Areas of Expertise (5)
Dance and Cultural Heritage
Dance and Disability
Professor Sarah Whatley is Professor of Dance and Director of the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University. She has expertise across a wide range of contemporary dance theory and practice, much of it in partnership with artists, dance companies and cultural organisations. Her research focuses on issues such how the movement of the body can communicate and transmit emotions and intelligence, as well as understanding dance in different cultures. She is also interested in dance and technology - for example, exploring the connections between dance, disability, prosthetics and 3D design.
Her projects and publications employ a wide range of methodologies, including practice research, and focus on creative reuse of digital cultural content, reimagining dance archives and dance documentation, intangible cultural heritage, somatic dance practice and pedagogy, and inclusive dance practice concerned particularly with disability in performance. She has eight edited books on these themes, is founding Editor of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices and sits on the Editorial Boards of several other Journals. She is also an advisor for several groups, including Dance Research, Digital Theatre and Practice Research Advisory Group (PRAG). Sarah’s early career was as a classically-trained dancer, choreographer and, dance teacher.
Dance Research Impact Prize
2018 Nominated and shortlisted in Dance One UK annual awards
Awarded Roll of Honour
2017 International Women’s Day, Coventry University
Research team of the Year
2017 (InVisible Difference) – Coventry University
University of Surrey Roehampton: Ph.D. 2002
Leicester Polytechnic: B.A., Performing Arts (Dance) 1982
- Advisory Board member for Delia Ferri’s (Maynooth University Department of Law) ERC Consolidator project ‘Dancing’
- Advisory Board – Digital Theatre
- Advisory Board member - Dance Research
- Governor – London Studio Centre
- External Advisor to the Trinity Laban Course Board for Research Degrees
Media Mentions (2)
Dance pioneer and associate professor at Coventry University becomes a Dame
Coventry Observer online
Professor Sarah Whatley, director of Coventry’s Centre for Dance Research, said: “We are thrilled that Siobhan has been recognised in this way. We have enjoyed a long relationship with Siobhan, working together on several projects (including creating her digital archive; Siobhan Davies RePlay), and benefiting from her extraordinary vision and deep commitment to ensuring an exciting future for dance and dancers in the UK. Siobhan’s prolific career and contributions make very clear the input that dance makes to world leading research.”
New diploma for learning disabled actors has the power to change theatre
The Guardian online
“Theatre needs to stop being so scared. We all need to stop being scared.” Strong words from the highly respected casting director Sarah Hughes talking at a seminar at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama on Thursday that highlighted what has been learned from offering a Performance Making Diploma for learning disabled actors at the college.
Event Appearances (5)
Engaging with the Fifties in Europe: Kaleidoscope a Retrospective (2020)
New Strategies for User Engagement and Digitised Photographic Heritage – Fifties in Europe Kaleidoscope Berlin, Germany
The Clay Connection (2020)
Parallax 14: Craft and Art Symposium London, England
The Seemingly Impossible Professor status (2019)
Independent Dance London, England
The First ten years of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices (2019)
BodyIQ Festival Berlin, Germany
Beyond the Text: Chorus in the Twenty-First Century (2019)
Workshop and public performance Oxford, England
Enhancing creativity by training metacognitive skills in mental imageryThinking Skills and Creativity
2020 In a longitudinal study, 240 undergraduate dance students were recruited to assess the effectiveness of a series of workshops designed to develop metacognitive skills in use of mental imagery to support choreographic creativity.
Kaleidoscope: Feedback Collection, Impact and Future Exploitation: EU Project ReportPhotoconsortium
2020 This report reflects on the focus groups, workshops and online survey conducted during the Kaleidoscope project. Furthermore, it analyses the feedback collected on the digital tools and user engagement strategies to present evidence of impact and future exploitation potential.
Exchanging, Moving, Translating: thoughts on dance and disabilityCentre for Dance Research
2019 The e-book is partly funded by the British Council and is a collection of papers by 12 authors, translated into both Portuguese and English.
A Report on the Screendance SymposiumThe International Journal of Screendance
2019 In February of this year, the International Screendance Network hosted a symposium at the University of Brighton, UK to mark the conclusion of a two-year research period. Funded by a Network Grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) the Screendance Network was established in 2009 in order to accelerate the discourse and publication in screendance.
Virtual Reality and Choreographic Practice: The Potential for New Creative MethodsBody, Space & Technology
2019 Virtual reality (VR) is becoming an increasingly intriguing space for dancers and choreographers. Choreographers may find new possibility emerging in using virtual reality to create movement and the WhoLoDancE: Whole-Body Interaction Learning for Dance Education project is developing tools to assist in this process.