Staff Profile


Professor Angela Pickard

Professor of Dance Education

School: School of Creative Arts & Industries

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 923736

Profile summary

Professor Angela Pickard has performed, created, researched and disseminated dance in her roles as dancer, choreographer, teacher, advisor and academic.

She gained her Professorship in 2020 and is the first Professor of Dance Education in the UK.

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

Angela is a pedagogue and has taught a range of ages and stages from toddlers to older novice adults. She has developed dance practice in inclusive, participatory and elite dance contexts. She has taught and researched adolescent dancers at a number of conservatoires and elite schools in the UK and internationally. She has also led research in 'Dance to Health' with older populations. Current research and knowledge exchange projects are with early years and dance artists with South East Dance as 'Little Big Dance', talent development with adolescents with New Adventures Cygnet School and investigating challenges for professional dancers with caring responsibilities with Parents in Performing Arts (PiPA).

She has held a number of academic leadership roles including Director of Learning and Student Experience and Deputy Head of the School of Music and Performing Arts. She is currently Lead for courses in the Performing Arts suite, Course Director for BA Dance Education and Route Lead for MA Arts, Health and Performance. She also supervises PhD students.

Angela's research is focussed on dance education and performance science. She is interested in relationships between body and identity(ies) in dance and embodiment, drawing on sociology (Bourdieu), pedagogy and psychology. She is Editor in Chief for the international journal Research in Dance Education and on the Editorial board for Journal of Dance, Medicine and Science.

Research and knowledge exchange

Principal Investigator:

  • 2020 ongoing 'Parents in Dance' (Funded by PiPA/Dance Professional Fund)
  • 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 participation 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 internal QR/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)                                                                                                                                                          

Teaching and subject expertise

Angela's specialisms are in Dance Education and Performance Science. She brings togerther dance/arts and sociology, pedagogy 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, perfectionism and embodied cognition), creativity and choreography.

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

Angela teaches ballet, dance pedagogy, dance research, performance, health and wellbeing and performance science.

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

Angela is Director of Centre for Practice Research in the Arts where she has developed a network of Artists through a Performance Lecture series.

She is Editor in Chief for Research in Dance Education journal, a member of the Editorial board for journal of Dance, Medicine and Science, is a member of International Association of Dance Medicine and Science Research 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 55 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. (2021) Young, talented dancers in contemporary dance training: widening participation and fair access, rhetoric or reality? Research in Dance Education,
  • Pickard, A. and Maude, P. (2020) (second Ed) Teaching Physical Education Creatively, London: Routledge  
  • 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. (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.

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