Cecilia Macfarlane – OYD Instructor/Independent Dance Artist/Ark T Resident Artist

Cecilia Macfarlane trained as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Dance and as a dancer at the London School of Contemporary Dance. She is an Oxford based independent dance artist with a national and international reputation for her work in the community.  Cecilia is the founding director of Oxford Youth Dance, DugOut Adult Community Dance and Crossover Intergenerational Dance Company, now Crossover Intergenerational Dance Projects, and co-founding director of Oxford Youth Dance Company.  She was a Senior Lecturer in Arts in the Community at Coventry University for nine years and is now a guest lecturer at six British Universities.   Her work is based on her passionate belief that dance is for everyone; she celebrates the uniqueness and individuality of each dancer.  As a performer Cecilia is continually curious about expression, how movement can communicate so powerfully to others without the need for words. Her work is highly influenced by her studies with Joan Skinner, Helen Poynor, Deborah Hay and most recently Anna Halprin.  Cecilia continues to work at home and abroad to bring generations and communities together to realize their potential through dance.

In 2016, Cecilia celebrated Oxford Youth Dance’s 30th Birthday with a year of events in Oxford, culminating in an archive event and the launch of her book, co-written with Ruth Pethybridge, ‘Any Age, Any Body, Any Dance’ published by People Dancing.

Additionally, in 2016, Radio Four produced Dance Your Life Away, a feature length Documentary with many voices from Cecilia’s career in Oxford.



‘Cecilia has a passionate belief that dance can be for everyone. Dance is her life, is her dance, is her life’s work. She is often quoted as saying that her last dance will be her last blink and that for her, dance begins even before birth. Cecilia brings to her dance and teaching practice an atmosphere of deep respect for everybody’s unique contribution to dance. The work she has done as a dancer, choreographer, director and teacher embodies a philosophy of inclusion and celebrating difference. Life for Cecilia is a dance; a dance that can express many different aspects of being human.’Miranda Laurence, Finland Project 2017.

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