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The ‘female’ dancer: a soma-scientific approach

edited by Claire Farmer and Helen Kindred 

Available for pre-order from MAY 2024

This book questions dancers’ relationship with ‘female’ through biological, anatomical, scientific and self-social identity. Recognising the complexities of a fixed-ness of ‘female’ (as much as a fixed-ness of ‘male’), we seek through the contributory voices of scientists, dance and somatic scholars, and movement practitioners to discuss and unpack some of the identities, assumptions, and perceptions of female dancing bodies.

We recognise ‘female’ as both a gendered and biological term and encourage contributions that consider how ‘female’ relates to lived experiences and bodily knowledge through social, political, cultural contexts and those that relate to ‘female’ as attributed to biological sex and topics that reflect this in terms of physiology and anatomy, and how multiple lenses to the ‘female’ offer a rich and complex understanding of dancers’ health, training, and well-being.


This book draws together somatic experiences of the ‘female’ dancer, that are socially, politically and culturally informed, alongside evidence based scientific information relating to the physiological, biomechanical, psychological and sociological experiences of ‘female’ within the dancer sector. Spanning five central areas of training and performance; Body Image, Strength, Musculature and Female Fragility, Life Cycles: negotiating balance and change, Transgender Dancers, Empowering Women in Dance, the editors encourage readers to meet at the intersections of dance science and somatics, in a holistic consideration the ‘female’ dancer.



Helen Kindred. 2022.

'Moving Meditations: embodying Bartenieff Fundamentals through sensorial awareness of breath, bones, and gravity'


Journal of Dance, Movement & Spiritualities, Volume 8 Numbers 1 & 2

Available from Intellect

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Helen Kindred. 2020.

'Improvisation and Change', Animated, Summer 2020

Available from People Dancing

photo | Mikkel Svak | 2019

Adesola Akinleye and Helen Kindred. 2020. guest editorial

'Queering the Somatic', Animated, Summer 2020

Available from People Dancing

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photo | Anton Califano | 2019


Adesola Akinleye and Helen Kindred. 2019.

guest editors

‘Wright-ing the Somatic: Narrating the Bodily'

special issue Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices

vol.11, no.1


Available from Intellect

KnowingUnknowing CD/DVD/Text. 2019.

Benjamin Dwyer | Pete Gomes | Helen Kindred

Published by and available through Farpoint Records

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Adesola Akinleye and Helen Kindred. 2018.

‘In-the Between-ness: decolonising and re-inhabiting our dancing’,


in Akinleye, A. (ed) Narratives of Black British Dance: embodied practices, Palgrave McMillan

Available from Amazon

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