We were mesmerised by your dancing.
You have an inner glow and serene smile which becomes at one with the beat of the music.
We were enchanted.
Prof. Lady Christine BamfordPresident CID-UNESCO, London
Just wanted to say I had a lovely time in your dance classes. I used to dance and choreograph regularly back in India, but gave it up when I came to this country.
Since going to your dance classes, I feel the love for dance has re-kindled in me. I danced on the stage after almost a decade and it was one of the happiest moments of my life!
I completely adored at your knowledge of Bollywood and Indian classical dance forms. Thank you!
MoitreeBollywood Brighton Summer course 2016
Rosaria has been dancing since she was very little, initially through Flamenco and Danza Española, and then Ballet. Later on, by the hand of her Political Scientist and Sociologist training, and her interest in the use of the arts as catalyst in community participation, she felt in love with Afro-Brazilian dance.
Her passion is in community dance and the power that dance can have in unifying communities. She believes in dance not only as an aesthetically pleasing art, or a tool to improve health and wellbeing, but also as an agent to enhance an individual’s ability to be involved as a citizen, and blossom in the space they live in.
Dr. Rosaria M. Gracia has been dancing, teaching and choreographing static and parade performances since 1999. She has performed extensively in the UK and in International Festivals in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil and Cuba. She has a broad experience as a community dance practitioner, performer and choreographer for groups of all ages, delivering over 500 sessions (both of arts in practice and academic content) per year.
She has an in-depth knowledge of Afro-Brazilian dance practices which she immersed in since the 1990s. She has a special interest in the representations of dance of the African Diaspora in Brazil and Cuba which is translated in her Indigenous Indian choreographies and Bahiana (in their representations in Samba, Maracatu and Afoxe).
Her expertise in International Dance extends to her knowledge of Flamenco palos and Bollywood. Rosaria encountered Bollywood while performing with Emergency Exit Arts in their show Runga Rung (2005 – 2007). She then undertook training with Himany Dixit in Udaipur (India) and continued her research and practice. She has taught Bollywood and Bhangra as part of the Dance Course at City College (UAL Diploma 2014- 2010), in schools, events and Indian weddings. She also choreographed a piece for the project Yamuna Yemanja performed at the famous Notting Hill Carnival (2014) fusing Indian and Brazilian dance traditions.
In the field of dance and health she has devised and delivered programmes such as:
- Dance and Movement sessions for Social Prescription (Healing, Expressive and Recovery Arts) HERA – NHS surgeries (since 2013)
- ‘Dancing for Health and Wellbeing’(since 2012),
- Recovery College (intermittent delivery since 2017)
- ‘Finding your Compass’ (in collaboration with film maker Fiona Geilinger, 2018 – 2012)
- ‘Synergy Arts’ (in collaboration with musician Polina Shepherd, 2009 – 2006)
She continues building on her interest in anatomy and the moving body, researching and representing Afro-Brazilian dance and symbology, both in its own right, and linking it with her GYROTONIC® Method training (gyrotonic.com), at community and professional levels and in Arts and Health projects.
Rosaria integrates her academic background into her dance, not only in the research of the content of the sessions but also in the reflection and investigation of the role of dance and movement in wider societal aspects. She is currently engaged in the study of the role of dance and movement in the health and wellbeing , quality of life and civic engagement of adults both in the community and institutional settings (care homes, hospitals, etc. ), and the role of dance in the health and wellbeing in carers’ lives during Covid 19 (this latter is part of a collaborative research project amongst various UK Universities and carer focused organisations).
She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Associate Lecturer in Politics, International Development, Environment, and Mental Health in the Community at the Open University (since 2008), is a Specialist Qualitative Researcher, a Dementia Awareness Trainer Specialist and an Artistic Quality Assessor for the Arts Council. Please visit ‘Research and Consultancy’ page for more details in this field of work.