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Angela Pickard

Professor Angela Pickard

Angela Pickard is the first Professor of Dance Education in the UK. She has performed, created and researched dance in her roles as teacher and academic.

Professor Angela Pickard is the Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Social Care. Angela is a dancer, choreographer, practitioner and academic. She became the first Professor of Dance Education in 2021. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge in arts research, particularly dance and movement practices, and a passion for exploring the value and relationship between arts and physical, psychological, social and artistic outcomes.

She is also Route lead for the MA Arts, Health and Performance and Director of the hub for practice-based research in the arts in the School of Creative Arts and Industries. 

Angela has taught a range of ages and stages from toddlers to older novice adults and her research and practice has impacted on participatory and and professional dance practice. She has worked with young talented dancers at The Place, Northern Ballet, The Royal Ballet School, and Trinity Laban Conservatoire 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,', New Adventures 'Cygnets' and with Parents and Carers in Performing Arts (PiPA) in relation to challenges to progression in a dance career for dance artists that are parents/carers.

Angela studied ballet and contemporary dance and has a teaching qualification in ballet, Qualified Teacher Status (UK) and HEA recognition. She has worked with a number of independent and mainstream choreographers/dance artists in a range of collaborative and creative projects and performances across the UK and internationally. She has taught in school-based (primary and secondary), community-based (early years, youth groups, dance with older adults), and artistic contexts as part of education and outreach. She has taught undergraduate and post graduate students and supervised PhDs to completion.

Angela is a specialist in dance education and science and has over 50 publications. Her research investigates relationships between body and identity in dance/arts and how social worlds shape human bodies. She applies Pierre Bourdieu’s critique to dance/arts. Her book, Ballet Body Narratives: Pain, Pleasure and Perfection was published by Peter Lang. Angela researches the potential of dance/arts on health in participatory and professional contexts, bringing together sociology, pedagogy, psychology, physiology and biomechanics. 

Research Projects

  • "In the context of NHS services for older people with mental health illnesses and/or dementia, what is the impact of the implementation of music therapy on the experiences and outcomes of care team staff?". Researcher(s): Mr Iain Spink. Supervisor(s): Professor Chris Burton, Professor Angela Pickard. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • 'Investigating benefits of creative dance on cognitive, social and creative development with children aged 6-7 years.'. Researcher(s): Miss Fatma Bicenturk. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Professor Robert Rawson. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Creativity within Choreography: an action research study in a higher education context in China. Researcher(s): Dr Yifeng Zhu. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Professor Robert Rawson. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Dance to Health: an evaluation of health, social and artistic outcomes of a dance programme for the prevention of falls. Researcher(s): Dr Trish Vella-Burrows, Professor Angela Pickard, Miss Lian Wilson, Professor Stephen Clift. [Project report]
  • DIGITALISATION OF DANCE - Archive or New Art Form?. Researcher(s): Mr Martin Collins. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Dr Magz Hall. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Embodied Movement Qualities in the Choreographic Works of Russell Maliphant: aesthetics and the relationship of movement to light for the stage.. Researcher(s): Dr Russell Maliphant. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Professor Matt Wright. [Postgraduate Research Project (past)]
  • Emotional Intelligence: Competencies That Contribute to the Professional Identity of Dance Educators. Researcher(s): Mrs Britta Wenn. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Professor Robert Rawson. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • How can fashion design education in China exploit virtual reality working and virtual spaces?. Researcher(s): Miss Wanyu Xiang. Supervisor(s): Dr Peter Gregory, Dr Rob McPherson, Professor Angela Pickard. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Investigating African Diaspora dance practice through culture history, tradition and identities. Using past and present-day values to inform a pedagogic framework for sustaining future practice in Britain.. Researcher(s): Ms Regina Boakye-Nimo. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Professor Robert Rawson. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Investigating pedagogy and practice of teachers of ballet for children aged 5-10 years in the non-vocational, recreational field.. Researcher(s): Mrs Catherine Ingram. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Professor Robert Rawson. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Investigating the value of Urban dance ciphering in support of 21st century Cyclic Learning: enhancing ownership and leadership of the learner. Researcher(s): Mrs GABY ALLARD. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Professor Robert Rawson. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Reflecting on the collaborative practice and socially engaged principles underpinning the making of Vincent Dance Theatre’s ART OF ATTACHMENT.. Researcher(s): Ms CHARLOTTE VINCENT. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Professor Robert Rawson. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • The Dance of Endurance: Safe and Effective Psychological and Physiological Postnatal Rehabilitation Methods (Interventions) for Professional Dancers. Researcher(s): Mrs Lucy Mccrudden. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Dr Hayley Mills. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • The professionalization of esports has constructed a field, as defined by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1984). This project aims to explore this field, its structure, its forms of capital and its boundaries, through operating Bourdieu’s conceptual toolkit.. Researcher(s): Mr Richard Montgomery. Supervisor(s): Professor Angela Pickard, Professor Shane Blackman. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Transformative learning through singing for wellbeing: influences on perception of self and musical identity.. Researcher(s): Mrs Sonia Price. Supervisor(s): Professor Eleni Hatzidimitriadou, Professor Angela Pickard. [Postgraduate Research Project]

I am the PI for the AHRC funded project -Critical Dance Pedagogy through Discourse and Practice (2023-2025) with Dr Kathryn Stamp (Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE), Coventry University), with a core team: Darren Carr (NSCD), Andrew Hurst (ODUK), Dr Aoife McGrath (Queen’s University, Belfast) and Dr Wendy Timmons (University of Edinburgh), supported by project manager, Dr Precious Sango (Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University). The steering group of industry partners for the network are: People Dancing, Dance HE, South East Dance, Parable Dance, Parents and Carers in Performing Arts (PiPA), Advancing Women's Aspirations in Dance (AWA), and Dance Mama. New Adventures are also supporting the planning of this network. I am also the academic partner for the AHRC funded project, Parenting and Dance Network (2023-2025) in collaboration with Professor Aoife McGrath (Quen's University, Belfast), Professor Ali Duffy (Texas Tech Univerity), Dr Madeline Harvey (Colorado State University), and industry partners Dance Mama (UK), Balancing Act (Canada) and PiPA (UK).