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Final project, Zosia Jo Dowmunt. Credit: Grace Gelder.

MA/MFA Creative Practice

This year Independent Dance is offering bursary awards to support practitioners to undertake MA/MFA Creative Practice: Dance Professional. £10,000 in total is available through individual awards ranging from £1,000 – £2500. Find out more here.

MA/MFA Creative Practice focuses on dance, somatics and interdisciplinary practice as research and is taught by internationally renowned artists. 

MA/MFA Creative Practice: Dance Professional is led by Trinity Laban (London) in partnership with Independent Dance and Siobhan Davies Studios. It is designed to provide a flexible and bespoke programme of study, and offers a range of modules. 

This programme is unusual in that it is partly based in a conservatoire – Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance – and partly in a professional dance context, Independent Dance/Siobhan Davies Studios. This offers a rare bridge between academic and professional spheres and enables practitioners to join a growing community of artists.

Two of the key modules on this programme are Embodied Practice and Investigative Practice; these are delivered by Independent Dance and take place at Siobhan Davies Studios.

The programme works with an expanded notion of dance in dialogue with wide artistic and cultural contexts. It embraces a diversity of forms and approaches, with guest artists of international renown leading practical and discursive sessions and seminars. Peer learning and support is integral, with students bringing and exchanging a breadth of experience and expertise. The programme promotes a fluid and generative exchange between theory and practice, in the belief that knowledge emerges through dance and movement practice itself.

This programme supports practitioners to develop their artistic practice in a stimulating environment of intellectual, collaborative and creative inquiry, and to:

  • reflect on their body of professional experience and their ongoing learning
  • engage in intensive research with renowned artists and a skilled peer group
  • deepen their practice as performers/makers/facilitators
  • develop their understanding of a range of research methodologies and pursue their own area of artistic interest
  • become part of a growing international community of artists which continues to evolve beyond the programme

“It was, without doubt, the most beneficial professional educative programme of study that I have undertaken in my professional/academic career to date. I feel that Embodied Practice has laid foundations that will serve the rest of my career progression and academic life.”

“I looked for years to find an MA program like this. This program fosters a somatic approach to movement and supports practicing artists to continue with their own path of inquiry. The teachers, environment and tutoring offered is outstanding. These conditions for learning have allowed me to stretch beyond what I thought was imaginable. I am now better able to articulate my ideas within my practice and place those ideas in a broader context.”

Embodied Practice and Investigative Practice Modules

Independent Dance leads on curation, delivery and student support throughout Embodied Practice and Investigative Practice. These two core modules run as intensive 5-week blocks with the aim to make it more possible for students to continue professional commitments outside of the course during the rest of the year. They are based at Siobhan Davies Studios.

Embodied Practice is led by Heni Hale with Gaby Agis and a number of guests artists with diverse practices. These have recently included Experiential Anatomy / improvisational practices with Eva KarczagMiranda TufnellCharlotte Darbyshire and Amy Voris, Skinner Releasing Technique with Kirsty Alexander and Mary-Clare McKenna, Feldenkrais Method with Thomas Kampe and Caroline Scott, creative applications of somatic and critical practice research approaches with Sherwood ChenCharlie Morrissey‘Fumni Adewole ElliotFrank BockJean Abreu and Adesola Akinleye.

Investigative Practice is led by a different artist of international standing each year, sharing their practice methods in depth, and has included Jo FongAnnie Pui Ling LokWendy HoustounSiobhan DaviesAngela WoodhouseRosemary LeeHeni HaleRosemary Butcher. In 2024, we are excited to welcome back Florence Peake to lead Investigative Practice, and in 2025 we will be inviting Seke Chimutengwende as lead artist.

These modules are designed on the creative pedagogical approaches of Gill Clarke, who originally shaped them with Kirsty Alexander, Rosemary Butcher and Siobhan Davies. Kirsty Alexander continued the evolving development of this programme while she was Co-Director of ID, with support from Kathy Crick.

Students are based at Trinity Laban for other core modules; Research Lab (exploring research methodologies) and Project/Extended Project (the final research output) along with a choice from a number of module options including Body Space Place, Performance Making, Dance and the Moving Image and Writing the Body.

Term Dates

Embodied Practice and Investigative Practice run as intensive five week blocks in the spring and summer terms respectively. Other modules run in varying models.

Induction week 09 – 13 Sep 2024
Term 1 16 Sep – 06 Dec 2024
Term 2 06 Jan – 28 Mar 2025 : Embodied Practice Module: 06 Jan –  07 Feb 2025
Term 3 21 Apr – 25 Jul 2025 : Investigative Practice Module: 21 Apr – 23 May 2025


This year Independent Dance is offering bursary awards to support practitioners to undertake MA/MFA Creative Practice: Dance Professional. £10,000 in total is available through individual awards ranging from £1,000 – £2500. Find out more here.

Other substantial bursaries can be applied for through Independent Dance and Trinity Laban. Find out more about funding support available through Trinity Laban.


Programme Leader: Dr Naomi Lefebvre Sell
Lead Tutor: Heni Hale

For more information about the modules delivered by ID, please write to Heni Hale

For more information about the MA/MFA Creative Practice programme overall, please write to Dr Naomi Lefebvre Sell