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Personal profile



In her work, Eline combines her passion for anthropology and its qualitative research methodologies, health, spirituality, and her intimate knowledge of the dancer’s body. She studied contemporary dance at CODARTS, Rotterdam, and also qualified as a teacher in Movement Medicine. This is an improvisation-based, meditative dance practice with roots in a shamanic paradigm.

In 2013 she completed her PhD in dance anthropology at the University of Roehampton in London, studying the contributions of Movement Medicine to participants’ wellbeing and empowerment. She is currently re-writing her thesis for publication in Lexington’s series on Body and Religion.

As a medical anthropologist, she conducted various studies on health and wellbeing from a social and cultural perspective, working with people with learning disabilities, burnout and depression, and other long-term chronic conditions. In her previous post at The University of Exeter Medical School, she focused on the development and implementation of patient-initiated care in the NHS.

Eline also teaches several unorthodox academic modules for students, including ‘Embodied Research Methodology’ for anthropology students at UCL, and ‘Develop your own Art of Living Toolkit’ for medical students from the University of Plymouth. She offers experiential, tailor-made workshops for healthcare organisations, universities and museums at request.


Research Interests

Dance, healing, empowerment and spirituality; Qualitative research methodologies (ethnography, hermeneutics, phenomenology); Implementation and improvement science within health care and change facilitation

Vision Statement

Both my practical and theoretical work are inspired by a deep yearning to understand what it is to live a meaningful, soul-full life. The search for this 'Art of Living' is led and inspired by dance, which allows us to connect deeply with ourselves, each other and the world around us.

By using a combination of embodied and intersubjective methodologies to explore dance as different way of knowing, I hope to learn more about the potential role it can play in contemporary culture with regard to possibilities for everyone to live a healthy, nourishing and vibrant life. In particular, I am interested in concrete strategies for achieving and sustaining this in education, healthcare and business.

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Research Output

Calibrating the body: embodied research strategies for attuning to subtle information

Kieft, E., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Subtle Agroecologies: Theory and Practice for the Farming of Tomorrow. Taylor & Francis, (CRC Press Advances in Agroecology series).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Four body- and nature-based practices to move your life force

    Kieft, E., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Dance, Movement & Spiritualities. 7, 1, p. (In-Press)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • A somatics toolkit for ethnographers

    Kieft, E., Spatz, B. & Weig, D., 1 Mar 2019

    Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchDigital or Visual Media


    Water, stories and the body: site-specific work in seascapes

    Eline Kieft (Speaker), Celeste Snowber (Speaker)
    30 Aug 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    Somatic immersion in healing dance ceremonies of the Kalahari San

    Eline Kieft (Speaker)
    24 Feb 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    Royal Anthropological Institute RAI (External organisation)

    Eline Kieft (Member)
    Mar 2018

    Activity: MembershipMembership of board

    Annual Conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth

    Eline Kieft (Speaker)
    20 Sep 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Workshop: Our Meaningful Stories

    Eline Kieft (Speaker)
    19 Jan 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation