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 2014 2018

Soul Loss and Retrieval: Restoring wholeness through dance

Kieft, E. 2018 Spiritual Herstories: Soulful research in dance studies. Williamson, A. & Sellers-Young, B. (eds.). Intellect, p. (in press)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Towards a Soulful Research Methodology: Reflections through the lenses of dance, anthropology and shamanism

Kieft, E. 2018 C-DaRE online volume. Ellis, S., Waelde, C. & Blades, H. (eds.).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

A personal relationship with the mysteries: (re)discovering the enchanted garden through movement and the body

Kieft, E. 22 Sep 2017 In : Revue Théologiques. (in press), p. (in press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Natural world

Bridging the second gap in translation: A case study of barriers and facilitators to implementing Patient-initiated Clinics into secondary care

Kieft, E., Day, J., Byng, R., McArdle, P. & Goodwin, V. A. 2017 In : European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare. 5, 1, p. 129-137 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Secondary Care
Health Services Research
Health Services
Delivery of Health Care
Costs and Cost Analysis

Dance, Empowerment and Spirituality in Movement Medicine

Kieft, E. May 2017 Danswetenschap in Nederland. van Delft, M., Gündüz, Z. & Koolen, H. (eds.). Dutch Society for Dance Research, Vol. 9, p. 85-92 8 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Activities 2011 2018

Workshop: Our Meaningful Stories

Kieft, E. (Speaker)
19 Jan 2018

Activity: Oral presentation

Fine-tuning the anthropologist’s body as fieldwork instrument

Kieft, E. (Speaker)
21 Mar 2018

Activity: Oral presentation

Workshop: Movement as a Way of Knowing

Kieft, E. (Speaker)
20 Apr 2017

Activity: Oral presentation

Dance Fields

Kieft, E. (Session Chair)
20 Apr 2017

Activity: Participation in conference