Sara Reed

Dr, The Articulation of a Dance Somatics for a Twenty-First Century Higher Education

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Personal profile



Dr Sara Reed is Principal Lecturer and Associate Professor of Dance and a member of the School of Media and Performing Arts and the Centre for Dance Research(C-DaRE).  She is a co-editor for the Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal - Training Grounds;  on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Dance, Movement and Spiritualities (Intellect Journals) and a reviewer for the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices. Sara is a trustee for Independent Dance and a trustee for Wriggle Dance Theatre - for children and families. Sara is a qualified Feldenkrais Practitioner and she trained with Scott Clark and Elizabeth Beringer in London.

Sara currently supervises PhD students in the areas of dance, embodied (somatic) practices, pedagogy and arts and health. She was team member on the three year, Leverhulme Funded Project, ‘In the Dancer’s Mind’ with colleagues from Plymouth University and Trinity Laban London (2015-18). Her career has spanned a wide range of dance, performance, arts and education contexts within and beyond the academic context. 

She has held senior posts at: University of Surrey, Dartington College of Arts, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Coventry University. Sara has also worked on a consultancy basis, for example with Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Dance East and Youth Dance England. After initial study and training at the Laban Centre she gained an MA in Performing Arts at Middlesex University across the disciplines of theatre, dance and music and a PhD from the University of Surrey.

Her experience has involved her in interdisciplinary practice across dance, fine art practices, music, choreography and theatre. Sara’s areas of teaching have included: Somatic Practices, Experiential Anatomy, the Feldenkrais Method, Dancers’ Health/Wellness, Dance Pedagogy, Contextual Studies and Professional Practice.


Research Interests

Dance, pedagogy, Scaravelli Yoga, embodied (somatic) practices, health and well-being, The Feldenkrais Method,  dancers’ education/training, mindfulness and spirituality

Vision Statement

I have had a long interest in somatic practices and their historical and current relationship to dance and in their ability to improve dancers’ resilience and self-awareness. My more recent research expands the reach of somatic practices and their relationship to a number of areas including: pedagogy, training, creativity, medical humanities, spirituality, mindfulness, professional career development and leadership. At Masters’ level I examined eating disorders amongst professional female dancers and, at PhD level, the impact of somatic movement practices on dance higher education and training in the academy. I am currently investigating the theory of Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge (Land, 2015) and the application to somatic practice and pedagogy. A key area of concern and development is within Arts and Health.

Education/Academic qualification

Dance and Somatic Practices, Doctorate, University of Surrey

Dance, Theatre & Music, MA, Middlesex University

External positions

Trustee, Wriggle Dance Theatre

1 Jun 2018 → …

Trustee, Independent Dance

1 Apr 2018 → …

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Sara Reed is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

dance Social Sciences
education Social Sciences
spirituality Social Sciences
conversation Social Sciences
well-being Social Sciences
artist Social Sciences
event Social Sciences
health Social Sciences

Research Output 2015 2019

Spiritual Herstories: Call of the soul in dance research : Awakening the spirit through dance, somatics and Scaravelli

Reed, S., 31 Jul 2019, (Unpublished) Spiritual Herstories: Call of the soul in dance research . Williamson, A. & Sellers-Young, B. (eds.). UK: Intellect Press, Vol. (in press). p. (in press)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

student teacher
3 Downloads (Pure)

A Conversation with Gill Clarke

Reed, S., 20 Jul 2018, In : Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices. 10, 1, p. 9-22 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Dance Education

Body, Space Place in Collective and Collaborative Drawing: In conversation with Eva Karczag & Chris Crickmay

Reed, S., 2018, (In preparation) Drawing Conversations 2. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, (Drawing Conversations).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

visual artist

Dance Somatics as radical pedagogy: reflections on somatic-dance practice within UK dance higher education and training

Reed, S., 2016, Practicing Dance. A Somatic Orientation. Coogan, J. (ed.). Berlin, Germany: Logos Verlag Berlin, p. 176-180

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Universities and Somatic Inquiry: The Growth of Somatic Movement Dance Education in Britain

Reed, S. & Whatley, S., Sep 2016, Mindful Movement: The Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action. Eddy, M. (ed.). Bristol, UK; Chicago, USA: Intellect Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Activities 2012 2019

  • 14 Participation in conference
  • 2 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 1 Public Engagement Event
  • 1 Publication peer-review

Cambridge Scholars Publishing (Publisher)

Sara Reed (Associate Editor)
Dec 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Grassroots and Research showcase of Coventry and Warwick Creative Exchange Open Call

Sara Reed (Speaker)
6 Jul 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic Engagement Event

Labanarium Launch event

Sara Reed (Speaker), Rebecca Weber (Speaker)
6 Jan 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Striking a Claim for Dance Studies in the 21st Century

Sara Reed (Speaker), Rebecca Weber (Speaker)
19 Apr 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Dance and Somatic Practices Conference 2017

Sara Reed (Speaker), Eline Kieft (Speaker)
6 Jul 20179 Jul 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference