I am Andrew Carr, Ph.D. I am a protein ML/AI specialist and currently I work as a therapeutic designer. I am a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. I train professional athletes and dancers on a daily basis, helping them reach optimal performance and recover from injuries. In my first career I spent 35 years performing as a principal level professional ballet dancer. I have taught dance, ballet and contemporary for over 30 years.
What are some of your inspirations for what you do?
I am driven to help people, whether that is through developing medicines, helping people recover from injury or mentoring them as they learn. As such I draw inspiration from the people I meet, how they work, how they learn, from their determination and drive. I was blessed to with parents who were both teachers and have had many coaches and teachers who have shown me how to live through caring and generosity.
How does doing Kungfu correlate with what you specialize in?
Kungfu is movement and training. The training is both body and mind. The more I learn about training the body the more I am able to help those that I coach. It also provides me, every lesson, with the reminder of what it is to learn something new. To re-experience the joys and struggles of being a beginner. Kungfu requires discipline and drive. Working on my own and learning how SKZ trains these things has helped me and my students.
What are some of the challenges that you face during Kung Fu training?
There are many challenges. The conditioning, the strength… I spent most of my life moving in very specific ways, although Kungfu has similarities to ballet, it also very different requiring very different strength and ranges of movement. My trained posture and instincts are often not what is desired in the movements that I am learning. I have great appreciation for the difference and am learning to navigate them. An additional challenge I face, is getting to class. From work, the drive is often 2 hours, and then it is an hour home.
What do you enjoy most about Kung Fu?
I enjoy the training, learning, pushing my body and improving my own discipline. I have enjoyed the feelings that come with improving and feeling more accomplished in my practice, but what I enjoy most is learning from the instructors. I am learning by watching how they train the students of SKZ. I learn from watching them work with the students. I watch how they push the students with rigor, but also with patience and kindness.