PETER LOVATT

DANCE
PSYCHOLOGIST

Introduction

Dr Peter Lovatt is a Dance Psychologist. He holds the academic post of Reader in Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, where he set up 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 has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Peter is currently delivering a series of lectures on Performance (Dance) Psychology at the Royal Ballet School.

Faculty Positions

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).

Academic Education

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).

Professional dancer to Dance Psychologist

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.

TV and Media Projects

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 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, and he has been interviewed on national radio programmes such as Saturday Live and Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio 4).

Stage and Screen

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.

Business facing

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. If you would like Peter to speak at one of your events, please get in touch
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