Two day Workshop: Bridging the Gap: Somatic Movement and Dance Practices in Health Care

7th Mar 2020, 10:15am - 8th Mar 2020, 4:00pm

Edge Hill University


This two-day practical workshop is an opportunity to explore the practices, principles and challenges of bringing somatic movement into clinical health settings.  How does a movement practice contribute to the reality of complex clinical goals within busy, pressured hospitals?  How do we articulate our work to build bridges of communication with medical staff?  How do we affect patient experience?  How can we calibrate all that the dance artist brings with the traditional medical perspective of the body?

We will look at what is involved in:

  • Working in clinical environments
  • Working on different wards and their different health issues
  • Working with groups, and working one to one with different kinds of patient needs
  • Self-care and burnout
  • Working with touch

In essence, our work brings somatic sensation and understanding to patients facing significant and often extreme bodily challenges. Within this context of urgency and difficulty we build trust and empathy through the body, we build relationship,  and we create inspiration for individuals to find agency in reconstructing their health within their personal convalescences.

Throughout the two days we will share stories and experiences to make visible something of this ‘chameleon’ work, practice that calls on every tool in an improvisor’s tool box to meet widely different needs and contexts. Together, we will use dance, play, touch, calling upon our imagination and our experiences.

Filipa Pereira-Stubbs is a Cambridge-based dance artist, dance teacher, and creative practitioner with 30 years experience in dance and health and in community arts. Filipa devises and delivers dance and health programmes, in the community, in clinical settings, in museums and galleries, and outdoors in nature. Her projects, including ‘Dance for Health’ at Cambridge University Hospitals, and ‘Dance at the Museum’ (Fitzwilliam Museum) always hold inclusivity and integration of the arts at the core, finding inspiration in somatic practice and the process of improvisation and imagination, calibrating and bridging perceived cultural differences, age differences and health differences. Filipa Pereira-Stubbs, BSc Sociology, MA in Dance Movement Therapy, Churchill Fellow.

Miranda Tufnell ( is a dance artist, writer and teacher in movement and imagination. She is also an Alexander teacher and cranio-sacral therapist. She has been teaching and making performances for over 35 years. Her work, both as a performer and in health settings has been to explore the ways in which movement shapes our sense of meaning, language and perception. With Chris Crickmay, she co-authored two handbooks on sourcing creative work entitled Body Space Image (1990) and A Widening Field (2004). She has worked extensively in the field of arts and health including part time (14 years) within the NHS for a GP surgery. Her most recent book, When I Open My Eyes – dance health imagination (2017), documents this work. She teaches widely (including the one-time Dartington College of Arts) and was visiting tutor at UCLAN on their MA in Dance and Somatic Wellbeing. Now based in rural Northumberland, she continues to offer mentoring and one-to-one creative space retreats.

If you would like more information prior to booking please contact Gina Giotaki Senior Lecturer in Dance at Edge Hill University on

The event will run:

  • Saturday 7th March 10.15am – 5pm
  • Sunday 8th March 10.30am – 4pm

Costs are as follows:

  • £100 full price
  • £80 concessions unemployed/senior
  • £50 student

More detail about the symposium on Friday 6th March can be found here.

This event is supported by the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing.