her voice… she just couldn’t stop! It quickly became a passion and a vocation, yet Rachel always felt drawn to babies and children.
Rachel studied contemporary dance at Middlesex University and then gained a Masters in Professional Performance from Millennium Dance theatre school. During her twenties Rachel had some wonderful experiences; touring Italy with Fame the musical, performing with Caburlesque on Britain’s Got Talent and reaching the semi-finals, and working as a body double/stand in for Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1 & 2), a particular highlight of her career. However, not everything was fine, it was during this time, Rachel began to develop a crippling anxiety when it came to auditions and the ruthless cut throat environments that she found herself in. Between jobs Rachel ended up working as a nanny and a music teacher. These jobs kept coming thick and fast and over the years she worked for Gymboree, Monkey Music and Tick Tock Music as well as working for families with babies as young as 4 weeks old.
Rachel had worked for various companies in London; the education system and the NHS too, but she realised that doing a 9 to 5 job or working for an institution wasn’t for her. She’d tried going down a more clinical, medical route and that didn’t sit right with her, equally Rachel felt she was too old and jaded to push herself into the performance industry full-time, so at the age of twenty-seven, Rachel decided to stop auditioning and focus on her work with children. She went back to college to study child development further. She then managed to get a job as a Health Visitor Assistant, as well as volunteering at The Bridge School for children with special needs and as a family visitor for the charity Home Start. After gaining some experience in what felt like ‘real life’ Rachel got a job as a Family Support Worker on the Neo Natal unit at Homerton Hospital in East London. She gained a considerable amount of experience and knowledge working with premature babies and their families, but realised hospital work and the NHS wasn’t for her. While working at the hospital Rachel met an inspiring occupational therapist, who was also a baby massage instructor. She suggested that Rachel would be good at it too and it would be a good way of connecting with families in her own creative and emotional way, without the constraints of the NHS. Five years on and Rachel continues to be a baby massage instructor. Not only that, Rachel has become somewhat of an entrepreneur, managing a few businesses, this has meant Rachel can also use her creative skills and go back to what she loved, without the pressure of earning a living from just performing.
After some thought, Rachel has amalgamated all her experiences and skills that she’d amassed: A certified infant massage instructor, singer, dancer, nanny, family support worker. “I knew that I wanted to carry on singing and dancing, but I was becoming more and more passionate about working with women and the mental health and postpartum support of new mothers. I saw an advert to become a choir leader with the Singing Mamas around April 2018 and I knew it was for me straight away. With that certificate, I knew I could add another string to my bow and intertwine everything together to create a harmony that resonated with me, and hopefully with other people I work with.”
The idea for Holistic Harmonies comes from everything I've ever done in my life and career’ I have trained in a few different areas that all complement each other, so I decided to call my business Holistic Harmonies. Music, movement and massage all work in a sub conscious way that bring healing, bonding, growth, joy, and an uplifting holistic experience. My programme at Holistic Harmonies brings together all of these; designed specifically for the families I work with, who might like to try all these strings to create their own bow, to play their own harmonies!
I’m trying to build a working life that includes all my skills and passions and is fulfilling, creative and gives me autonomy and freedom, as well as benefiting the lives of the families I work with too.
Rachel has big ambitions for the future “ultimately I’d like to buy a building, renovate the ground floor into studios and therapy rooms and live above it! Then I would be able to teach my classes in my own house! I would also love to create a crèche in one room, so that parents could have a group counselling session, acupuncture, a massage, do a yoga class etc for an hour baby free. I also want to connect with local charities who help families, who experience depression or have children with special needs and provide a creative, artistic programme of sessions to support their mental health needs.”
The winter term is upon us and begins on the 30th October. Rachel has three choirs running in various areas of Liverpool. She’s connected with a great venue called The Handyman, a pub on Smithdown Road. Rachel will be delivering baby massage courses and new sing along sessions where she’ll have lyrics up on the wall so that everybody can join in! Rachel is also back at Tribeca with discos and has also joined forces with Milo Lounge on Lark Lane doing discos on alternate weeks…. It’s all go go go!
To find out more about Holistic Harmonies, go to the website: