Staff profile

Dr Gemma Collard-Stokes

Research Fellow

'Amiga' Performance


College of Health and Social Care

Research centre

Health and Social Care Research Centre


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Research Fellow with the College of Health and Social Care Research Centre. I project manage the work of research leaders and teams within the department, assisting with the generation, collection, analysis and dissemination of data. I contribute to research activities such as bid writing, editorial assistance and the organisation of research events.

I previously lectured on the Dance and Professional Practice course at Coventry University, where I taught contextual studies and critical theory. I then went on to lecture in Musical Theatre at the University of Wolverhampton, where I taught academic skills, critical theory, choreography, performance, contemporary and jazz technique.

I studied Dance and Professional Practice at Coventry University, graduating with a first class degree and the recipient of the Dean's Dance Prize Award. I then graduated from the Dance Making and Performance MA with Distinction before moving on to the University of Wolverhampton to take up a funded PhD scholarship.

My research interests consist of dance history, particularly the development of post 1960s British New Dance, contemporary performance practices, therapeutic applications of dance and creative writing, maternity care and women's mental health, radical arts and public mental health and disability dance.  

I am Director of Studies (1st Supervisor) for Emily-Rose Cluderay who is investigating 'Performing Motherhood: embodied perspectives on maternal wellbeing'. 

Research interests


Doctorate - PhD 2017. University of Wolverhampton.

Thesis: Dissolving Borders: The Integration of Writing into a Movement Practice.


Masters - MA Dance Making and Performance 2011. Coventry University.

Dissertation Project: Poetry in Motion A Common Language amid Words and Experience. 


Undergraduate - BA (Hons) Dance and Professional Practice 2010. Coventry University.

Dissertation: Finding Common Ground through Language and Movement:  examining the role of the writer in Rosemary Lee’s The Suchness of Heni and Eddie.

Recent conferences

Collard-Stokes, G. (2019) Neo-burlesque and the Ageing Performer: 'true' liberation or 'superficial' empowerment? The Arts and Society 2019 conference: Arts as Communication: THe impact of art as a catalyst for social change, Lisbon. Planned or June 2019.


Collard-Stokes, G. (2018) Birth Trauma and Dance: Towards the formulation of a movement based support programme for navigating parental distress following premature birth. LEAP Festival 2018 conference: Our Dance Democracy, Liverpool Hope University. 2 November 2018.


Collard-Stokes, G. (2018) Premature Birth and the Arts. Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth's 2018 conference, University of Oxford. 18-21 September 2018.


Collard-Stokes, G. (2018) A Little Time: the function of writing in a movement practice. A paper presentation at the Slowing and Stilling: foregrounding process in performance practice Conference, Birmingham City University. 11 June 2018.


Collard-Stokes, G. (2018) Embodied Writing: channelling a narrative of self through a moving body. A paper presentation at the Embodied Practice and Performance in the Arts Conference, Canterbury Christ Church University. 6 April 2018.


Collard-Stokes, G. (2013) Moving and Writing: a body story. A paper presentation at the Dance and Somatic Practices Conference, Coventry Univeristy. 14 July 2013.


Collard-Stokes, G. (2012) Dancing Narratives: moving towards a dance writing ecology. A paper presentation at the Research Student Conference, University of Wolverhampton. 14 May 2012.


Collard-Stokes, G. (2011) Writing Practice, Practicing Writing. A lecture-demonstration at the Dance Transformations Symposium, C-DARE. 19 October 2011.

Experience in industry

I started my professional career as an assistant choreographer and rehearsal assistant for popular girls bands of the late 1990s. For example, I worked extensively with 'Precious' (2000-2001) 'Atomic Kitten' (2001), 'Heaven Sent' (2001 - 2003) and 'Incense' (2002, 2004), predominately on UK and international tours, but my work also included choreography for appreances on stage, television and music video production. I later worked with, and been informed by practitioners including: Miranda Tufnell, Helen Poynor, Hilary Kneale, Florence Peake, Sally E Dean, Eva Karczag, and Joe Moran. In addition to this, I have been engaged by dance theatre companies such as, S.H.E Theatre, Blue Eyed Soul, Talking Birds, and Green Room Theatre Company. I am primarily an independent artist and continue to make and perform across the UK.

Recent publications

Collard-Stokes, G. (2019) 'Expressing Suchness: on the integration of writing into a dance practice',  The Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices. 

Collard-Stokes, G. (2017) 'Dissolving Boarders: the integration of writing into a movement practice', PhD Thesis, University of Wolverhampton, (which can be found here: Collard-Stokes Thesis).

Collard-Stokes, G. (2012) 'Finding common ground through language and movement: examining the role of the writer in Rosemary Lee’s The Suchness of Heni and Eddie', Research in Dance Education, 13(2):215.

Pollard, N., Coe, K., Collard-Stokes, G., Le Quesne, L. and Moran, J. (2009) 'Artist-led, artist-used: experiences at Coventry's Summer Dancing 2009', Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 1(2):199.