Sara Houston leads the Dance for Parkinson’s research project, as commissioned by English National Ballet (2010–2011; 2011-2014). In 2011, the BUPA Foundation awarded her its prestigious Vitality for Life Prize for the Dance for Parkinson’s research. Sara is Principal Lecturer in dance at University of Roehampton, London. She was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy in 2014. <p>Sara’s primary interest is in community dance, exploring the social and political contexts of people dancing. She has undertaken dance research with adult male prisoners (in conjunction with Motionhouse Dance Theatre), within schools, residential care homes and within dance companies. As a research consultant she undertakes evaluations for community work by dance organisations, most recently for BalletBoyz. In addition, Sara maintains an interest in the professional development of dance teachers and managers, and this has also been incorporated into the Dance for Parkinson’s study. She was awarded a research fellowship by University of Surrey, 2006–2008, for examining reflection as a tool for professional development for arts administrators and managers.
Sara trained at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance and her PhD, awarded by Roehampton in 2002, examined the relationships between community dance and New Labour discourse. Sara acts as a reviewer for peer reviewed journals, books and for grant giving bodies and is a member of the Peer Review College of the AHRC. She sits on the Advisory Board for Queensland Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme and is education and research consultant for Dance for Health and Parkinson, The Netherlands. She is an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Public Health. Sara is Chair of the Board of Trustees and Directors of People Dancing and chairs the steering group of the Dance for Parkinson’s Network UK.