CREATE Dance for Dementia

CREATE Dance for Dementia is a one-year project seeking to Cocreate a REsearch Agenda To facilitate Equitable Dance for Dementia. We are running a series of research workshops to bring together those living with dementia, carers, researchers and dance organisations to advance our understanding of rights-based ways of working in research on dance for dementia.

Scottish Ballet

Background to the project

It has been suggested that dance is particularly beneficial for those living with dementia in relation to improving quality of life and wellbeing. However, research has tended to focus on the ‘impact’ of dance, with less emphasis on improving and understanding research processes. This is, in part, a consequence of the policy landscape which requires dance organisations to demonstrate their societal impact, alongside a limited capacity to engage in understanding sustainable, collaborative methodological ways of working. This project is about understanding and optimising research processes in dance for dementia in a new way: in partnership with those living with dementia.

What we are doing

We want to run the CREATE Dance for Dementia workshops as a way to provide an opportunity for those living with dementia, researchers and dance organisations to come together at the early stage of planning future research collaborations to dance together and identify priorities for future collaborative investigation. This will include cocreating a collaborative research agenda which will provide a foundation for future research funding.

Through a series of workshops, we will:

  1. Provide opportunities to dance and get creative to explore ideas with those living with dementia, researchers, family members and carers
  2. Engage in discussions and arts-based activities to talk about what the future of dance for dementia research might look like
  3. Identify the key gaps and priorities in the field of dance and dementia, setting out a collaborative research agenda which can provide a foundation for future research funding.

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who attended the workshops led as part of this project. You can read more about what happened at the workshops on our blog here, listen to our podcast series, or watch the video below.

We are now collating everything discussed and collaborating with those who attended to co-write a research agenda. If you're interested in being involved, please contact Dr Katey Warran


We are delighted to have produced a short podcast series as part of this project. Join Martin Robertson (lived experience researcher) and guests to explore rights-based ways of working in research on dance for dementia. Topics covered include co-production, accessibility, and measurement and methods with guests living with dementia, and experts from Scottish Ballet, Dance Base (Scotland’s National Centre for Dance), the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the University of Edinburgh. Original music composed by James Mckillop (lived experience researcher).

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Player FM


Watch the video below to learn more about our project and what was discussed at our in person workshop at the Festival Theatre:



This project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and is a partnership of ECRED, Dance Base, Scottish Ballet and Capital Theatres. (Photo credit: Christina Riley.)