Blog post

Enriching lives with movement and mindfulness

Senior Lecturer Dave Home teaches across our BA Creative Expressive Arts and Health and Wellbeing courses. His experience reaches well beyond the classroom. Here, he provides insights on how his practices enrich lives.

By David Home - 17 March 2020

My passion

I have been a lecturer at the University of Derby for over ten years now. I teach across BA Creative Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing and Dance and Movement Studies, where I am Subject Lead. I currently work with dancers and creative artists on themes of mindfulness and the development of the therapeutic relationship, as they work in the arts for health sector.

Alongside this, I am passionate about working with an integrated approach to health from an Oriental perspective and have been doing so for many years, using meditation, movement and mindfulness, as well as shiatsu and acupuncture.

International teaching

I have had the pleasure of teaching in numerous European countries including France, Spain, Belgium, Israel, Finland, Czech Republic, in addition to Italy and the UK. This continued into 2019, where I visited central Italy and ran workshops to 250 Wellbeing and Bio-Natural Discipline Practitioners at their International Conference as part of a weekend of study. This was a fantastic experience.

The primary focus of the workshops in Italy was on the various aspects of bodywork, but the introduction of a more dance-and-movement approach to some of the work was very well received. As part of my workshops, I offered learning that was practical and experiential, with a focus on creative movement and mindfulness through the senses. This had the aim of enhancing practitioner self-awareness and interpersonal communication, as well as technical skills.

The event celebrated 20 years as an organisation of approximately 1,500 members working in the wellbeing sector. There were lecturers from Spain, Holland and the host nation as the intention was to share a wide range of perspectives to working in the field.

Feeling empowered

The movement practices ranged from individual self-expression and small group work, to the whole group in motion. It was quite empowering to be part of, and to witness, all 250 working and moving together in harmony.

The natural openness of those present meant that they engaged fully. The desire to share energy and synchronise collectively spilled over into the celebrations, leading to plenty of exuberant dancing and sharing the joy of the moment during the evening's presentations and festivities. What a perfect way to celebrate the occasion, with many old friendships renewed and new friends made.

Coming of age

This international event was a fantastic opportunity for networking, as there were offers with potential for delivering further workshops in Switzerland, Peru and Italy. The passion the organisation has for supporting and spreading the use of Bio-Natural Medicines and holistic body work in the wellbeing arena was very obvious.

There was a sense of coming of age, which implied a new vigour to the encouragement of other organisations and individuals to come together and share in a common aim of helping people to reach and maintain good health.

Radiating joy

The area of non-medical support for health and wellbeing is more complex and sensitive in Italy than in the UK. And, sadly, no matter where you are in Europe, it appears it can become quite a battle politically to get legal recognition of the possible health benefits of such practices.

However, it was qualitatively evident from the beaming smiles and radiating joy from those present that the whole event had been an uplifting experience that will live in the memories of those present for some considerable time - an enhancing and enriching life experience.

About the author

David Home
Joint Honours lead for the College of Health and Social Care, Subject leader for Dance and Movement Studies and lecturer on the Creative Expressive Therapies programme

David is a senior lecturer with the Therapeutic Arts team. This means that he can use his experience as an acupuncturist and oriental health practitioner to give creative arts students fresh perspectives on the use of the arts to enhance health and wellbeing through approaches such as mindfulness and movement.


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