Ruth Pethybridge

Job title
Lecturer, Dance

Ruth Pethybridge is a dance artist, choreographer and facilitator. She has delivered dance in diverse settings with all ages: from babies to the elderly and everything in between. Her practice emphasises creativity in choreographic processes, finding ways to form people's unique choices and ways of moving into performance work. She joined Falmouth University as a lecturer in 2013 and continues to research for a practice based PhD. Previous projects have included working with Oxford Youth Dance, Anjali Dance Company, Big Dance London and Pegasus Theatre, and in roles such as education coordinator for Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company. In 2008 Ruth facilitated the first Age Inclusive National College for Community Dance course for the Foundation for Community Dance, and authored the corresponding handbook. In 2011 Ruth worked alongside Rosemary Lee as rehearsal director on Square Dances for London festival Dance Umbrella. Ruth continues to practice as an independent dance artist alongside her lecturing work for Falmouth.


YearQualificationAwarding body
Masters Dance Cultures, Histories and Practices
University of Surrey
BA Hons Dance
University of Leeds
Foundation in Dance Movement Therapy and Education
Dance Voice Bristol

Membership of external committees

Foundation for Community Dance
Society for Dance Research

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

Ruth is passionate about developing the ability of reflexive dance artists who can situate their practice in a wider cultural context, and transferring the importance of this to students, helping them to develop their critical creative voice. Ruth has presented her academic work at key conferences and is regularly invited to talk at institutions across the UK. She is particularly interested in discourses that support discussions of inclusivity and difference in dance, relationality and collaborative choreographic practices. Ruth's PhD research focuses on cross-generational dance as an embodiment of difference and the way this may or may not create communities. She is interested in how radical theories of community can influence a dance artist's choices in the studio and 'lived philosophy' as a way of working.

Research topics

Creative Collaboration

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs


Pethybridge, Ruth (2011) Five Songs: more than a metaphor. Animated, Winter. ISSN 0969-7225

Pethybridge, Ruth (2008) Un Abrazo Sin Tiempo. Animated, Autumn. ISSN 0969-7225


Pethybridge, Ruth (2010) Dance and Age Inclusive Practice. Foundation for Community Dance, unknown. ISBN 978-1-898409-09-0


Areas of teaching

Community Practice
Theories and Contexts of dance and choreography

Courses taught

BA(Hons) Dance & Choreography
BA(Hons) Dance & Performance

CPD delivered

National Summer School for Community Dance. Age Inclusive Practice: facilitating dance leaders in the community to work with mixed age groups (2010, 2011).

Policy engagement within Cornwall

In 2013 Ruth set up Dance for Parkinson's, Cornwall, which continues to run with sessions led by local dance artist Jayne Devlin, supported by Arts for Health, Cornwall.