Sara Giddens, Ruth Margaret Spencer and Justyna Katarzyna Urbanczyk, University of Central Lancashire

Three Practitioner-Researchers from The University of Central Lancashire’s, Dance Performance and Teaching team will employ still-ing and dwelling to re-consider and wrestle with our individual and collaborative relationship to research.

They will lead a gentle explorative workshop that will employ that which Heidegger names as “attentive dwelling” (1978:150), in order to reflect upon how creating spaces for slow-ing and still-ing, with regard to research, might inform and empower ways of working collaboratively, and help us to engage in a useful and meaningful making and dialoguing process.

Journal Notes

How have we arrived here in this moment?

Through movement?

Making the stopping and still-ing more profound in its difference.

Doing stillness by way of movement,

but just as readily finding movement through stillness.

Arriving at this dwelling point, here and now.

Still alone together.

And in this somehow shared space-time,

clearing a space so it can be filled again

by you and your own

theres and thens.

How can we resist the current pace of working? How might a shift in our modus operandii enrich and deepen relationships and thinking? What will we gain?


Discussions with colleagues from a wide-range of Educational settings reveal a huge tension between our actual working lives and our embodied practices. Our multi-faceted roles often collide and compromise one another, we are time strapped, deadline driven, dialogue poor, email chasing, computer tied, committed educators and researchers, needing (and wanting) to encourage ourselves and students to play, explore and discover, to respond intuitively, and work from a balanced mind/body relationship.

As Guy Claxton (1997:6) reminds us, “learning– the process of coming to know – emerges from uncertainty.” How might dwelling support us to encourage ways of working within which ‘not knowing’, curiosity and inquiry are valued? Where questions are answered with more questions.

Our input would frame how our research challenges the current status quo and has the potential to rebalance attention.

Claxton, G., 1997.  Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind. New York: Harper Collins.

Heidegger, M., 1978 (first published in 1956). The Origin of the Work of Art. In: D. Farrell Krell, ed. Basic Writings. London: Routledge.


Dr Sara Giddens is a choreographer and creative facilitator. She also teaches on the Dance Performance and Teaching course at the University of Central Lancashire. Having worked on the Articulating Dance project, as part of Choreographic Lab, Sara recently completed a practice-based PhD, co-hosted by Dance4 and Middlesex University. She continues to develop, make and tour performance-based work with Prof Simon Jones (Bristol University) through their company Bodies in Flight (1990).

Justyna Urbanczyk is an MPhil/PhD Candidate at UCLan. Her research explores the perceptions of sustainable ways of living, people’s attitudes and access to sustainable options. Since graduating in 2015 in Religion, Culture and Society with Philosophy, Justyna was involved in student support projects within the university, particularly Health Champions and Peer Mentoring. As a researcher for the WellSust project, she continues to explore the factors that affect students’ well-being at UCLan.

Ruth Spencer makes, performs and facilitates dance. As a Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Dance Performance and Teaching course at the University of Central Lancashire Ruth oversees the Education and Community based dance practice. Ruth’s own work with organisations such as Cheshire Dance, Dance Manchester and the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) among others focuses on inclusion and improvisation, and how they support creativity.

Contact details:

Media Factory, ME107

University of Central Lancashire

Preston PR1 2HE

Email: Sgiddens@uclan.ac.uk or rmspencer2@uclan.ac.uk


01772 895340 (Sara Giddens) or 01772 893903 (Ruth Spencer)



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