Coventry University | Dr. Eline Kieft

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Dr. Eline Kieft

0.6 Research Associate

My Research Vision

Both my practical and theoretical work are inspired by a deep yearning to understand what it is to live a meaningful, soul-full life. The search for this 'Art of Living' is led and inspired by dance, which allows us to connect deeply with ourselves, each other and the world around us. 

By using a combination of embodied and intersubjective methodologies to explore dance as different way of knowing, I hope to learn more about the potential role it can play in contemporary culture with regard to possibilities for everyone to live a healthy, nourishing and vibrant life. In particular, I am interested in concrete strategies for achieving and sustaining this in education, healthcare and business. 


In her work, Eline combines her passion for anthropology and its qualitative research methodologies, health, spirituality, and her intimate knowledge of the dancer’s body. She studied contemporary dance at CODARTS, Rotterdam and also qualified as teacher in Movement Medicine. This is an improvisation-based, meditative dance practice for lay participants, with roots in a shamanic paradigm. 

In 2013 she completed her PhD in Dance at the University of Roehampton in London, studying the contributions of Movement Medicine to participants’ wellbeing and empowerment. She is currently re-writing her thesis for publication in Lexington’s series on Body and Religion.

As a medical anthropologist, she conducted various studies on health and wellbeing from a social and cultural perspective, working with people with learning disabilities, burnout and depression, and other long-term chronic conditions. In her previous post at The University of Exeter Medical School, she focused on the development and implementation of patient-initiated care in the NHS  

Eline also teaches several unorthodox academic modules for students, including ‘Embodied Research Methodology’ for anthropology students at UCL, and ‘Develop your own Art of Living Toolkit’ for medical students from the University of Plymouth. She offers experiential, tailor-made workshops for healthcare organisations, universities and museums at request.

Selected Outputs

Kieft, E. (2014), 'Dance as a moving spirituality: A case study of Movement Medicine', Journal of Dance, Movement & Spiritualities, 1:1, pp. 21-41.

Kieft, E. (2016a), 'Book Review. Kent de Spain: Landscape of the Now: A Topography of Movement Improvisation (2014) ', Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, 8:1, pp. 105-107.

Kieft, E. (2016b), 'Dancing in, as and with nature', in Coles, R., Costa, S. & Watson, S. (eds.) Well-being 2016. Co-creating pathways to well-being. Birmingham: Birmingham City University, pp. 75.

Kieft, E. (2016c), 'Developing a Personal Art of Living Toolkit: a medical humanities case study', in Coles, R., Costa, S. & Watson, S. (eds.) Well-being 2016. Co-creating pathways to well-being. Birmingham: Birmingham City University, pp. 148-151.

Kieft, E. (2017a), 'Towards a Soulful Research Methodology: Reflections through the lenses of dance, anthropology and shamanism. Online C-DaRE publication'.

Kieft, E. (2017b), 'Rediscovering the enchanted garden: celebrating g'd through movement and the body', Revue Théologiques [in preparation].

Kieft, E. (2017c), 'Soul Loss and Retrieval: restoring wholeness through dance', in Williamson, A. & Sellers-Young, B. (eds.) Spiritual Herstories: Soulful research in dance studies. Intellect [accepted for publication].

Kieft, E. (2017d), 'Dance, Empowerment and Spirituality in Movement Medicine. In: DELFT, M. V., GÜNDÜZ, Z., KOOLEN, H., VOETS, J. & WIJERS, L. (eds.) Danswetenschap in Nederland. Amsterdam, Utrecht: Vereniging voor Dansonderzoek pp. 85-92'.

Kieft, E. and Blades, H. 'Movement as a Way of Knowing'. DanceHE Early Career Symposium, University of Bedfordshire, April 7, 2016.

Kieft, E., Day, J., Byng, R., McArdle, P. and Goodwin, V. (2017), 'Bridging the second gap in translation: a case study of barriers and facilitators to implementing Patient-initiated Clinics into secondary care. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare, 5, 129-137EndFragment'.

Selected Projects

  • National Centre for Research Methods: Early Career Researchers Methodological Research Projects Grant, PI on Research with a Twist: Developing a structure for Embodied Research Methodology throughout the entire research cycle, start date 01/09/17, 18 months.

  • RICHES. Looks at the context of change for European cultural heritage, focusing on the impacts of digital technology and mapping socio-political and economic implications.

  • Europeana Space Project. Explores digital tools to enrich users’ experience of, and engagement with, Europe’s cultural Heritage.