PETER LOVATT

DANCE
PSYCHOLOGIST

 



Hello, my name is Dr Peter Lovatt. 

My breakthrough moment came when I combined his my knowledge and fascination with psychology and neuroscience with my passion for dance. I spent over twenty years as a university academic researching the relationship between the body and the mind. I set up the first Dance Psychology Lab in 2008, from where I studied how movement changes the way people think, feel and interact with others.

I found that when you move, you improve. Movement enhances human experience.

I am the author of two books, The Dance Cure (2020), which is published by Short Books on the 2nd April 2020, and Dance Psychology (2018), which is a more academic text, looking at the science of dance and dancers.

Together with Lindsey Lovatt, occupational and systemic therapist, I am a co-creator of Movement in Practice (MiP), a technique for using movement to enhance the human experience in business, education, health and social care.

I am a world-class speaker who delivers groovy keynotes. Speaking about movement, and its impact on our relationships, thinking and emotions, I have shared keynote sessions with the TV legend Oprah Winfrey, the former president of the USA Barack Obama, the multi-award winning actor Geena Davis, the co-founder of Apple Inc., Steve "The Woz" Wozniak, the Virgin-founder Sir Richard Branson, and the basketball superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and many others.

My aim is to take you on a thought-provoking and entertaining exploration of the psychology of movement and how it affects uniquely human skills that are important in education, healthcare and the workplace.

I have over 25 years of teaching experience, and I currently teach two courses on Dance Psychology at the Royal Ballet School in London.

I am sometimes known as Dr Dance.

Published by Short Boooks on 2nd April 2020. Pre-order here

Dance Psychology: The Science of Dance and Dancers is available on Kindle and as a hard copy.

Dr Peter Lovatt's Background


From 2004 to 2019 Peter held the academic post of Reader and Principal Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, where he set up and ran the Dance Psychology Lab. Peter’s expertise is in experimental cognitive psychology and his work on memory, thinking, mood, language learning, problem solving, dance and Parkinson’s disease has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals.


Before moving to the University of Hertfordshire Peter was a senior lecturer at Kingston University (2001-2004), he worked in industry as a Principal Research Scientist at Vox Generation (2000-2001), held the post of Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of English at Cambridge University (1998-2000) and was a Lecturer in Psychology at Greenwich University (1996-1998).


After overcoming a severe reading difficulty in his early twenties, Peter studied for a BSc (hons) in Psychology and English at the Roehampton Institute (degree awarded by the University of Surrey in 1993). In the same year he was awarded a national Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) scholarship to study for an MSc in Neural Computation at the Centre for Cognitive and Computational Neurosciences at the University of Stirling (degree awarded 1994) and following this he was awarded a full university scholarship to study for a PhD at the University of Essex (completing in 1998).


Prior to taking his academic degrees, Peter was a professional dancer. He trained in dance and musical theatre at the Guildford School of Acting and worked as a dancer in musical theatre. Peter combined the study of dance and psychology in 2008, applying techniques from experimental cognitive psychology and neuroscience to develop a greater understanding of movement and dance. This work has led to a programme of research which examines the effect of dance and movement on the motor and non-motor symptoms of the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s.

 

Dr Lovatt’s work has been reported on TV, radio and in the national and international press, through which he has become known as Dr Dance. He has been invited to give many keynotes around the world and has delivered five TEDx talks (and dozens of TED-style talks). Peter has been invited to appear on many popular TV shows, including Darcey Bussell: Dancing to Happiness (BBC2), Strictly Come Dancing: It takes two, The Graham Norton Show, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Big Brother's (and Celebrity Big Brother’s) Bit on the Side, Britain's Got Talent, and he has been interviewed on national radio programmes such as Saturday Live and Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio 4).

 

Peter has made two full length TV pilots in the UK and USA. He made Doctor Dance for Channel 4 (through Tiger Aspect) in 2012 and Doctor Happy for A&E network (through Brian Graden Media) in 2016. Peter has made three full length theatre shows: Dance Doctor, Dance (which premiered and ran for 23 nights at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe), Inspired (which premiered in 2011) and Boogie on the Brain (which premiered before a UK Tour in 2018). Peter’s first academic book, Dance Psychology: The Science of Dance and Dancers, was published in 2018.

 

Peter has spoken at a wide range of international conferences, where he has addressed policy makers, business leaders and government ministers from around the world. In 2019 Peter shared keynote sessions with Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Richard Branson and Geena Davis.
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