Department of Dance

Visiting address
116a Lawrence, Froebel

Phone: +44 (0)20 8392 4482


Theresa Buckland is Professor of Dance History and Ethnography. Her main roles in the Department are supervision of PhD students and teaching on the MA Dance Anthropology and MA Dance, Philosophy and History.

Professor Buckland has edited two books: Dance in the Field: Theory, Methods and Issues in Dance Ethnography (Macmillan, 1999) the first dedicated international publication on ethnographic research in dance and Dancing from Past to Present: Nation, Culture, Identities (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006). She has published numerous research articles on popular and social dance and on dance as cultural memory.

Her monograph Society Dancing: Fashionable Bodies in England, 1870-1920 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) charts the changes in social dancing from the late Victorian period to the beginnings of modern English ballroom dancing. The book raises issues of movement socialisation, class and gender, national identity, self-expression and cultural leadership that resonate across the wider dance culture of modern Britain.

She has examined thirty doctorates in Dance and supervised fifteen to successful completion in the subject. Professor Buckland welcomes inquiries for doctoral supervision, in particular, in dance history (especially nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century British) and in folk dance.


  • PhD, Institute of Dialect and Folk Life Studies, University of Leeds
  • BA (1st Class), English Language and Literature, University of Leeds

Research interests

Social and danced relations across stage and street, particularly in the long nineteenth century; dance history and historiography; theory of dance anthropology, ethnochoreology  and ethnography.

Current writing includes early English modern ballroom dancing, moves towards establishing a discipline of dance in Victorian Britain, an evaluation of recent directions in inter-relations between history and ethnography of dance, and an article (co-authored) on the ballet choreographer and dancer James Harvey D’Egville.

Research projects

  • Society Dancing in England 1870-1920
  • P J S Richardson and Transformation in Social Dancing, 1900-1924
  • Maintaining Social Distinction: The D'Egvilles of Brighton and London, 1830-1900
  • Dance and High Society: Report and Reminiscence, 1870-1914
  • Edward Scott: Socio-cultural perspectives on a late Victorian dancing master
  • Constructs of Identity in North-West English Morris Dancing, 1970-2001
  • The Competitive International Folk Dance Festival

Professional affiliations

  • Congress on Research in Dance
  • English Folk Dance and Song Society
  • The Folklore Society
  • International Council for Traditional Music
  • Society for Dance Research
  • Society for Dance History Scholars
  • Social History Society
  • Society for Ethnomusicology
  • PopMoves (UK consortium of universities, with focus on teaching and research in popular dance)
  • Nineteenth Century Derived Couple Dances (European Working Group, ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology)

Consultancy work

  • Peer Review Board, European Research Council
  • Advisory Editorial Board, Dance Research
  • Assistant Editor, Folk Music Journal
  • Editorial board, Folklore

Media Consultancy

  • Consultant for BBC's The One Show: feature on exhibition dancers Irene and Vernon Castle (2014)
  • Consultant for BBC's online magazine iWonder: feature entitled Dirty dances: A timeline of the moves that shocked (2014)
  • Consultant and interviewee for Dancing Cheek to Cheek: An Intimate History of Dance, BBC FOUR TV series presented by Dr Lucy Worsley and Len Goodman (2014)
  • Interviewee, Thinking Allowed, with Laurie Taylor, BBC Radio Four (2013)
  • Invited speaker, Victoria and Albert Museum, London Beauty and the Ball: Fashion, Society and Ballgowns exhibition. Lecture entitled 'Dancing and Decorum at the Society Ball' (2012)
  • Specialist Advisor, Deborah Bull's Dance Nation, BBC Radio Four (2012)


ID: 24667