Dance & Psychology

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Born to Dance
Thursday 16 April
Dr Peter Lovatt, psychologist and ‘Doctor Dance’ at the University of Hertfordshire is back at the Science Festival by popular demand. He has partnered up with Bangor University's dancer-turned-neuroscientist Dr Emily Cross for an on-your-feet investigation of the mechanics of how we read the world when we get on down. Are humans hard-wired to find joy in a jig? Can improvisational dances boost your memory? And what happens in an infant’s brain when they see a samba? An energetic exploration of the relationships between movement, cognition and memory: be prepared to polish up your dancing shoes! Tickets


Peter Lovatt is a Dance Psychologist. He holds the academic post of Reader and Principal Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire where he runs the Dance Psychology Lab. His academic research  addresses  questions such as: what’s the link between dancing and neurodegeneration? How does dancing change the way people think and solve problems? And, why is the way we move linked to our hormonal and genetic make up? Peter has a BSc in Psychology and English, a MSc in Neural Computation and a PhD in Experimental Cognitive Psychology. He carried out his post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge.

On this site you can learn about Dance Psychology, read some of Peter's academic papers and discover what work is being carried out at the Dance Psychology Lab .

Before studying the psychology of dance Peter was a professional dancer. He trained in dance and musical theatre at the Guildford School of Acting. Peter combined the study of dance and psychology in 2008 and since then his work has been reported on TV, radio and in the national and international  press, where he has become known as Doctor Dance. He has been invited to give many keynote talks around the world, he has given five TEDx talks. As a TV Dance Psychologist  he’s appeared on many popular shows, including Strictly Come Dancing: It takes two, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Big Brother's Bit on the Side and the Graham Norton Show.

On this site you can see some of Peter's TEDx talks, see snippets of his appearances on TV shows, read what the papers say, and learn about his experience of making a TV show with Channel 4.