Dance On! : Dancing through Life book cover
1st Edition

Dance On!
Dancing through Life

  • Available for pre-order on April 21, 2023. Item will ship after May 12, 2023
ISBN 9781032310138
May 12, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
320 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Burridge and Svendler Nielsen bring together many perspectives from around the world on dancing experiences through life of senior artists and educators, whether as professionals working with community dance groups, in education or for recreation and well-being.

Broadening our understanding of the burgeoning sector of maturing dances and dancers, this book incorporates a range of theoretical approaches with an emphasis on cultural and experiential dimensions. It includes examples of how artists, community practitioners, teachers, policy makers and academics work to better understand, promote and create new ways of thinking and working in the field of dance performance, education and well-being. Each section of the book includes a mixture of chapters based on research and case narratives focusing on practitioners’ experience, as well as conversations between world-renowned mature dance artists and choreographers. The book features an eclectic mix of lived experiences, wisdom, deep knowledge and reflection.

A valuable resource for students of performing arts, pedagogy, choreography, community dance practice, social and cultural studies, aesthetics, inter-disciplinary arts, dance therapy and more. Artists working across generations and in communities can also find useful inspiration for their continued dance practice.

Table of Contents


Section 1: Conversations between mature professionals in the dance field 

Conversation 1.1 Germaine Acogny with ‘Funmi Adewole

Conversation 1.2 Aida Amirkhanian with Artsvi Bakhchinyan

Conversation 1.3 Elizabeth Cameron Dalman with Michael Keegan-Dolan

Conversation 1.4 Henry Danton with Ravenna Tucker Wagnon

Conversation 1.5 Alex Dea with Javanese senior dance artists Rama Sas, S. Ngaliman, Bu Yudanegoro and Bu Tarwa.

Conversation 1.6 Eileen Kramer with Patrick Harding Irmer and Anca Frankenhaeuser

Conversation 1.7 Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon with Shirley Gibson

Conversation 1.8 Antonio Vargas with Stephanie Burridge

Section 2: Professional Dance Practice

Chapter 2.1 Too old to dance! Says who? - Senior professional dancers defying ageism

Sonia York-Pryce

Chapter 2.2 Creating in the liminal space: connecting pathways of embodied experience.

Stephanie Burridge

Chapter 2.3 ‘Open Culture’ as practiced by three Singaporean dance pioneers

Melissa Quek and Ngiap Heng Tan

Chapter 2.4 (K)not in Dance: bodies and dancing as states of becoming

Gerard M Samuel

Chapter 2.5 Dance, is "who you are, it’s who you are known as"

Amy Dean

Chapter 2.6 A full and creative life

Mary Davies

Section 3: Community Dance Practice and Performance

Chapter 3.1 An idea. A passion. A shot of tequila and a whole lot of love

Liz Lea

Chapter 3.2 Still Ripening – evolving a practice through reflection.

Gail Hewton

Chapter 3.3 From viral hit to vital troupe: the dancing grannies of Angthong and their revival of lakhon chatri under a pandemic

Pornrat Damrhung

Chapter 3.4 Fine Lines dance: a dance collective of mature artists - the story so far.

Katrina Rank and Jenny Barnett

Chapter 3.5 Dance matters: Crows Feet Dance Collective

Jan Bolwell

Section 4.0: Pedagogy and Recreational Dance Practice

Chapter 4.1 Becoming an affective community: mature dancers’ experiences in an age aware contemporary dance

Pirkko Markula, Allison Jeffrey, Jennifer Nikolai & Simrit Deol

Chapter 4.2 From the stage to the next stage – Aging and transitioning from a learner to a teacher: Linking Amala Shankar’s 90 year long journey as a case study.

Urmimala Sarkar Munsi

Chapter 4.3 Learning in creative dance: adults and children share the space

Ann Kipling Brown

Chapter 4.4 Managing expectations: teaching mature dancers in lutrawita/Tasmania

Lesley Graham

Chapter 4.5 Traditional apprenticeship in contemporary times – Lim Fei Shen

Caren Carino

Section 5.0: Dance Therapy and Well-being

Chapter 5.1 An examination of the facilitation of dance practice for older adults: a focus group discussion between practitioners, working in community settings across New Zealand, Australia and England.

Francine Hills and Barbara Snook

Chapter 5.2 The happiest hour in the week: Memory Dance and Dance Movement Therapy for elderly people with dementia

Helle Winther

Chapter 5.3 Feeling the touch: integrating sensations into dance activities for the elderly with dementia

Szu-Ching Chang

Chapter 5.4 Everyday Waltzes for Active Ageing: a creative intervention for seniors and training programme for eldercare staff

Angela Liong

Chapter 5.5 WINGSPAN - A seated dance performance

Paige Gordon

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Stephanie Burridge lectures at LASALLE College of the Arts and Singapore Management University and is the Series Editor for Routledge Celebrating Dance in Asia and the Pacific.

Charlotte Svendler Nielsen is Associate Professor and Program Director at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Bringing together a wealth of perspectives from an array of cultures, Dance On! Dancing Through Life is an essential contribution to our knowledge about intergenerational dance. Through in-depth case studies and the flow of conversation, it communicates the vital ways that dancing changes perceptions of what the body can do, regardless of age. Expert practitioners share their experiences and contemplate a future for dance that, freed from the prejudice of ageism, is open to the prodigious possibilities of dancing wise and dancing long.

Professor Carol Brown, Choreographer and Head of Dance, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne.


Dance On! Dancing through Life is a unique and much needed collection of perspectives on dance for all ages. With this book, the editors, Stephanie Burridge and Charlotte Svendler Nielsen, bring their broad experience, fruitful collaboration on previous editorial work, and passion for social justice in the field of dance to a fruition. The book adds to the literature relevant to dance practitioners, researchers and students of all ages and across diverse dance forms. I warmly recommend this valuable reading to anyone, also beyond the dance field. 

Professor, Dr. Eeva Anttila, Head of Dance Pedagogy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland.