Dr Peter Lovatt is a Dance Psychologist

Dance Psychology is the study of people who dance from a psychological perspective. Dance Psychology is based on scientific methods.

Dance Psychologists look at questions such as:

  • Are humans born to dance?
  • Does the way you move your body change the way you think?
  • Will dancing make people happier?
  • Can dancing put people in to a trance-like state?
  • Will a person's dance confidence change across the lifespan?
  • Does dancing make people healthier?
  • Why do we enjoy watching some dance performances more than others?
  • How do dancers remember so many dance routines?
  • Why don’t dancers get dizzy?
  • Will dancing improve a person's self-esteem?
  • How do we communicate emotions with our body?

Dr Peter Lovatt is a Reader in Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, where he carries out research in Dance Psychology.  One of his current research projects looks at the effects of dancing on the symptoms of Parkinson's. Parkinson's is a progressive neurodegenerative condition. There are about 145,000 people in the UK diagnosed with Parkinson's. Parkinson's develops when brain cells which produce dopamine stop working properly. This leads to difficulties controlling movements. For example, people with Parkinson's may develop a tremor in their limbs, they might develop slowness of movement and they might experience muscle stiffness. There are other symptoms which may be experienced too, such as changes in the way people think, low mood, and a reduction is some aspects of quality of life. As a Dance Psychologist Dr Lovatt is interested in Parkinson's because it has been shown that dancing can lead to temporary improvements in some of these symptoms. As a scientist he is interested in understanding how and why rhythmic movement has an impact on these symptoms.


Dr Peter Lovatt speaks at corporate conferences around the world. For example, in 2018 he has been invited to speak in USA, Australia and Europe. Peter speaks on a range of topics, and his central message is that you can change the way you think and solve problems by moving your body (really, you should try it), and that smiling can have profound effects on your health and well-being.


Peter is activily engaged in the Public Understanding of Psychology and to this end he is  taking his show "BOOGIE ON THE BRAIN" on a UK tour.


Peter is the author of Dance Psychology, a book about the science of dance and dancers. This textbook provides a general introduction to Dance Psychology and then it delves in to eleven of the most central questions concerning Dance Psychology.  Drawing on academic literature, this book is engaging, technical and, in places, critical; it is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Dance Psychology.   Buy it here

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