280 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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. It features an eclectic mix of lived experiences, wisdom, deep knowledge and reflection.

    The book is a valuable resource for students of performing arts, pedagogy, choreography, community dance practice, social and cultural studies, aesthetics, interdisciplinary arts, dance therapy and more. Artists working across generations and in communities can also find useful inspiration for their continued dance practice.


    Section 1: Conversations

    Conversation 1.1 A conversation about junctions, milestones and thresholds Germaine Acogny and ‘Funmi Adewole with Helmut Vogt translating and contributing

    Conversation 1.2 A life travelling in dance Aida Amirkhanian in conversation with Artsvi Bakhchinyan

    Conversation 1.3 Dancing is shape-shifting Elizabeth Cameron Dalman and Michael Keegan-Dolan

    Conversation 1.4 A conversation about life in dance: A crossing of two paths Henry Danton and Ravenna Tucker Wagnon

    Conversation 1.5 The love and kindness of teachers: Reflecting on working with senior Javanese masters Alex Dea conversing with Javanese senior dance artists Rama Sas, S. Ngaliman, Bu Yudanegoro and Bu Tarwa.

    Conversation 1.6 A life in dance: Collaborating and working together Anca Frankenhaeuser and Patrick Harding-Irmer with Eileen Kramer

    Conversation 1.7 The joy of life experience in contemporary dance Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon in conersation with Shirley Gibson

    Conversation 1.8 A sense of place and creating together 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 Tan Ngiap Heng 

    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 during a pandemic

    Pornrat Damrhung

    Chapter 3.4 Fine Lines: 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 affirmative community: mature dancers’ experiences in an age-aware contemporary dance class

    Pirkko Markula, Allison Jeffrey, Jennifer Nikolai & Simrit Deol

    Chapter 4.2 From the stage to the next stage – Transitioning from a learner to a teacher: Amala Shankar’s journey

    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


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