Since 2008 Peter has appeared in the media (TV, radio and print), made dance and psychology stage shows and been involved in the development of several TV projects.
Here's a flavour in chronological order. Follow the links for a glimpse of cuttings and youtube vids.
Darcey Bussell knows how important dancing has been throughout her life. As a prima ballerina, she found it gave her structure and confidence. And when she retired from her professional career 12 years ago, she realised just how crucial dancing had become. 'About a year afterwards it came in this massive wave that I was missing something about who I was as a person, and it was dance basically.' So today she still dances, 'different styles of dance but just not taking it to the obsession I did with classical ballet'.
Since her retirement from professional ballet, Dame Darcey Bussell has become a formidable advocate for promoting dance at all stages of life, and to help not just the body, but just as importantly the mind. She has piloted dance classes for schoolchildren across the country and spoken in Parliament calling for dance to be a key part of the curriculum to help children's fitness. She is aware that tackling our mental health crisis is an important challenge that affects many in the UK today and strongly believes that the value of dancing is undervalued in improving our mental health. So in this programme, Darcey's mission is to meet a wide range of people using dance as therapy and as a result experiencing the joy of 'dancing to happiness'.
In Manchester Darcey meets an inspiring choreographer and dancer, Kevin Turner. Kevin draws on his personal mental health experiences to help young people across the world and has returned to his home town to start a therapeutic dance project for young women who have been referred by a local support group. In the last 25 years, depression amongst teenagers has risen by 70% in the UK and the girls Kevin works with suffer from a range of conditions that affect all aspects of their lives. Darcey takes part in a six-week course to see if Kevin's work can help the girls learn, often for the first time, just how much they can achieve.
At the University of Hertfordshire dancer turned scientist Dr Peter Lovatt is now at the cutting edge of dance research. He is part of a growing movement of practitioners using dance to help with mental health. Peter and his colleagues are researching to find out if the psychological benefits of social dance have a positive effect on people with degenerative conditions. They are focusing on Parkinson's and at the class they run Darcey finds their work is delivering some surprising results.
In Bury, the Silver Swans are using dance to overcome the isolation and loneliness which so often troubles people when they retire. Darcey joins their weekly ballet class and hears their stories about the value they see in dancing. To the class's surprise, she even takes them through one of their dances! In Edinburgh, Darcey meets the ladies and gentlemen of Morningside to understand how those lost to dementia - a condition that affects over 850,000 people in the UK - might be helped through music and movement.
At the end of her journey, Darcey returns to Manchester for the final rehearsals before the girls let their families see them perform. She talks to both girls and their mums about what the dance class has meant to them, and watches the hugely impressive dance they have created. It is a very emotional moment for all.
Presenter: Darcey Bussell Director: Pamela Gordon Editor: Ian Garvin Executive Producer: Ross Wilson Producer: Jonathan Skuse Production Manager: Paul McCaffery Production Company: Matchlight Ltd
Boogie on the Brain: UK Tour 2018
Written and presented by Peter Lovatt, Boogie on the Brain toured the UK in 2018, calling at beautiful old venues in Norwich, Warwick, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Exeter and London.
Based on the Psychology of Dance, Boogie on the Brain introduces audiences to psychology through the medium of dance. As Peter chats, everyone dances.
It's about the science of the human mind and the groove of the human body.
It's the grooviest lecture in town.
See what happens here
YOU Magazine & Mail Online 4th November 2018
Peter was interviewed by Laura Craik from YOU Magazine for an article called: Sexpots on the dancefloor: Kate Silverton and the Strictly newsreader phenomenon
Here’s what Peter wrote to Laura Craik:
“Newsreaders make excellent contestants on Strictly Come Dancing. Natasha Kaplinsky was the inaugural winner of the show in 2004 and Chris Hollins walked off with the golden glitter ball in 2009. But it all started with Angela Rippon, dancing with Morecombe and Wise in the 1976 Christmas Show. There are several reasons why news presenters do so well on the shiny floor.
Reading the news is based on clear communication, a meticulous attention to detail and an ability to retain self-control. These skills are also essential for dancing a Foxtrot, the Viennese Waltz or a tango. In fact, to learn and perform any of the dances on Strictly requires close attention to detail, self-control and the ability to communicate. So, newsreaders have an advantage from day one.
There are three major differences between reading the news and dancing. Whereas reading the news requires the presenter to communicate facts and information, while sitting or standing still and being dressed conservatively, dancing is about communicating feelings and emotions through the body, rather than by using words, it’s dynamic rather than static and, of course, the dancing is wrapped in vibrant colour and sequins. These three differences give us the opportunity to see a very obvious transformation; a news reading caterpillar becomes a dancing butterfly.
Dozens of psychological studies have shown that people like a combination of familiarity and novelty. A transformed dancing newsreader offers both. Newsreaders spend a lot of time on our screens and in our ears and are therefore very familiar to us. We trust them and know them. But then, when they appear on Strictly they become novel. They look familiar, yet completely different. I think the most important change is that we see them communicate in a whole new way. They are communicating emotions rather than words, with control and meticulous attention to detail, we believe them, and this speaks to our heart.
Dancing newsreaders give us hope, they show us that change is possible, that we too have the potential to transform.”
Here’s a link to the article
The episode is available on the BBC iPlayer [Click here]
Issue 484 is packed with great articles from interviews with West End star Jonny Labey, TV Dance Psychologist Peter Lovatt, and Janet Lewis MBE, to features on Bronislava Nijinska, The Royal Ballet's flagship programme for young dancers, Tap Challenge and the Janet Cram Awards finals. Plus product features, courses and training updates and essential tips and information for ISTD members.
Article: Dance on the Mind.
You are a dance Psychologist - what is that? A dance psychologist studies dance and dancers from a psychological perspective, and does so using scientific methods. Dance psychologists address questions such as "Are humans born to dance?" "Why does dancing have an impact on a person's self-esteem?" "How do dancers remember such long movement sequences?"... [Read more]
Men and Dance, Radio 5 Live 27th November 2017
Peter was invited to the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool to run a dance class live on air, and to speak about the psychology of men and dancing, as part of a special three-hour feature on Men and Dance on BBC Radio 5 Live's Afternoon Edition, presented by Nihal Arthanayake.
Peter LOVED dancing in the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool
Eamonn & Ruth's Seven Year Itch Channel 5, September 2017
Peter Lovatt appeared on Eamonn & Ruth's Seven Year Itch to talk about how dancing can be a great way to help couples bond, and survive the seven year itch.
Peter's segment was filmed at the beautiful Rivoli Ballroom
Duck Quacks Don't Echo, Sky 1, Broadcast 30th August 2016
Peter featured on an item about the relationship between moving and problem solving. Peter's research has shown that the way people move their body is related to the way they solve different types of problems, such that imoprovised movement can improve divergfent (creative) problem solving. Amazing, but true (apparently).
Duck Quacks Don't Echo is presented by Lee Mack, and the panel were Ross Kemp, Sara Cox and Bob Mortimer.
Dr Happy, Brian Graden Media for A&E Network USA, Summer 2016
In the summer of 2016 Peter and his family spent the summer in Los Angeles making a pilot of a TV show for A&E Network. The show was called Dr Happy and was based on the idea that Peter could use dance, game-playing and the creative arts, to help people think differently about some of their worries and anxieties.
A preview is not currently available, but you can see the original (2015) taster here.
The Washington Post 20th October 2015
What your dance moves say about you by Cristina Rivero
"A friend from the East Coast moved to Seattle this year and won tickets to a B-52s concert. While she was dancing, several people approached her, complimented her moves, and asked if she had attended high school in the early 1980s. She did.
The story resonated with me. Maybe music from our teenage years and early 20s isn’t the only thing that can imprint onto our identities. Maybe the way we moved to music back then can also leave a subconscious tattoo — so much so that when we hit the dance floor today, we can signal how old we are just by the way we shake our hips and move our arms and legs.
Scientific research, which has confirmed the imprint left by music, has long found that what we did in our late teens and early 20s has an unusually strong impact on our memories. It's known as the Reminiscence Bump. While experts have not yet discovered if that applies to dance, they said there's good reason to think it does. "The way we dance is related to and shaped by our previous experiences, especially to the time when we 'learned' to dance by going to clubs as an adolescent and young adult," Birgitta Burger of the Finnish Center of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research wrote in an e-mail.
Peter Lovatt, of the University of Hertfordshire’s Dance Psychology Lab in the United Kingdom, added that social dance is often "the place where we bond with our peer group, relax and enjoy ourselves, and sometimes find a lifelong mate, and prior to finding a potential lifelong mate it can be the place where we partner up with many different people. All of these experiences contribute to the development of the cognitive [behaviors] that we associate with social dance."
here’s a social dance experiment for you. See if you can identify the dances
shown in the following quiz. If you know a lot about dance, you might be able
to guess more than most people. But if you're just a regular person, the ones
you know and answer correctly may give a hint of the dance styles that
influenced you in your teens and early 20s. [read more]
BBC Three Counties Radio, 8th October 2015
Peter spoke about Parkinson's diease and the research project at the University of Hertfordshire which examines the effectiveness of dancing on the symptoms of Parkinson's.
Whether you need to focus for an exam, tap into your creativity, or curb cravings, there's a type of exercise that could help.
"PUMPING iron to sculpt your biceps. Yoga poses to stretch and relax. Running to whittle your waistline and get fit fast. There are loads of reasons why it’s smart to exercise, and most of us are familiar with the menu of options and how each can shape and benefit your body." [read more online]
The Guardian Monday 4th May 2015
Dance revolution by Eleanor Tucker
It might be the last thing you'd expect people with Parkinson's disease to enjoy, but dance can transform their lives, hears Eleanor Tucker.
Download a pdf of the article here
Dr Dance 2014 with Peter Lovatt (Alaska TV)
In 2014 BBC2, alongside Alaska TV, commissioned a taster for another version of the TV show Doctor Dance with Peter Lovatt. The commissioner for BBC2 was Jan Younghusband and the Exec Producer at Alaska was Paul Sommers (please note, all the on screen contributors are actors).
Peter's dance night was featured in the ACTIVITY ON TEST section of Top Sante. Jo Willacy wrote "...the biggest impact was made on my mood: I went from slightly nervous giggles to relaxed belly laughs. Any inhibitions I'd arrived with had long since vanished. Towards the end, I was miming trumpet-playing, eyes closed, to a jazz classic. And perhaps the best recommendation for the class was that I didn't care what anyone thought. My 'groove index' rating for Peter's class? Number one."
Peter was invited on to the to talk about the Psychology of Dance. He demonstrated how new year's resolutions can be achieved through engaging with different types of dance. It was the party season and Peter had fund dancing with Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer.
Dance Today, October 2013, Vol: 58, Issue 145
Doctor Dance interviewed by Katie Gregory
Peter was featured in an article for Dance Today magazine. In a three-page spread Katie Gregory interviewed Doctor Dance on his work on Dance Psychology. Peter spoke about how he made the link between dance and psychology and Katie's final question was "When you're not in the lab, giving a lecture, taking a dance class, or doing contact improvisation on the bed, what are you up to?"
Big Brother's Bit on the Side 9th September 2013
was delighted to appear again as the Big Brother Dance Psychologist for fun and
dancing with Emma Willis. Peter demonstrated the personality of the remaining
eight housemates through the medium of dance. Abz Love was a Whirling Dervish,
Courtney Stodden was a Shirley Temple style tap dance (watch the video for On
the Good Ship Lollipop and you'll understand), Charlotte Crosby could only be a
Twerk, Lauren Harries was, in Peter's eyes and perhaps Lauren's mind, the
lonely graceful beautiful ballerina spinning around atop a music box, Louie
Spence was the dance of a peacock, Vicky Entwistle behaviour and attitude
resembled that of the Irish washerwoman dance, Mario Falcone was a gentlemanly
waltz and Carol McGiffin was best represented as a 1970's disco queen.
Peter loved being on with two genuine gems of the showbiz world Christopher Biggins and Sue Pollard and the lovely Chelsea Healey.
Born to Dance, presented by Peter Lovatt (Alaska TV for BBC2) 2013
BORN TO DANCE Alaska TV for BBC2. Filmed in 2013, Peter Lovatt made a taster tape with Alaska TV for a programme with the working title Born to Dance. The taster was commissioned by Jan Younghusband in the BBC documentaries department.
Peter was invited back on to Big Brother's Bit on the Side to sprinkle a little dance psychology magic over the studio. He described each of the housemates in terms of their dance-personality. Dexter had the personality of a charleston, Sophie had the personality of street dance, Jack & Joe were Zorba the Greek, Charlie was a Salsa and Hazel had the personality of Flamenco.
Peter was interviewed by Alison Tay, the Style Editor at NOW magazine. Alison wanted advice from Peter about her dancing. She loves to dance, both socially and in a class setting.
Peter watched her dance and gave her some tips on how she could free her mind by using her body in a different, more natural way.
After her session with Peter, Alison went back to class and danced with a new pespective. Here's what she tweeted later that night:
Guess what @DanceDrDance? I shut my eyes in the breakdance circle tonight and everyone said my freestyle was next level! Thank you SO much!
EXCLUSIVE Why model Emily Ratajkowski's dance moves in Blurred Lines video would be sexier if she wasn't naked
Peter was invited to contribute a short article on ballet:
"WE dance to communicate and to release pent-up emotions. In ballet, we have reached that part of the creative cycle where the constraints of technical perfection are blended with the visceral drive that is at the heart of feeling dancers. The result is an explosion, like the one accompanying Royal Ballet choreographer Kenneth MacMillan and ballerina Lynn Seymour in the Sixties and Seventies, and it feels great. Tamara Rojo has taken English National Ballet by the throat and the company has become magnetic. The shockwaves from the Bolshoi acid attack have led to a near sell-out season at Covent Garden. Carlos Acosta is right: there is no crisis in ballet unless you like your ballet safe and passionless." London Evening Standard, July 30th 2013, p45
Peter was invited on to Big Brother's Bit on the Side to talk about the housemates and discuss how they dance. Peter had a boogie with Emma Willis and fun was had by all.
Peter was interviewed by Nick Rheinberger for ABC Radio in Australia about his work in the Dance Psychology Lab and the concept of dad dancing. In defence of dancing dads Peter said
"The whole body is rhythmic -the heart beats in rhythm, the brain functions in a certain rhythm. This form of communication is much older than words," says Dr Lovatt.
was interviewed live by Fred MacAulay for the MacAulay & Co radio show on BBC Radio
Scotland. Peter was interviewed about his reaction to the Oxford English
Dictionary's decision to include a definition for "Dad Dancing". The OED defines Dad
Dancing as follows:
dad dancing n. colloq. (orig. and chiefly Brit.) an awkward, unfashionable, or unrestrained style of dancing to pop music, as characteristically performed by middle-aged or older men.
The disease strikes one in 100 of us aged over 60, and one in 50 of those aged over 75. Yet despite this, and its many celebrity sufferers over the years – most famously Muhammad Ali, Michael J Fox and Bob Hoskins – it receives far less attention than many other conditions.
Thankfully, after years in the research doldrums, there are now glimmers of hope. One of the main drivers of this is the realisation that Parkinson’s is more than just a movement disorder. [read more online]
Peter was invited on to the show to talk about the Psychology of Dance. In addition to speaking about the health benefits of dancing for people with Parkinson's disease, Peter had a boogie with Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer.
Playboy Magazine February 2013
Up in smoke: Playmates and the Harlem Shake by Vanessa Butler
Peter made his debute in Playboy. It's okay, it wasn't a photographic debute. The Harlem Shake is everywhere and the playmates did their own Harlem Shake. In the text accompanying the video Vanessa Butler mentioned Peter's research into how we communicate our hormones through the way we dance.
Dr Dance 2012 with Peter Lovatt (rough cut non-TX pilot) Tiger Aspect/ Channel 4
In 2012 Channel 4 commissioned a non-TX pilot for a new TV show called Doctor Dance, with Peter Lovatt. The show was made by Tiger Aspect and was never broadcast.
In 2011 Tiger Aspect made a taster for a new TV show called Doctor Dance. Peter Lovatt was the presenter and it was picked up by Channel 4 in 2012, who commissioned a full-length (1 hour) non-TX pilot, which was shot in the same year. Some of the footage was taken from other taster tapes and TV broadcasts.
Watch the taster here
BBC Radio 5 Live 18th December 2010
Peter was a guest on two BBC Radio 5 Live programmes on the same day. In the morning he was a guest on the Breakfast show and then later ion the day he was interviewed on the Stephen Nolan Show.
Peter was invited on to talk about the psychology of Strictly Come Dancing
In the 2010 Strictly Come Dancing season Peter Lovatt made three appearances on Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two (BBC2), talking about the psychology of dance. He was interviewed by Claudia Winkleman. The VT was filmed at the University of Hertfordshire.
He appeared on the 6th October, 9th November and the 15th December
Lovatt – who is known around campus as Dr Dance – has just completed a major piece of research into dance, analysing 13,700 people's responses to an online video of him, a former professional dancer, strutting his stuff. Lovatt demonstrated various dance movements, then asked respondents to rate them. He also asked people to imagine they were dancing at a wedding or disco, and say how good they were compared with the average dancer... [read more]
The One Show (2009) with Karen Hardy & Peter Lovatt
Broadcast date: 25th September 2009
Karen Hardy spoke with Peter Lovatt for a piece on BBC1's the One Show. The piece aired on the 25th September 2009 and it was all about the science of female dancing and attraction. A week earlier Peter recorded another episode with Phil Tufnell about the science of male dancing. Please note the web address shown at the end of the video is no longer active.
Watch the episode here
The One Show (2009) BBC 1: with Phil Tufnell & Peter Lovatt
Broadcast date: 18th September 2009
Phil Tufnell spoke with Peter Lovatt for a piece on BBC1's the One Show. The piece aired on the 18th September 2009 and it was all about the science of male dancing and attraction. A week later Peter recorded another episode with Karen Hardy about the science of female dancing. Please note the web address shown at the end of the video is no longer active.
Love Factually (2009) TV Taster with Peter Lovatt (Maverick TV)
Peter was asked to take part in a TV Taster for a proposed new TV show. The show was to be called Love Factually and it was being made by Maverick. For the show Peter set up a study in a nightclub to look at the dancing of men and women and its relationship to people's hormones and genes. The nightclub was at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK.
Watch the taster here
The Graham Norton Show - October 2008
GMTV October 2008
ITV1 Peter was interviewed by Ben Shepherd about the psychology of dance.
Watch the clip here
A note on the green t shirt: GMTV is a breakfast show, so Peter woke up at 3:30am and was being picked up at 4am. He threw on an old green t-shirt and thought he'd get changed once he arrived at the TV studio. But oh no, as soon as he arrived at the TV station he was whisked off to record the openning dance sequence, he begged to get changed before hand but he was told there was no time. It was 4.30am, they put on some music and Peter just had to dance in his old green t shirt. Now, he always travels in camera- and dancing-appropriate clothing!
Radio 4 TODAY - October 2008
Peter was interviewed by Tom Feilden, for a feature on the TODAY programme on Radio 4. The piece was mainly about men dancing, but alongside the piece Peter collected data from BBC listeners on dance confidence. Within an hour of the show going out on air Peter had collected data from more than 10,000 people on their dance confidence.
The research was written up and published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. You can read the article here