Gemma Wright
Elsa Urmston 

Mark Smith

Elsa Urmston MSc, PGCAP, FHEA

Elsa is a long-time friend of Dance Network Association having worked with us as an evaluator on a number of our health, wellbeing and education programmes in the past. She's currently a freelance researcher and consultant at London Contemporary Dance School, where she advises on curriculum development and is researching the psychological impacts of vocational dance education on undergraduate students. Connected to this, Elsa's also doing a PhD in Education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Exeter, exploring the implications of periodization on teaching and learning, and how this might change how vocational dance education happens.

Her early professional background was as a community dance artist at Suffolk Dance (now DanceEast), then at Norfolk Dance in the early 2000s. Elsa was also the Centre for Advanced Training Manager at DanceEast from 2014-2017. She continues to work in community and education settings as a researcher and evaluator, exploring dance participation and its impact on people’s lives from social, psychological and health perspectives with companies such as us here at Dance Network Association, as well as Made by Katie Green, BEEE Creative, English National Ballet, Dance Umbrella, Crxss Platfxrm, and East London Dance. Elsa mostly teaches in Higher Education having worked at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Bird College and University of Bedfordshire over the last few years. Elsa's been the External Examiner for the BSc and MSc Dance Science programmes at the University of Wolverhampton, advisor on dance for children and young people for One Dance UK and was previously Chair of the Dance Educators’ Committee for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science.

“I’m thrilled to be able to join Dance Network as a Trustee. The work the organisation does has always inspired me and I’ve seen it have such significance for the people that encounter it, in terms of their love of dance, health, wellbeing, confidence and lifelong education. I hope to bring my expertise in dance education and dance science to this new role, to advocate widely for the organisation both within the dance sector and beyond, and support Gemma and her whole team in the organisation’s next stage of growth and development."


Twitter: @dancescigirl