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Penny Collinson

Lecturer in Dance & Somatic Practice
School of Arts and Media

Penny is senior lecturer and course leader for MA Dance & Somatic Wellbeing: Connection to the Living Body. Her 20 years of teaching dance and somatic movement education at the University of Central Lancashire have also involved teaching on BA Dance, Performance & Teaching, and guest tutor on Integrative Psychotherapy MA and BA Social Work offering her expertise in embodied movement practice. Penny is a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Penny is a Somatic Movement Educator registered with the International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association (ISMETA). She leads the MA Dance & Somatic Wellbeing: Connections to the Living Body, an Approved programme with ISMETA, which has run since 2007. Penny is part of UCLanDance, a Centre for Excellence in Learning, Participation and Advocacy developing programmes of work which are deeply rooted in and responsive to our communities within and outside of the university, across Lancashire, nationally and internationally. With five areas of activity: Research, Outreach, Courses, Performance and 'In Residence' programme we aim to inspire and empower whole communities, with access for all at the heart of our practice. Penny is a member of the Dance Somatic Research Group (DSRG), research areas include 'Looking for Health: a field review of the work of dance & somatic practitioners in NHS hospitals' (Collinson & Herd -Staffordshire University, 2017-20); ‘Breathing, movement and space: bodily awareness and psychosocial approaches to social work practice’ (Collinson, Cox, Lamford, & Manley- the Psycho-Social Research Unit, 2015)

Penny is a professional dance artist and has an extensive background in public workshops, and speaking at symposiums and conferences, including paper entitled "Looking for Health: A field review of the work of dance and somatic movement practitioners in NHS hospitals" at the Symposium: Bridging the Gap: Somatic Movement and Dance Practices in Health Care, at Edge Hill University (Mar 2020); Curator, Symposium: Making Presence Felt: Applications of Somatic Movement Practice, UCLan (June 2019), teaching/presenting on behalf of the Knowing Body Network: 'Frontiers of Dance & Health Symposium', curated by Lisa Dowler, Bluecoat, Liverpool (2017); ; 'Dance as Medicine' curated by Miranda Tufnell, Winlab, Independent Dance, London (2016), 'Embodying Health Symposium', curated by Penny Collinson, UCLan 2016; 'Embodying Health- Poster' 'Culture, Health & Wellbeing International Conference , Bristol 2015; The Association of Psycho-social Studies Conference, UWE Bristol University, 2015 (Penny Collinson, Pat Cox (Social Work), Tim Lamford & Julian Manley (Psycho-Social Research Team). Presentation entitled, “Breathing, movement and space: bodily awareness and psychosocial approaches to social work practice”, and UCLan, Learning & Teaching Conference, June 2015. Publications: Contributor to, Tufnell, Miranda (2017), When I Open My Eyes: Dance Health Imagination Hampshire, Dance Books Collinson, Penny (2015), ‘Re-sourcing the body: Embodied Presence and self care in working with others’, cited in Whatley, Garrett, Brown & Alexander (2015) Attending to Movement: Somatic Perspectives on Living in this World England: Triarchy Press

  • MA by Research, Manchester Metropolitan, 2005
  • Diploma (Somatic Movement Education) Institute for Integrative Bodywork & Movement Therapy, Norfolk, 2010
  • Diploma (Contemporary Dance) Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds 1992
  • Somatic Movement Education
  • Co-creation
  • Client practice
  • Improvisation
  • Authentic Movement
  • 2013 – present, Steering group member and Research Development Panel member of the Knowing Body Network, a national network of dancers and movement and health-practitioners.
  • 2012 – present, External Examiner of the Institute for Integrative Bodywork & Movement Therapy; Supervisor and course work assessor
  • 2011 – present, Registered Somatic Movement Educator with ISMETA; Private practitioner and Supervisor based in Lancashire
  • 2000 - present, member of the Foundation for Community Dance