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
Welcome to my site!
My name is Rosaria Gracia and I am an award winning dance artist, choreographer, movement director and university lecturer. I am also a keen researcher. My current areas of interest and expertise are the application of dance and movement in health conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s, mild to moderate mental health conditions, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and ME. I am very interested in exploring how movement can support our bodies and minds to feel, nurture, rejuvenate and perform well, independently of our age, condition or ability, working with what we have and blossoming with it.
As a dancer I have been dancing since I was very little, initially through Flamenco and Danza Española, and then Ballet. Later on, by the hand of my Political Scientist and Sociologist training, and my curiosity and interest in the use of the arts as catalyst in community participation, I felt in love with Afro-Brazilian dance.
My real passion is in community dance and the power that dance can have in unifying communities. I believe that dance is not only 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.
As a choreographer and performer, I specialise in outdoor performances and mass movement choreographies. Since 1999 I have extensively worked in the UK and in International Festivals in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil and Cuba. My experience is broad, 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.
I have intensively studied Afro-Brazilian dance practices since the 1990s and the process continues… I have a special interest in the representations of dance of the African Diaspora in Brazil and Cuba which is translated in my choreographies. Added to this, as ethnochoreologist, I am interested and seek how identity, culture and history is represented in various dances around the world. This led me to study Flamenco palos with Maria la Chata in my native Cordoba and Bollywood/Bhangra. I first encountered Bollywood while performing with Emergency Exit Arts in their show Runga Rung (2005 – 2007). I then undertook training with Himany Dixit in Udaipur (India) and continued my research and practice. I started teaching Bollywood and Bhangra as part of the Dance Course at City College (UAL Diploma 2014- 2010), and continue doing so in schools, events and Indian weddings. I also choreographed a piece for the project Yamuna Yemanja performed at the famous Notting Hill Carnival (2014) fusing Indian and Brazilian dance traditions and since 2014 I have been performing with Bhangra 4 x 4 as part of the Burning the Clocks (Same Sky) celebrations in Brighton, UK.
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’( Healthy Lifestyles Team, Brighton and Hove City Council since 2012),
- Recovery College (2021 – 2017)
- ‘Finding your Compass’ (in collaboration with film maker Fiona Geilinger, 2018 – 2012)
- ‘Synergy Arts’ (in collaboration with musician Polina Shepherd, 2009 – 2006)
I am always interested in developing my knowledge in anatomy and the moving body. This dedication translated in becoming a GYROTONIC® (Level 1 and 2) and GYROKINESIS ® (Level 1) Method training, OTAGO Falls Prevention Programme Leader, and studying the TARA Approach .
I was awarded the OneDance UK Health and Wellbeing in Dance Award in 2022.
As a truly multidisciplinary practitioner, I integrate my academic background into her dance as much as I can, 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. I am 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).
I am a Senior 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), 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.