Katye Coe spent time as a Research Artist with us between 2018 and 2019. Her research focused on the unique information that a dancer holds while, and immediately after, dancing. This presented itself through a series of monthly open classes, sharings with local dance communities and conversations with those involved with caring for women giving birth and those offering care at the end of life. Katye spent time with staff at Nottinghamshire Hospice in January 2019, questioning support and daily experience through simple body-based tasks. Katye’s open class explored her interests in the potential of dancing and what happens when we move together.

One of the participants of the monthly open classes, Mary Baird-Wilcock, reflected on their experience of the class via her podcast, ‘The Simplifiers Podcast’ commenting the following:
Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of studying and practicing movement under dancer and activist, Katye Coe […] In these dance classes, she talks a lot about “witnessing your weather,” which I translated as understanding the wave of emotions and feelings that blow in and out at a moment’s notice […] [W]hat Katye recommends is this… instead of falling down that rabbit hole of despair and personifying your identity on your constant changing waves of emotions […] see what bubbles up in your state of fear and overwhelm… or on the flip side, what bubbles up when you feel delicious joy and elation. Follow it. Observe it. Learn from it. Go deeper… and then move on.

In her podcast the following week, entitled “How to listen to your body”, Mary spoke of how the class had made her more attune to her body:
Bottomline, when I move my body, I feel alive. I think modern day working in a device driven culture means we are sitting in front of our laptops for 8 or more hours a day. We’re likely sitting in an uncomfortable chair, squinting our eyes, contorting our bodies, and (if you’re anything like me) breathing incredibly shallow, especially when we’re stressed. You guys, our bodies aren’t made for this sedentary lifestyle! We’ve got to get moving, here’s how.

The monthly classes were intended to allow participants to make independent choices as to their involvement in the class. Their engagement was personal and varied from dancing through to active watching and listening, making the class suitable for all those with an interest in dance and movement.

To read more about Katye’s work, click here.

You can also listen to the podcast by clicking here.