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Dance Science Symposium 2022

University of Massachusetts Amherst

College of Humanities & Fine Arts

Department of Music & Dance


The Dance Science Symposium 2022 will be held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Saturday, March 26th, 2022. To be considered as a featured presenter at next year’s Symposium, submit your research abstract today! Abstract submissions will be accepted through October 31st, 2021 at 11:59pm ET.

 To submit your DSS 2022 research abstract, click here.


The 2021 Dance Science Symposium took place on March 9-12, 2021, online via Zoom, free of charge, and was presented in conjunction with the "Beyond the Proscenium: Access" Dance Conference on Sat., March 13.


About the Symposium

Dance Science image - at IALS, UMassThe Dance Science Symposium is an annual meeting that aims to bring together dancers and dance scientists to discuss critical and emerging research within the field of dance science and medicine. Grounded in the premise that science is not separate from art, the symposium features original research conducted by professional dancers who are simultaneously active in the field of dance science and medicine. The panel of speakers will reflect diversity in praxis and theory with respect to their dance training and performance histories, as well as in their respective areas of scientific inquiry and expertise. Presentations will address pertinent questions related to dance training and performance in research, as well as illustrate novel applications of dance-based practices or interventions in community contexts and/or clinical populations. The symposium will culminate in a panel discussion on the current state of research in dance science and medicine, with space for musings and insights as they relate to the next steps and evolutions for research in dance.


The Dance Science Symposiums are hosted by LAB:SYNC (Director, Dr. Aston K. McCullough, Assistant Professor of Dance Science) and the Program in Dance (Director, Thomas Vacanti, Associate Professor of Dance) of the Department of Music & Dance, College of Humanities & Fine Arts, UMass Amherst.


2021 Schedule  (Each session was 40 minutes, online via Zoom)

Tues. March 9th, 6pm - Allison Seifert, PhD

Wed. March 10th, 6pm - Aviva Kornel, MFA

Thurs. March 11th, 6pm - Barry Parker, PhD and Jessica Sudock, PhD

Fri. March 12th, 6pm - Peggy Gould, MFA

Fri. March 12th, 7pm - Panel Discussion: McCullough, Discussant; Panelists- Seifert, Kornel, Parker, Gould


Presenters for March, 2021:


Allison Seifert, PhD

Central Connecticut State University 

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Presentation: The Science and Application of Fitness in Dance

Description: This presentation will review the basic components of physical fitness and how its development positively impacts performance, injury risk, and support for a long and healthy career for dancers and performing artists.






Aviva Kornel

Aviva Kornel, MFA

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance

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Presentation: An Investigation into Duende and its Relationship to Flow among Professional Flamenco Performers

DescriptionThis presentation will discuss the findings of Aviva’s graduate research. It will look at how professional flamenco dancers and musicians define duende and make sense of the experience. It will also examine how duende enhances performance and its relationship to a flow state.  





Barry Parker, PhD

Shenandoah University

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Presentation: The Importance of a Periodized Strength and Conditioning Program for Dancers

Description: In this talk, we will discuss the benefits of implementing a structured periodized strength and conditioning program in dancers. We will discuss current research and new data from our pilot study with collegiate dancers. 





Jessica Sudock, PhD

Shenandoah University

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Presentation with Barry Parker








Peggy Gould, MFA

Sarah Lawrence College

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Presentation: Utilizing Functional Anatomy Concepts in Dance Training: Observations, Inspirations, & Notes from the Field

DescriptionThe adage “knowledge is power” is potentially outmoded in its overly simple assertion and yet for dancing, it continues to hold some truth.  When dance artists are provided with specific structural and functional information about anatomy in the context of movement, there is often notable improvement in technical capability and expansion of aesthetic range.  This talk, intended for an audience of dancers, educators and scientists, provides an introduction including both anecdotal and practice-based examples.



2019 Dance Science Symposium flyer (the 2020 Symposium was cancelled due to the pandemic):

2019 Dance Science Symposium presenters