Universiteit Leiden

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Carolien Hermans

Phd candidate

C. Hermans
+31 71 527 2727

Carolien Hermans is a PhD candidate at the Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts.

More information about Carolien Hermans

Fields of interest

  • Dance improvisation
  • Physical play of children
  • Penomenology
  • Embodied cognition
  • Enactivism
  • Play theory 


In this PhD research I am interested in the differences and similarities between children’s physical play events and improvisational dance. The kinesics communication of children’s physical play seems to resonate well with dance improvisational practice – specifically when it comes to creativity, relational dialogues and shared intercorporality. The concept of participatory sense-making (De Jaegher & Di Paolo, 2007) is central to my research. The PhD research is part of an ongoing research that combines both theory and artistic practice.  

PhD supervisor

Curriculum vitae

Carolien Hermans holds a master degree in dance and choreography. Next to this, she graduated (cum laude) at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, department Orthopedagogy. Currently she is a senior lecturer at both the Conservatory of Amsterdam (Music in Education) and the School for Arts and Economics, University of the Arts, Utrecht. She is affiliated to the University of Leiden, Academy of Creative Performing Arts, where she is doing an artistic PhD research entitled ‘Dance and Play: A Comparison between Children’s Physical Play Events and Dance Improvisational Practice’. 


Hermans, C. (2010). Ik tik eenmaal. Jij tikt eenmaal. Ik tik tweemaal. Jij tikt niet. Danswetenschap in Nederland, 6, 113-120.

Hermans, C. (2012). Show, don’t tell: imiterend leren in dansonderwijs. Cultuur+Educatie, 35, 38-55.

Hermans, C. (2013). Shall we dance? On a bright cloud of music shall we fly? Danswetenschap, 7, 97-105.

Hermans, C. (2015). Of movements and affects: dance improvisation as a participatory sense-making activity. Amsterdam: University of the Arts.

Hermans, C. (2016). Differences in Itself: Redefining Disability through Dance. Social Inclusion, 4(4), 160–167. DOI: 10.17645/si.v4i4.699.

Hermans, C. (2018.) Of the animal body: transforming the notion of disability through different readings of touch, prosthetic devices and contact improvisation. To be published in Cambridge Scholar Press

Phd candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Academie der Kunsten
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