Rosa is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Dance Research.
As an artist-researcher, I enjoy combining the practical with the theoretical. My interdisciplinary way of working and creating, allows me to use dance and the arts as tools to bring attention to social and political issues. Working with vulnerable groups and using the arts and education to engage communities and participate in projects that lead to a more inclusive society, is what I am hoping to achieve with my academic research. Cultural heritage and digital technologies are also a key part of my ongoing practice.
On a macro level, I am running the EU-Funded CEF project entitled CultureMoves which looks at the intersections of dance, site, tourism and digital technologies. The Erasmus+ NEFELI, is a social inclusion project with a focus on adult education, extending and developing the competences of educators and other personnel who support adult learners. On a national level, my research activity in support of evidence-based policymaking, has led to a workshop entitled ‘Welcoming Culture in Universities- Awareness of Gypsy Roma Traveller’s culture’, and to curate an art exhibition. On a local level, I am coordinating the Dancing Bodies in Coventry, a multimedia project that aims to start to document the legacy of dance in the City of Coventry.
How did you end up doing what you are currently doing?
From a young age, I learned about social injustices and observed how some people were treated and was always saddened by this reality. I always wanted to “do” something to change this and my mother taught me education was the best way to “fight”. Having grown up with a dance practice and later studying dance, and having a professional dance career, it was a natural marriage to merge the activism with the arts.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
A typical day includes balancing being a mother of two young girls (a toddler and a newborn) and working with a group of incredible colleagues. I try to cultivate a daily yoga practice and ensure I have time to be in my body and nurture that inner voice, but some days, it is hard to honour that practice. However, my rule is to always be fully engaged in whatever I am doing- so if I am writing an email, I am 100% committed to that task and “being in the moment”.
What or who inspires you in your work?
My family and my dance practice are my sources of strength. I am inspired by interdisciplinary work and collaborative projects and modes of working. The combination of the practical and the theoretical underpins all of my research interests and I am guided by bringing people together.
Why do we need gender equality in research?
Gender equality might seem like a buzz word, but sadly there are several areas in research where gender equality is non-existent. Gender equality is needed so that everyone is allowed to be the best selves they can be. If one person or group of people is not being fully respected and honored as an equal, this results in an imbalance which means that we are not complimenting one another.
What advice do you have for fellow researchers?
There is strength in numbers!! Let’s not compete against each other but rather honour our strengths and accept our weaknesses. Working together we can better learn how we complement one another and this can foster a more cohesive, trusting, solid and creative workforce that is built on peace, equality and acceptance, rather than on greed and individualism.