Staff Profile


Professor Angela Pickard

Professor of Dance Education

School: Music and Performing Art

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 923736

Profile summary

Dr. Angela Pickard has performed, created, researched and presented dance in her roles as dancer, choreographer, teacher, advisor, consultant and academic.

Angela studied ballet and contemporary dance. She has worked with a number of independent and mainstream choreographers in a range of collaborative and creative projects and performances in a multitude of theatres and sites in the UK and internationally.

Angela has taught a range of ages and stages from toddlers to older novice adults. She has developed both inclusive and elite dance practice. She has worked with young talented dancers at The Place, Northern Ballet, The Royal Ballet School, and Trinity Laban as part of her work ‘Investigating Talented Dancers' and 'Investigating Widening Participation in Dance.' She has led research into social and artistic outcomes of using creative dance for falls prevention as 'Dance to Health'. She is now leading research with early years and dance artists with South East Dance as 'Little Big Dance'.

School roles have included Director of Learning and Student Experience and Deputy Head in the School of Music and Performing Arts. She is currently suite Lead for programmes in Performing Arts and Programme Director for BA Dance Education and MA Arts and Cultural Management. Angela teaches ballet, Dance Pedagogy, Choreography and Dance Research. She also supervises PhD students. In addition, she is Artistic Director of Canterbury Dance Company.

Angela's research investigates relationships between body and identity in dance and how social worlds shape human bodies: embodiment. She applies Pierre Bourdieu’s critique to dance. She has achieved much funding and is widely pubished. Her book, Ballet Body Narratives was published by Peter Lang in 2015. Angela continues to research dance and embodiment bringing together sociology, pedagogy and psychology. 

Angela is also Editor in Chief for the international, social citation indexed journal Research in Dance Education.

Research and knowledge exchange

Principal Investigator:

  • 2019 ongoing 'Little Big Dance' Artistic and Social development with young children. (Funded by Paul Hamlyn, Arts Council and South East Dance)
  • 2018- ongoing 'Perfectionism and ballet dancers: investigating embodied cognition'
  • 2017 'Avanti: Investigating dance and social capital' (Funded by Kent County Council / Arts Council/ Canterbury Christ Church University KE prize)
  • 2016 'Sonnet': Emotional Embodiment and Social Structures, Practice based research (choreography Funded by QR)
  • 2016-2020 'Investigating Widening Participation in Centre of Advanced Training' (Funded by DfES CAT widening particiaption fund)
  • 2015 'Symbiosis': Creating dynamic light structures and dance, Practice based research (choreography Funded by QR) with Andy Hurst
  • 2015-2020 'Dance to Health' An evaluation of the social and artistic outcomes of a dance for prevention of falls in older people programme with Tricia Vella Burrows (Funded by Aesop/ Sidney de Hann)
  • 2014 'Ballet as Creative Practice' Canterbury Christ Church and The Royal Ballet School (Funded by KE)
  • 2006-2010 'Ballet Body Narratives' (Funded by DfES, KE and Peter Lang)
  • 2009 'Investigating Talented Girls in Dance’ Canterbury Christ Church University Centre for Physical Education Research, The Royal Ballet School and Northern Ballet School Centre for Advanced Training (Funded by DfES)
  • 2009- 2011 'Investigating Talented Dancers’  Canterbury Christ Church University Centre for Physical Education Research and The Royal Ballet School, Northern Ballet Centre for Advanced Training (CAT programme) and London Contemporary Dance School Centre for Advanced Training (Funded by Department for Education and Skills)                   


  • 2006-2009 ‘Space for Sport and the Arts’ National evaluation of sport and arts facilities in primary schools Canterbury Christ Church University Centre for Physical Education Research (Funded by Sport England, Arts Council and Big Lottery Fund)   
  • 2006 Children’s Perception of Talent in Physical Education and Sport’ Canterbury Christ Church University, Leeds Metropolitan University and nine Kent primary schools (Funded by DfES Investigating Talent)                                                                                                                                                           

Teaching and subject expertise

Angela's specialisms are in Dance Education and Performance Science. She brings togerther dance pedagogy, sociology and psychology.

She has researched and published work on ballet, bodies as culture, embodiment, dance and health, dance and performance practice, Bourdieu, talent, gender, dance psychology (motivation and perfectionism), creativity, choreography (mainstream, improvisation and approaches to structuring). 

She has used mixed methods in her work but specialises in qualitative research methods and analyses and research with children and young people.

Angela is Suite Lead for programmes in Performing Arts. She teaches ballet technique, Dance Pedagogy, Choreography and Dance Research. She is also Programme Director for the BA Dance Education and Masters in Arts, Health and Performance programmes. She has also held roles such as Deputy Head of School and Director of Learning, Teaching and Stydent Experience.

She is Artistic Director and choreographer of Canterbury Dance Company. This is a creative and performing dance company which often works collaboratively with a range of musicians such as classical, Big Band and sonic artists.

Angela is a supervisor for PhD students and has examined EdDs and PhDs related to dance sociology, pedagogy and psychology.

She is a member of International Association of Dance Medicine and Science Reserach committee and an active member of One Dance UK.

She is a member of the AHRC peer review college and Covid-19 expert group.

She was awarded the One Dance UK Research in Dance Impact Award in 2019.

External activities

Winner of the One Dance UK Research in Dance Education Impact award

AHRC Peer Review College member

Member of the International Association of Dance, Medicine and Science Reserach Committee

Invited Speaker and Chair National Dance Teachers Association annual conferences (now One Dance Uk) Lead the research strand with Veronica Jobbins and Dr Kerry Chappell)

Invited speaker/educator for Imperial Association of Teachers Dance (ISTD)

Consultant for Centre of Advanced Training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Dance (widening participation)

Invited Speaker and author for 'Being in the Zone' AHRC funded project and member of international 'Flow' group 

Editor in Chief for social citation indexed journal Research in Dance Education

External Examiner for PhDs at Trinity Laban Conservatoire/City University, Royal Conservatoire Scotland, University of Lancaster and University of Birmingham.

Extenal Examiner for BA Contemporary Dance  at Trinity Laban Conservatoire

Was External examiner for BA Dance Chichester University

Was External examiner MA Dance Science and Education University of Edinburgh

Was Chief External Examiner, PGCE, Exeter University

External Examiner MA Practice at Exeter University

Was External Examiner, BEd (Hons.) University of Wolverhampton

External Evaluator, ‘Impact of the Tracker Arts Project for Children at Risk’ Leeds Education Authority (Funded by Big Lottery Fund)                      

External Moderator, The Dalcroze Society

Publications and research outputs

  • Angela has presented internationally and published over 50 research outputs on ballet, the body, Bourdieu, identity, gender, talent, creativity, choreography and pedagogy.
  • Angela is Editor- in -Chief for the international journal Research in Dance Education. This journal appears in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index
  • Pickard, A. and Risner, D. (Eds.) (2020) Dance, Professional Practice and the Workplace: Challenges and Opportunities for Dance Professionals, Students and Educators, London: Routledge
  • Wellard, I. and Pickard, A (2016) Being in the zone in Sport and Dance, Oxon: Routledge 
  • Pickard, A. (2015) Body as Aesthetic Project. In Ian Wellard (Ed.) (2015) Researching Embodied Sport: Exploring Movement Cultures, Oxon: Routledge
  • Pickard, A. (2015) Ballet Body Narratives: Pain, Pleasure and Perfection in Embodied Identity, Oxford:Peter Lang
  • Pickard, A. and Maude, P. (2014) Teaching Physical Education Creatively, London: Routledge (second edition due to be published in 2020) 
  • Pickard, A. (2012-present) Editorials, Research in Dance Education, pp. 1-2 
  • Pickard, A. (2012) Ballet body belief: Perceptions of an ideal ballet body from young ballet dancers, Research in Dance Education, August on ifirst
  • Pickard, A. (2012) Schooling the dancer: the evolution of an identity as a ballet dancer, Research in Dance Education, 13 (1), pp. 25-4
  • Bailey, R. and Pickard, A. (2010) Body Learning: examining the processes of skill learning in dance, Sport, Education and Society, 15(3), pp. 367-382
  • Pickard, A. and Bailey, R. (2009) Crystallising experiences among young elite dancers, Sport, Education and Society, 14 (2), pp. 165-181.
  • Pickard, A. (2007)) ‘Girls, Bodies and Pain: Negotiating the Body in Ballet’ In Wellard, I. (ed.) Re-thinking Gender and Youth Sport, London: Routledge, pp. 36-50.
  • Wellard, I. Pickard, A. and Bailey, R. (2007) 'A shock if electricity just sort of goes through my body' Physical activity and embodied reflexive practices of young female ballet dancers Gender and Education, 19(1) pp. 79-91

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Last edited: 13/12/2018 18:48:00