Chloe Hillyar

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My PhD investigates experiences of pregnancy and parenthood in dance, and how a dedicated system of training might ensure safe physiological practice for freelance, pregnant dancers. Consequently, I hope to support the normalization of the aesthetic and presence of maternal dancers within a dance training context, and thus contribute to normalizing their participation in a professional, performance context. The research will be Practice-as-Research (PaR), and the process requires interdisciplinary research across dance and midwifery. My thesis will offer sectoral analysis within the theoretical context of maternal and feminist studies, offering principles for the facilitation of maternal dancers’ needs within the UK dance sector. 


Chloe Hillyar is a Doctoral Candidate at Queen's University Belfast. Her PhD explores the physiological and psychosocial implications of pregnancy within the context of an elite dance career in the UK and Ireland dance sectors. After achieving First-Class Honours at one of the UK’s leading dance conservatoires, Chloe began her career as a professional dancer performing at high profile establishments such as the Royal Opera House, Channel 4 and The Place. In 2020, Chloe was awarded Arts Council funding to conduct a public health research project to investigate safe physiological practices for freelance pregnant and postpartum dancers working in the UK dance sector.

Chloe is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, including the University’s Department for Economy scholarship (awarded to the top two students) and the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science’s Student Research award. Chloe has published for academic journals and industry leading organisations, such as The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Maternity & Midwifery forum and One Dance UK. Chloe also engages in substantial pro-bono work by offering her research expertise as a scientific advisor for the Active Pregnancy Foundation and a research consultant for the Women’s Health and Family Services.


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