I have written two books on dance, The Dance Cure (2020) and Dance Psychology (2018). I've written articles for BBC Science Focus magazine, the Wellcome Collection, Psychology Review and the Psychologist and has co-authored many academic peer-reviewed articles.


The Dance Cure

The surprising secret to being smarter, stronger, happier

Dr Peter Lovatt

Humans are born to dance. Dancing can change the way we feel and think, boost our self-esteem, help us problem-solve and even temporarily relieve symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders. Drawing on sources from psychology, anthropology and his own extensive scientific research, dance psychologist and former professional dancer Dr Peter Lovatt explains how even the most malcoordinated of groovers can use combinations of movement to improve their mood, feel energised, think creatively and ultimately transform their lives. With a cha cha here and a wiggle there, Dr Lovatt shares with us the reasons why dance is such a powerful tool for our brains and our bodies, and he presents a unique set of steps, combos and dance routines to help us dance ourselves happy.

Published by Short Books on 2nd April 2020.

Pre-order here

Dance Psychology by Peter Lovatt (2018)

Dance Psychology is the study of dance and dancers from a scientific, psychological perspective.

Written by Dr Peter Lovatt (AKA Dr Dance), this Dance Psychology textbook provides a general introduction to the Psychology of Dance and then it delves in to eleven of the most central questions concerning Dance Psychology. These are:

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?

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.

Order here



Academic and Invited Articles
Rose, D., Cameron, D. J., Lovatt, P. J., Grahn, J. & Annett, L. E. (2020). Comparison of spontaneous motor tempo during finger tapping, toe tapping and stepping on the spot in people with and without Parkinson's disease. Journal of Movement Disorders, 13(1), 47-57.
Lovatt, P. J. (2020). The Joy of Dance. Feature for the Wellcome Collection Online.
Rose, D., Delevoye-Turrell, Y., Ott, L., Annett, L. E. & Lovatt, P. J. (2019). Music and metronomes differentially impact motor timing in people with and without Parkinson's disease: Effects of slow, medium and fast tempi on entrainment and synchronization performance in finger tapping, toe tapping and stepping on the spot. Parkinson's Disease.
Lewis, C., Annett, L.E., Davenport, S., Hall, A. and Lovatt, P. (2016). Mood changes following social dance sessions in people with Parkinson's disease. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(4), 483-492.
Lovatt, P. J. (2016). This is why we dance. BBC Science Focus, 302, 62-67.
Lewis, C., Lovatt, P. and Kirk, E. (2015). Many hands make light work: The facilitative role of gesture in verbal improvisation. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 17, 149-157
Lovatt, P. J. (2013). Dance Psychology: The Power of Dance across Behaviour and Thinking. Psychology Review, 19 (1), 18-21. 
Lovatt, P. J. (2013). Body, Thinking & Dance. The Psychologist, 26 (11).
Lovatt, P. (2011). Dance confidence, age and gender. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 668-672.
Williams, J. N. & Lovatt, P. (2005). Phonological Memory and Rule Learning. Language Learning, 55, s1, 177-233.
Lovatt, P.J., Avons, S. E. & Masterson, J. (2002). Output decay in immediate serial recall: Speech time revisited. Journal of Memory and Language, 46 (1), 227-243.
Lovatt, P. J. & Avons, S. E. (2001). Re-evaluating the word-length effect. In (Ed.) J. Andrade Working Memory in Perspective. Psychology Press.
Lovatt, P.J., Avons, S. E. & Masterson, J. (2000). The word-length effect and disyllabic words. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 53A, 1-22.
Lovatt, P.J. (1998). Immediate Serial Recall and the word-length effect. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis. University of Essex.
Lovatt, P. J. & Bairaktaris, D. (1995). A computational account of phonologically mediated free recall. In (Eds.) L. Smith and P. Hancock. Neural Computation and Psychology. Springer Verlag.
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