Department of Dance

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Staff from our Department have completed a four-year study, in partnership with the English National Ballet, that concluded that organised dancing offers physical and mental benefits to people with Parkinson’s disease.

The study, led by Dr Sara Houston and Dr Ashley McGill, concluded that dancing provides Parkinson’s sufferers with physical improvements, greater motivation and improved mental health.

Image: Dance for Parkinson's participants with Jennie Harrington, English National Ballet artist. Photo: Belinda Lawley

Professor Theresa Buckland has examined the evolution of the modern English waltz, which developed out of its Victorian form in the early 1920s.

Her research identified the impact of World War One on social dance practices in fashionable London, the response of the press and the dance profession to the post-war dance craze and how English ballroom was influenced by and competed with ragtime dances and tango.

Leading Dance Scholar and Head of our Dance Department Professor Ann David is producing a biography of dancer Ram Gopal, who brought Indian classical dance to the western stage.

Her biography will raise awareness of the artist, who debuted his work at the end of the 1930s in London and whose pioneering performances spanned countries, including the UK and United States.

Professor Emilyn Claid’s research into movement techniques has helped suffers of vertigo conquer their fears, including providing practical movement sessions at London’s Tower Bridge.

Professor Claid researches the physical, metaphorical and psychological relationships of falling, through movement and psychotherapy practices, and has worked with members of the public suffering from the condition at the iconic structure.