Personal profile

Research interests

I am interested in the exploration of socio-cultural issues related to institutional and body politics across a range of dance and performance practices. Research topics include left wing dance in 1930s Britain and the USA, current South Asian dance practices in Britain, dance and social justice themes in contemporary choreography in the USA and Britain, and dance and cultural diplomacy during the Cold War. 

Research projects

Publications and Professional Connections
I co-authored introductions and co-edited an issue of the Istanbul University Journal of Women's Studies (with Professor Ann R David, 2023) and the Routledge Companion to Dance Studies, (with Professor Helen Thomas, 2020).  My sole authored book Embodied Politics: Dance, Protest and Identities (2013, Dance Books), draws together four case studies on dance and politics in the USA and Britain. I regularly contribute to international conferences and academic journals.  Invited lectures include Dancing the Cold War Symposium at Columbia University (2017), a keynote at the Dance and Democracy Conference, Nordic Forum for Dance Research, in Gothenburg, Sweden (2017) and a seminar on Cultural Diplomacy and Dance at the Athens Festival at the British School at Athens (2018).  I chair the Board of Directors of the Sonia Sabri Company based in Birmingham.

Postgraduate Supervision
I invite applications on projects investigating a range of dance practices from socio-cultural perspectives. I have co-supervised interdisciplinary PhDs with Film Studies and Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Previous students have completed theses on the following topics:

  • European contemporary choreographic practices and somatics in the 1980s
  • Screendance and South Korean political performance 
  • Exmination of gender and the Japanese walking practice, suriashi
  • Community dance and New Labour
  • The Cancan and body politics (Enlightenment to Postmodernity)
  • Maya Deren and screen dance
  • Pina Bausch, Tanztheater and the spectator
  • Flamenco dance communities in London
  • Anlo Ewe Dance in Ghana and Britain
  • Black British ballet dancers and the politics of race
  • Contemporary dance and Identity in Cyprus
  • MGM Film musicals and contemporary adaptations in musical theatre productions
  • Ritual movement in Sufi religious practices
  • Women and Tap Dance (MPhil)
  • Site Dance and Agency (PhD by publication)
  • Apollonian and Dionysian aesthetics in dance


I moved from a lecturing role to an honorary position at Roehampton in 2021. My theoretical grounding is in history, sociology of dance and dance analysis, examining themes such as dance and left wing politics, cultural diplomacy and cultural practices in relation to wider society.  My work has been supported by grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust. 


BA (cum laude), MA, PhD

Professional affiliations

Former book reviews editor for Dance Research Journal and member of its editorial board

Member of the AHRC Peer Review College

Member of of the Society for Dance Research

Member Dance Studies Association

Consultancy work

Authored reports commissioned by Akademi, documenting Artist Forum meetings in 2011, 2010, authored report on Looking for the Invisible symposium on February 25, 2012