the national conference on dance and dementia


Biographies of contributors

  • Diane Amans - Dance artist, choreographer, training consultant, author [Web site]

    Diane Amans is a community dance artist and director of Freedom in Dance, based in Stockport. Freedom in Dance offers dance to people in sheltered housing complexes, day-care centres, and hospitals, and also to mature movers in the community. With over thirty years experience in dance, Diane mainly specialises in working with older people and intergenerational groups, and her approach is ‘person-centred and failure-free.’ This breakout group discussed how to work with older people in dance and some of the challenges posed by this group.

    See her full CV.

  • Francis Angol [Web site]

    Francis Angol is the Artistic Director of Movement Angol Dance Company, and is a dancer / performer, choreographer and somatics movement educator with over 22 years experience in the field of dance and the performing arts. A former fellowship artist of the Arts Council of England, Francis has, over the years, developed work that has contributed to the enrichment of British dance culture and the lives of many individuals.

    A graduate of the University of Central Lancashire with an MA in Dance & Somatics Wellbeing, he pulls together his knowledge and experience of the expressive body to offer individuals a life enhancing opportunity to bring about a more conscious awareness of the self, so as to explore personal pathways into the body for a life changing experience to reclaim a sense of wholeness and balance from within.

  • Ken Bartlett - Director, Foundation for Community Dance

    Ken leads the CDF’s artistic policies, and the development of programmes of work of strategic importance nationally and internationally, particularly those that support intercultural dialogue, diversity, and disabled people. Ken is an advocate for access to, participation in and progression through dance, and is responsible for our senior-level policy relationships. A regular contributor to conferences and publications, Ken also commissions our own magazine, Animated. A former Teacher and School Inspector for the arts, Ken was, before joining the Foundation for Community Dance in 1995, Head of Arts and Cultural Services for Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council starting the process of developing the New Art Gallery. Ken is a Board member of Yorkshire Dance, and has previously taught and lectured in the USA, Australia, Latin America and Europe.

  • Sue Benson

    Sue Benson is editor of the Journal of Dementia Care.

  • Maxine Brown

    Maxine Brown began her dance career in 1981; she is a founder member of Delado African Drum and Dance Ensemble. During this time she trained with Daniel Laryea and Yoa Severgie as well as Jackie Guy, Mapopa Mtonga and Peter Badejo. As well as dancing in the company Maxine developed her workshop skills and took the work out to community spaces and schools

    Maxine has continued her professional development increasing her skills and knowledge in African Caribbean dance and arts by attending courses and master classes nationally and internationally with many of the leading teachers of African Caribbean dance and other forms.

    Maxine currently works part time for Merseyside Dance Initiative,(MDI) a the African Peoples Dance (APD) Community Artist. She also continues her work as a freelance artist nationally and internationally. Maxine has recently completed an MA Degree in Dance and Somatic Well-being at UCLAN Preston

    This course has given her an even deeper understanding of the link between body and mind in movement practice which links directly to her work in dance health and wellbeing at MDI.

    Maxine has worked with a wide range of age groups and has extensive experience with Early Years, Children and Young People and Elders. She currently leads MDI’s work at Alder Hey Hospital and in the Caribbean Centre, aimed at adults with mental health issues as well at the work at Aintree Hospital for those suffering from blood disorders and at Hector Peterson Close for elders in the community.

    She recently won an award from the Merseyside Black History Month Group as Female Achiever for her involvement and contribution in African Caribbean dance and arts.

  • Jagjit Chuhan

    Jagjit Chuhan is an artist and Professor of International Art at Liverpool John Moores University. Exhibitions of her paintings have been staged in Europe, Asia and UK venues including Tate Liverpool; Barbican Centre, London; Arnolfini, Bristol and Ikon, Birmingham. Solo exhibitions include A long way from home, The Lowry, Salford (2002-03); Parampara Portraits (2004-5) tour including to Watermans Arts Centre, London; Journeys, Cartwright Hall, Bradford (2005) and The Body Inside at New Hall, University of Cambridge (2007). Her paintings are held in collections including the Arts Council Collection, University of Liverpool Art Collection, Usher Gallery in Lincoln, Cartwright Hall in Bradford.

  • Julia Clark C. Psychol., M. App. Sci., PhD

    Dr. Clark worked as a post doctoral neuroscience researcher prior to training as a clinical psychologist and then specialising in neuropsychology. She has experience of working in Acute Hospitals and Rehabilitation Units as well as in the community. At present she works as part of the West Dunbartonshire Acquired Brain Injury Team but maintains her academic links by lecturing on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Course at the University of Glasgow.
    She is passionate about ensuring that information from her specialty of neuropsychological rehabilitation reaches those people it can help the most. As part of this initiative she has for the past three years been developing and delivering community based Brain Injury Awareness Training Courses for patients, family members, carers and professionals. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Scottish Huntingdon’s Association and has been elected to the Public Engagement Committee of the Society for Endocrinology.

  • Dr Richard Coaten [Web site]

    Dr Richard Coaten is a dance movement psychotherapist employed by the Southwest Yorkshire NHS Partnership Trust to run this service. He has much experience and has submitted a doctoral thesis to Roehampton University on the importance of dance movement psychotherapy in the care of people living with dementia and those who care for them.

    Richard helps ensure the provision of onsite, group and one-to-one based sessions. Sessions involve a variety of activities including listening and moving to music, singing, dancing and reminiscing. They take place in a supportive atmosphere with full appreciation of remaining individual abilities.

    Evidence from an audit indicates significant benefits in social interaction, supporting/increasing mobility, and in supporting long-term memory, communication skills and remaining capacities.

    See also Richard's video Going by way of the body in dementia care.

  • Katy Dymoke

    Katy Dymoke is a Dance Movement Psychotherapist working in the NHS in Oldham as a touch based specialist and has worked in Dementia wards, Mental Health, and secure units. Katy delivered an NVQ3 training for dancers and nurses in her techniques. She is a certified teacher and practitioner in Body-Mind Centering® from Manchester. Katy has presented at conferences, been a guest lecturer and has published her writing on touch based working methodology and integrated dance. With funding from the NHS Katy is doing a PHD on the impact of touch in Movement Psychotherapy at Liverpool John Moores University. Katy established the Body-Mind Centering® certification programs in the UK as she believes in the innate intelligence of the body and the joy it brings. As a professional dancer and artistic director of Touchdown Dance Katy creates dance theatre and film. Touchdown Dance is unique for integrating blind and sighted dancers in a professional touring and workshop company. Collaborating with musicians, actors and dancers for 25 years, she has been an advocate for integrated arts practise. A lover of the outdoors and physical activity she has a 3rd Dan in Jujitsu

  • Fergus Early [Web site]

    The founder and Artistic Director of Green Candle Dance, one of the country’s leading exponents of dance in community and education, was awarded an OBE for services to dance in the New Year Honours List. He said: ‘It is wonderful to be recognised for work that is often underrated and invisible. I feel this is an award for the whole of the independent dance sector and in particular the area known as community dance. I have always contended that everyone has a right to enjoy dance, whether by participating in it or watching it and maybe this award is a small milestone towards making that a reality.’

  • Joy & Eric Foxley [Web site]

    Joy Foxley has spent many years teaching, and her interest in dance and song from English-speaking countries and India makes her uniquely qualified to be an animateur in this area. Her interest in English dance and song is represented in the web sites for the Greenwood Step Clog Dancers and the Freds Folks Ceilidh Band. She and her husband Eric visit schools for sessions of singing or dancing. She first learnt Kathak-style Indian dance in Leicester under Nilima Devi at CICD, and then spent long periods in India, first under Janaki Damle at Baroda, then under Kumudini Lakhia at Kadamb in Ahmedabad. She uses stories and dance in schools and with community groups. Details can be found on her website of her "Chota Hathi" story as taught in both English and German schools (music by Atul Desai in Ahmedabad), and of the "Hafiz the Stonecutter" story book made by one group of school children. She has worked with Chaturangan on dance for older people.

    Eric Foxley has been involved in British folk dance, song and music since 1950. He worked on committees of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and produced a document for them of advice to musicians playing for dancing. He has organised many dance and music tours in France, not attending festivals but contacting individual towns and villages and running social events and workshops as well as shows. A popular dance called "Mrs Foxley's Fancy" was composed in honour of his mother. He has travelled extensively with work in China, India, South-East Asia, Africa, Europe and America, and always looks for music and dance opportunities wherever he is. For ten years now he has been happily retired with not a minute to spare, mountain biking, hill walking, running a pottery, managing web sites for a modest fee, and running the Foresters Morris Men, the Greenwood Step Clog Dancers and Freds Folks Ceilidh Band.

  • Alicia Sofia Garfias

    Alicia Sofia Garfias is a final year student in the Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) training programme at Goldsmiths College, London University. She currently submitted her thesis for consideration. Alicia’s experience as a trainee DMP with a group of older persons over 65 diagnosed with dementia has shaped and influenced her practice. As part of her training, she has been involved in DMP work with children in a mainstream primary school, and also with Latin American women. From a Communications background, Alicia has a BA in Communication Sciences and a specialty in Audio-Visual Production from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. She has performed on stage as part of the CENCREM opera academy in Mexico, her home country and later received a scholarship from CONACULTA for private tango lessons in Buenos Aires with M. Bernadaz and V. Gardela, former ‘Forever Tango’ performers. Her experience in dance and movement is rich as she brings together elements from bel canto, yoga, martial arts, contemporary dance, ballet and World dances. She was awarded the Ebb & Flow Bursary from Goldsmiths College, London University in 2009.

  • GODS - Growing Older (Dis)gracefully

    Who we are
    Growing Older (Dis)Gracefully is an amateur group of older adults (45-80) who love to dance. Some have been involved in dance for longer than they care to remember, some have not danced since their childhood and for others it has been a totally new experience. What we all share is a passion for the camaraderie that comes from creating and performing dance.

    What we do
    We show how it’s done! We have performed at different events and venues across Liverpool including the Empire, BlackE, Metropolitan Cathedral and Williamson Square in the rain! We also travel further afield to places like Birmingham and Devon, and in August this year to the Gloucester Water Park for a National PE conference. Wherever we are invited we love to put on our dancing shoes and have fun.

    What it does for us
    Whilst the dancing has brought us together, it is the growing friendships that keep us together. The motivation and support that the group provides has been therapeutic for us all at one time or another. The obvious benefits of being active speak for themselves. Being part of Growing Older (Dis)Gracefully gives us all a great sense of wellbeing and achievement, probably the reason why we are still going strong after 11 years!.

  • Azucena Guzman - Institute for Ageing and Health, University of Newcastle [Web site]

    Azucena Guzman is a Doctoral student at the Institute for Ageing & Health, Newcastle University, UK. Her background is in Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation. Azucena has been involved in Latin Ballroom dance since 1986, and has studied dance and older people with dementia since 2005. You can obtain references, publications and Danzón music from her by emailing her.

  • Julie Hannah

    Julie has worked in the NHS for over 20 years as an occupational therapist, counsellor and manager. Her work has been predominantly in specialised mental health services. In 2004 she began a secondment with the Liverpool Culture Company as creative health and well being manager. This period has been a period of personal and professional growth for Julie who has gained much from being in an environment which brings health workers and creative and artistic partners together with different perspectives and experiences yet with shared goals.

  • Dr Jill Hayes Sr Reg DMT [Web site]

    Jill is a senior lecturer at the University of Chichester. She is an active researcher and writer in the field of Arts Therapies. Her PhD research investigates the contribution of dance movement therapy to choreographic and performance education focusing on three cohorts of Chichester students following a Dance Movement Therapy module. Jill is a qualified, experienced dance movement therapist and has published journal articles and conference papers focusing on her research.

    Gill leads the MA Experiencing the Arts Therapies Plus: Embodying Personal Myth module.

    See her full CV.

  • Cynthia Heymanson BA CSS DMS

    Cynthia Heymanson BA, CSS, DMS - has worked in a range of older peoples’ services since 1983 including Home Care, Care Homes, and Social Work Assessment Team. She has worked for East Sussex County Council, The Relatives & Residents Association, and as Dementia Development Worker for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. She has worked as an independent trainer (subjects include User Involvement and Dementia) in Care Homes, and for Brighton & Hove City Council. Currently she provides dementia training, is involved with Glyndebourne Opera Education in their annual Dementia Project and runs Circle Dance sessions in Sussex for the Alzheimer’s Society and Care Homes.

  • David Howe

    David Howe, Drama and Movement therapist, presents a short talk on the benefits of using
    film in therapy as an aid to remembering and personal change in the everyday .

  • Teresa Jankowska

  • Kath Kershaw [Web site]

    Kath Kershaw has several years experience in both leading and training staff in circle dance and creative writing for people with dementia. She worked in the NHS for over twenty years - including some years as an Occupational Therapy Instructor and Arts Facilitator in therapy services. She was responsible for her own client caseload in each area of work – learning disability, mental health and dementia. Kath qualified as an adult teacher in education (City & Guilds) and published a book about thoughts and feelings of people with dementia ‘Hiding because I didn’t like porridge’. She was initially responsible for setting up of the three circle dance groups currently running in Barnsley, and provides support and training when required. She currently runs therapeutic activities in Care Home and Day Service locations.

  • John Killick [Web site]

    See Dementia Positive, the Web site of John Killick (poet and writer) and Kate Allan (psychologist and researcher) presenting their UK-based work with people who have dementia.

  • Vina Ladwa

    Vina Ladwa born in East Africa is trained in Kathak dance – one of the classical styles of dance from North India. Vina is also a founder of Manushi Dance Company (1996) and was short listed for Asian Womens Achivement Award (AWAA) 2005. Company trains dancers to a higher level to perform nationally and internationally. See full CV here.

    Vina is an experienced teacher delivers dance workshops, movement therapy and storytelling with all ages i.e. education sectors, elderly groups, mental health, antenatal groups, women’s institutes and people with learning difficulties. Has also given performances and lecture demonstrations to events and arts organizations i.e. Caux in Switzerland an international conference center for Initiatives of Change, in prinsons, Blue Peter (BBC TV), Children in Need, .AWAA attended by Prince Charles and Chamilla.

  • Yael Loewenstein [Web site]

    Yael Loewenstein works as a choreographer and body-work practitioner. Guided by the belief that the skills and sensibilities the choreographic craft fosters are highly transferable, Yael works in a variety of realms including theatre, dance, opera and motion capture for video games and education.

    Over the past number of years, Yael has complimented her choreographic practice with her teaching practice. She has developed classes for people of all ages, backgrounds and experience. The majority of Yael’s teaching work takes place with people 60+ in care homes and drop in centres with organisations such as EMAG (Ethnic Minorities Advocacy Group), Age Concern, Sanctuary Housing, Excelcare, London Borough of Richmond and Tower Hamlets, Primary Care Trusts amongst others. Yael is also a Falls Prevention Practitioner. Her work integrates both choreographic/dance and falls prevention material and her classes cater for mixed abilities and health conditions.

    In 2009, Yael was commissioned to make a film about her work with elders by Chisenhale Dance Space for their Homelands Dance Festival. She created a project entitled Voices of Change, which after receiving further funding in 2010 is being currently being developed with an increased amount of participants in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

    Overall, Yael’s work - no matter the genre, aims to delight in collaboration, enhance the individual’s sense of physical awareness and self-esteem as well as foster a vital sense of community.

  • Sissy Lykou

    Sissy is a registered member (RDMP) of the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy in the UK since 2008. She is a scholar of the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies-University of Essex for the PhD entitled “Dance Movement Psychotherapy sessions with second-generation immigrant children in primary schools; cultural transmission and its effect on the cultural unconscious. Biculturalism or marginality?”. She also has an MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy (Goldsmiths) and BSc (Hons) in Psychology (Panteion University, Athens). Sissy has worked as a psychologist, therapeutic riding instructor, dance movement psychotherapist, movement practitioner and dancer. After finishing her studies in psychology and dance in Athens, she moved to London for her MA degree. Sissy’s training and experience include work and studies in Athens, London and Munich. She has specialised in children and adults with learning difficulties.

  • François Matarasso

    François Matarasso is a researcher and consultant with 25 years’ experience in community-based arts activity. He currently leads a Culture East Midlands/EMDA programme on culture in rural development, based in Nottingham. He specialises in practice-led research, especially on the impact of culture. He has been commissioned by partners in over 25 countries and his work has been widely published and translated. He is Chair of Arts Council East Midlands.

  • Clive Parkinson

    Clive Parkinson is the Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University; the UK’s longest established arts and health unit. He was project lead on the HM Treasury funded; Invest to Save: Arts in Health Project and is a passionate advocate for culture and the arts. In 2009 he was awarded an Enterprise Curriculum Fellowship.

    Through facilitated networking, practical support, training on the ground and high level political lobbying, he has succeeded in gaining strategic support and a greater understanding of the potency of the arts in the UK.

  • Marina Rova MA RDMP BA Hons RAD RTS - Dance Movement Psychotherapist, Dance Practitioner

    Greek born Marina Rova has been living and working in London since 2002. She was classically trained with the Royal Academy of Dance to an advanced level and was awarded a RAD Teaching Certificate with Distinction in 2002. Marina also holds a (first class) BA Hons Dance degree from Roehampton University (2005). In 2007 she was awarded a (first class) Post-Graduate Diploma in Dance Movement Psychotherapy which led to her Masters thesis (awarded with Distinction in 2009) 'Towards a Phenomenology of Embodiment within Dance Movement Psychotherapy'. Marina worked as a teacher of dance in various educational settings in Athens and London over a period of ten years. She then begun her psychotherapeutic practice in educational, community and mental health settings facilitating a range of populations and age groups. Marina currently works as a Mental Health practitioner in a Continuing Care Unit for Dementia and as an Arts Psychotherapist in acute psychiatry within the NHS. She is also a Certified Dementia Care Mapper trained by Bradford University and the Bradford Dementia Group. Marina has participated in various independent performance productions in London as a performer and choreographer. De Mentis is her debut research performance work and independent production to be presented both nationally and internationally.
    Marina is the Artistic Director for De Mentis: Silent Stories I, II and III, a research performance project on the lived experience of Dementia in collaboration with London-based artists and therapists. Further to her academic and professional career Marina is a keen traveller, photographer, dance film-maker and creative writer. In 2010 Marina completed a London School of Journalism travel writing course and joined the Live-Zakynthos creative team. Marina continues to be curious about site-specific improvisation, a sample of which she has filmed as part of her Body Diary series. See also the Livedbody-Embodiedlife Web site.

  • Bisakha Sarker

    Bisakha Sarker is a leading practitioner of Indian creative dance. She has worked as a performer, choreographer, researcher, educationalist, critic, writer and video maker. Bisakha was born in India .She received her masters degree in Statistics from the University of Calcutta. After coming to the UK she adopted Liverpool as her home. She works all over the country in a wide range of situations. Her innovative work, much of it with disabled people, has challenged traditional cultural boundaries. Her rich spiritual creativity inspires others to translate their experiences and emotions into the shapes and rhythms of dance. Bisakha hands over the ownership of the dance to all those with whom she works, empowering them in a unique way. Both her performance and participatory work is informed by eastern spirituality. Bisakha Sarker is currently the director of Chaturangan, an agency based in Liverpool working to raise the profile of South Asian dance, culture and spirituality both locally and nationally.

  • Naama Spitzer

    Naama is a post graduate research student at Coventry University, studying dance improvisation as her subject area. She has been working as a teacher and assessor in community dance for the last 12 years. Recently she has been involved in Dance4Health projects with older people in the West Midlands and was the researcher on the Dance Connections project.

  • Miranda Tufnell

    For the last thirty years Miranda has been pursuing a profound interest in the body, both as a dancer, making performances, and as an Alexander teacher and cranio-sacral therapist (both independently and within the NHS). Her work has followed a passion to listen more deeply to the body's subtleties of movement, and to explore the human need to find a language for what is beneath our words. Miranda runs "Body and Imagination".
    Miranda Tufnell is a dance artist, body therapist and co author with Chris Crickmay of Body Space Image and Widening Field, both handbooks for working with the body and the creative process. She has also worked for 14 years within the NHS and recently compiled a handbook for dancers working in health for the Foundation for Community Dance

  • Dr Sarah Whatley

    Sarah Whatley is Professor of Dance and Director of Research, ICELab, at Coventry University. She is a writer and artist; and her research specialises in dance analysis, the interface between dance and digital technologies, and dance and disability. She led the AHRC-funded Siobhan Davies archive project; Siobhan Davies Replay, and is now working on the AHRC-funded Digital Dance Archives project with the University of Surrey, and leads the JISC-funded D-TRACES project to embed Siobhan Davies Replay within the BA dance curriculum. Amongst her other research projects she is a member of the AHRC-funded Screendance Network and is international associate for a pan-European research cluster, Inside Movement Knowledge. She edits the international Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices and is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Screendance.

  • Chris Davies

Paintings by
Noelle Williamson
of Bisakha Sarker and Diane Amans rehearsing their piece for this conference.

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