Centre for Brain Research

Dance Studies and Brain Research Group

Working together to improve lives


Associate Professor Ralph Buck is Head of Dance Studies at the University of Auckland, and has been recognised with several teaching and leadership awards. His research and teaching have been presented around the world and featured in leading research journals and books.

Ralph's work with the World Alliance for Arts Education and UNESCO draws attention to potential roles of dance as a dynamic agent for change within security, health and education concerns.

Visit Ralph's profile at the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries here



Team members










Carol Brown 

Associate Professor Dance Studies Programme


Carlene Newall

Bach. Arts (Psychology); Bach. Perf. Arts (Dance)

PgDipSci (Health Psych); Masters Science (Health Psych)


Kate Reigle van West

Bach. Science (Arts Technology); Masters Fine Arts (Interdisciplinary Art and Media)


Debra Lawler- Dormer

Bach. Arts (Art history); Masters of Arts (Art History)




  • Examine and support the roles of dance within neuroscience research.
  • Value dance as a means for examining health and wellbeing for diverse populations.
  • Explore innovative research projects that bridge arts and sciences.
  • Support postgraduate students and their projects, such as, dance and dementia.

Areas of interest

  • Community dance
  • Dance education
  • Arts education policy
  • Dance and wellbeing


This team has received funding from the following entities;



For a full list of publications, visit the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries.