Dr Sue Smith
Course Leader, Dance & Choreography BA(Hons)
I became Course Leader in summer 2021 having worked with colleagues in dance, acting and theatre as an Associate Lecturer since 2017. My research interests include; dance and health, inter-disciplinary improvisation practice and cross-sector community collaboration. I am passionate about putting into action my belief that dance can be transformational and that inspiration and quality lie in the most unexpected places. I am inspired by the opportunity dance and the arts have in these challenging times to nurture a culture of care and ambition and to support the development of vibrant and sustainable communities.
I trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance and my background includes being an early member of CandoCo Dance Company (1992-99) returning as Associate Director in 2005. I have worked as a collaborating performer on projects including with; Emilyn Claid, Siobhan Davies, Wendy Houstoun, Nigel Charnock. I instigated cross-disciplinary place-based projects in London and SW including with for example; Tate Modern/St Ives, Corporation of London, Sadler's Wells, Rame Peninsula and Torbay Ageing Well Festival. Previous artist residencies include with; National Trust, Devon and Cornwall Police, IDAT (Plymouth Uni), Exeter Foyer (homeless shelter) and Plymouth Marine Partnership. I am passionate about inclusive approaches to participation and have taught at Plymouth Dance International Inclusive Summer School and CandoCo Dance Company International Summer School.
I was Executive Director of Dance in Devon (arts and education charity) 2015-2021, leading on a diverse range of cross-sector projects across the county and wider SW. This involved supporting professional artists and aspiring dancers alongside place-making, health and community-building projects. My passion for dance and health was reflected in the many projects I led on at Dance in Devon eg. Dance for Cancer, Best Foot Forward (falls prevention), All Aboard (young disabled people) and Arts On Call (isolation and loneliness). I feel strongly that art and culture can provoke meaningful conversation to help reveal what matters to us, cutting to the heart of ideas about care, belonging, value and purpose.
I am a Clore Fellow (2016) and was a Rayne Fellow (2005). I am proud to be a Board member of Gecko Theatre and Chair of People Dancing.
|2011||MA Choreography||Dartington College of Arts|
Honors and awards
Research interests and expertise
Dance / arts and health - expertise in particular in falls prevention, cancer survivorship, young people and mental health, isolation and loneliness in older people, young disabled people - identity, expression, mental health
Place-making - cross sector co-creation, arts and culture in civic contexts
Areas of teaching
- Dance technique
- Devised performance
- Site-based choreography
- Solo performance
- Theory/embodied learning
- Dance & Choreography BA (Hons)
- Acting BA (Hons)
- Theatre & Performance BA (Hons)
Engagement with professional associations and societies
People Dancing - Chair
Totnes Young People's Theatre
I am frequently engaging with sector partners on projects and with dance professional networks.
I am a member of One Dance UK & People Dancing