Dance psychology

Led by Dr Peter Lovatt, well known as ‘Dr Dance’.

Dance Psychology is the study of dance and dancers from a psychological and scientific perspective. The Dance Psychology Lab at the University of Hertfordshire was set up in 2008 as a place to bring together academics from a broad range of disciplines, and as a place to carry out scientific research, in order to further our understanding of the psychology of dance and dancers. The lab has several research themes.

Thinking and problem-solving

We have found that the way people move their body has an impact on their ability to think and solve problems. For example, we have observed enhanced divergent thinking following a short period of improvised movement. This has implications across a wide range of settings, for example, in education, corporate trouble-shooting, creativity and for people with Parkinson’s.

Self-esteem and dance confidence

We have collected a large amount of data on self-esteem and dance confidence. We are interested to understand how the self-esteem of vocational dancers differs to that of non-dancers and how dance-related self-esteem, or dance confidence, changes across the lifespan.

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