Combining Dance, Movement and Psychology
Hello, my name is Dr Peter Lovatt. I’m interested in dance and movement, and the effect that dancing and moving has on people. I’m a former professional dancer who spent over 25 years working in universities as an academic psychologist. I’m sometimes known as Dr Dance.
I’m the author of The Dance Cure: The surprising secret to being smarter, stronger, happier – which was published in the UK in 2020 by Short Books and shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers Award for non-fiction in the same year. The Dance Cure has since been published in the USA, Germany and Brazil.
I am a director of Movement in Practice – which provides education and training in the use of dance and movement to enhance people’s lives in business, education,dance, health and social care.
I am also really excited to be a co-founder of the Move-Assure Dance for Mental Wellbeing Programme alongside Dame Darcey Bussell and Lindsey Lovatt.
Welcome to my website.
Dance Psychology Lab
Broadly speaking, I’ve had two careers in 40 years.
First, I was a professional dancer, then I was a university lecturer – in Psychology.
In 2008 I combined these careers and set up the Dance Psychology Lab.
My three aims were:
– to carry out research in the psychology of dance and dancers.
– to apply the research to real-world situations.
– to communicate research findings in the field to the broader public.
These continue to be my aims.
I am interested in the impact of dance and movement on human relationships, thinking, emotions and physical and psychological functioning. I have a PhD in Experimental Cognitive Psychology and a MSc in Neural Computation. My research on memory, thinking, mood, language learning, problem solving, dance and Parkinson’s disease has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and I have written a textbook called Dance Psychology: The Science of Dance and Dancers (2018).
I’m interested in finding new ways of applying research in real-world situations. This might be through the provision of dance classes for people with specific health needs (e.g. Parkinson’s or mental health), or through the creation of educational courses for people to learn about the psychology of movement and dance, or it might be by changing work practices, using movement, to create more productive environments. I am a Fellow of The RSA – the Royal Society for Arts – The royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce is a network of entrepreneurs, educators and innovators working to advance society, the economy and the environment.
I have always loved communicating science to the broadest possible audience and I am the author of The Dance Cure: the surprising secret to being smarter, stronger, happier (2020). What I really love about “public engagement” with science and dance is the variety of media channels through which I work. For example, I’ve made theatre and TV shows, spoken at festivals, given several TEDx talks, been interviewed by international press, tv and radio programmes and spoken at corporate events. I even took the science of dance on Britain’s Got Talent. What unites all these experiences is my aim to encourage public engagement with science and dance.
The Doctor Dance - Happy Dance
I hope you enjoy The Doctor Dance Happy Dance.
It was filmed by Emma Flett in Cromer on February 29, 2020.
The dancers were local to Cromer and most were members of LONGEVITY Exercise for Life, headed up by Annamarie Sterne
TEDx Observer 2012
I was extrememly grateful to be invited to speak as part of TEDx Observer 2012.
The event was held at Sadler’s Wells, one of the major dance theatres in London.
It was wonderful to turn the tables on the auditorium and see the audience dance.