Rachel Dean is a dance artist, performance maker and educator based in Leeds. Drawing on 15 years professional experience she creates memorable and enjoyable performance and participation, enabling people to engage with movement in empowering and sensorily rich ways. She has an MA Creative Practice (Dance Professional Pathway) from Trinity Laban and Independent Dance (2013) and a BPA (Hons) from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (2006).
Her performance work often uses an embodied approach to dismantle fairytales and includes contemporary feminist takes on Red Riding Hood (Wolf) and the Nativity. The inclusion of her young children in performances for theatres and galleries (Now You Are Here, Between Earth & Sky, My Heart Now Goes Walking Outside My Body) is both a creative and political choice. Her music films for Commoners Choir are more explicitly political (These Are The Hands, Commoners Go Trespassing). Fascination with and respect for the natural world has led her to create immersive outdoor work in gardens (Love in Idleness) and to lead workshops in woodland.
Improvisational and collaborative ways of working allow her to create something that is specific to people and place in a particular moment. Inclusion and respect for the unique qualities each person brings are integral to her way of working and enable her to create high-quality work with a wide variety of groups, whether her own projects or as movement director / movement consultant. Rachel regularly teaches in HE. Research and international exchange with academics and practitioners enable her work to have a wider impact in sharing knowledge and best practice.