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Cathy Childs

Head of Dance Department

Cathy Childs


Cathy Childs, BA is a Principal Lecturer in Dance, Head of Department and coordinator of the Undergraduate Dance Programme.

Her background experience is focused on dance performance having trained at Laban, continuing on to the postgraduate dance company Transitions Dance Company before joining English Dance Theatre where she worked with choreographers such as Robert Cohan, Michael Clark, Kim Brandstrup and David Glass.

This touring experience and working with a wide variety of professional choreographers has informed her teaching with the particular stylistic influences of the Cunningham technique having undertaken a period of study at the Cunningham Studios in New York.

Collaborating with art has also been a fascination and her recent research interests includes in 2015, Figure and Rhythm a collaborative project with colleagues at Pallant House as part of the Museums at Night.

This creative exploration enabled the interaction with the artworks and sculptures of Leon Underwood.

Enabling students to gain real and relevant work experience and potential employment opportunities upon graduation has led to a recent research project which started in 2014.

Dance Map – The Employability Journey was funding by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and published in 2016.  Prior to this in 2015, the co-authored publication on Dance in Higher Education in the UK was published.

Cathy leads the Dance Production Module (3Fall Dance Company), Teaching Dance Technique, Teaching and Creative Practice and Dissertations on the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes.


Cathy has extensive experience as an external examiner and reviewer at a number of other institutions and conservatoires and is a member of the Dance Strategy Group as well as former Executive Board Member of DanceHE.

Key Publications

2016 Dance Map – The Employability Journey.  A Toolkit for mapping employability journeys.  Published on the HEA website.

2016 Higher Education Academy Conference presentation for the Strategic Enhancement Programme conference entitled Embedding Employability into the Dance Curriculum. You can now view all the presentations and discussions from the day

2015 Online Publication: Contemporaising the Past Envisaging the Future.  Chapter: Dance in Higher Education in the UK – Co-authored with Sara Reed, Duncan Holt, Kelly Preece, Angela Pickard. © 2015, World Dance Alliance and Ausdance.  Copyrights for individual papers are held by the authors. ISBN 978-1-875255-20-7 Available here

2014 Conference Paper Presentation panel at the World Dance Alliance at the University of Anger, France on ‘The Identity of Dance in Higher Education in the UK’.

2014 Summary Article: ‘Making a Difference to Dance in Education through Research’ NDTA Dance Matter Spring Edition


2015 Figure and Rhythm – Collaborative choreographic project at Pallant House as part of Museums at Night.  Using the inspiration of the artist Leon Underwood and working with structured improvisational scores, the dancers worked in close proximity to the artworks and sculptures and a live music scores.  The film of the event was made by Dean Jeffrey.

Research Output

Book Sections

Childs, C. (2018) Embedding work based learning opportunities into an undergraduate curriculum through participation in a touring dance company. In: Enhancing Employability in Higher Education through Work Based Learning. Palgrave Macmillan, Switzerland, pp. 113-132. ISBN 9783319751658


Childs, C. and Clegg, A. (2016) Dance Map - The Employability Journey. Documentation. Higher Education Academy, York.

Conference or Workshop Items

Childs, C., Reed, S., Holt, D., Preece, K. and Pickard, A. (2015) Dance in Higher Education in the UK. In: Contemporising the past: envisioning the future 2014 WORLD DANCE ALLIANCE GLOBAL SUMMIT, 2015, Angers. 978-1-875255-20-7

Childs, C. (2014) The Identity of Dance in Higher Education in the UK. In: World Dance Alliance, 6 - 11 July 2014, University of Anger, France. (Submitted)

Teaching Resources

Childs, C. and Clegg, A. (2016) Dance Map - The Employability Journey. [Teaching Resources]

Other department members

Abi Mortimer
Senior Lecturer, Contemporary Dance
Amy Scarlett Morvell
Associate Lecturer in Dance
Antonia Grove
Associate Lecturer - Repertory

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