Monday, 4 December 2017

Healthier Dancer Conference

Empowering Dance Notes.pdf

This past Sunday I went to Healthier Dancers’ Conference hosted by One Dance UK.  It was an exciting experience for me to be gathered with other dance teachers, choreographers, and experts who were concerned with the well-being and mental health of dancers.  

Throughout Sunday’s conferences, we heard about the importance of mental health to career and wellbeing and about the need to improve access to psychological care.

Some of the speakers I enjoyed included -

Fiona Macbeth, Integrative Psychotherapist
Dr. Irina Roncaglia, Chartered Practitioner Sport and Exercise Psychologist
Dr. Nicoletta Lekka, Consultant in General Adult Psychiatry
Georgia Cooper, Health and Wellbeing Coordinator, Northern School of Contemporary Dance

According to Fiona Macbeth, Integrative Psychotherapist, some helpful ways to improve mental health while dancing professionally including 

- Maintaining core beliefs
- Good network
- Staying true to one’s own vaues
- Self-care
- Balancing (taking time when necessary or needed for one’s own self and space)
- Self-soothing techniques – Visualization, Yoga, Inner techniques – there is an app called “headspace” that was mentioned

Sometimes it is just important to bring down the stress just a little bit and this makes all the difference

According to Dr. Irina Roncaglia, Chartered Practitioner Sport and Exercise Psychologist

- it is important for the dancer to understand what is going on
- what has caused this ‘not coping’ behavior
- what are the triggers?
- Can I reframe my thinking?

This workshop was applicable to my research topic which will explore psychology in dance and specifically how to optimise performance.  A private conversation with Erin Sanchez and Dr. Irina Roncaglia were insightful and were helpful in positioning me on a path in my research project.  I have attached some transcribed notes and pictures based on a three hour long practical and theoretically based seminar on Empowering Dancers.


  1. Thank you for sharing, Brandon! It seems like it was a very interesting workshop.

  2. Hi! Thank you for sharing, I am really interested in 'The Autonomuous Advantage' and 'Authority with Autonomy'. Is there a ways to get this document or could you send me more details so I could cite this document in my inquiry? Thank you!


      You may be able to find the workshop publication here

    2. Duda, J. & Quested, E., 2014. Empowering Dance Workshop. Birmingham: The University of Birmingham.