Chair of DanceHE
Fiona began her professional career as a community dance artist (animateur) after completing the Community Dance programme with Peter Brinson at the Laban Centre (London). She was based in the North West working with Cheshire Dance Workshop, Merseyside Dance and Clywd Dance Project in North Wales. In the early 1990s, she moved to Sydney, Australia to work as the Education and Community Officer, for Ausdance (NSW). On returning to the UK, she joined the Scarborough School of Arts (University of Hull) as a Lecturer in Dance and Performance. Here she completed her MEd and Ph.D. at the University of Manchester, researching aesthetic development and aesthetic education as an identifying feature of dance taught at degree level in the UK. In 2004, she took on the role of Head of School at Scarborough, and led the development of the School of Arts and New Media. Now as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, she continues to explore collaborative art making, aesthetics, and ethics in studio practice. Over the past few years, she has led the MA Choreography and MA Performance, Culture, and Context whilst teaching a range of modules on the undergraduate BA Dance.
At Leeds, Fiona was a founding member of Architects of the Invisible, a performance collective that explores experimental choreography and social interaction and led a number of projects via Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) Awards, for example, Re-Tale Leeds and the DownTownDance Project.
Fiona continues to teach at undergraduate, postgraduate and research levels, works as an external examiner, reviewer, and advocate for dance. She frequently writes for dance journals for example Research in Dance Education and Choreographic Practices, presents work nationally and internationally at conferences, contributes to daCi (Dance and the Child International), WDA (World Dance Alliance). She became Chair of DanceHE in 2013 having joined the Board as a Northern Representative two years before. She joined the Executive Board of WDA (World Dance Alliance) in the Autumn of 2014 and is currently supporting the development of WDA-E ( Europe). Current research interests include ethics and aesthetics in practice and the valuing of messy practice in practice-led research.
Link to Architects of the Invisible image essay here.