Dr Vicky Thoms

Senior Lecturer in Dance Practice and Performance

Email address: vickythoms@wlv.ac.uk Phone number: 01902 323289 Location: Walsall Faculty: Faculty of Arts School/Institute: School of Performing Arts Areas of expertise: Dance Practice and Performance



Research interests

My research favours an intertextual and interdisciplinary analysis of the moving gendered body. I use a feminist cultural studies approach in order to read the dancing body across different interdisciplinary, geographic and historical matrices. This approach has led me to investigate specific women in the concert dance genre, including Louise Lecavalier and Agnes de Mille. I will be publishing a monograph length intertextual reading of the work and life of Martha Graham in the Spring of 2013.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Member, The Society for Dance Research, Britain, 1999 to present
  • Member,  SDHS Society for Dance History Scholars, United States, 2001 to present
  • Member, CORD Congress on Research in Dance, 1999, 2005
  • Member, Higher Education Academy 2005


Public Output from Research and Scholarly Activity

Refereed Articles in Academic Journals

  • Thoms, Victoria; 2013; Martha Graham: Gender and the Haunting of a Dance Pioneer; Intellect Books.
  • Thoms, Victoria; 2012; “American Dance Pioneer Martha Graham and the Ghosts of Feminism;” Women: a cultural review; 23:3 (346-367).
  • Wyon, Matthew, Frances Clarke and Victoria Thoms; 2011; “Is it their bodies that let them down? Dancing past 35 years old;” Conference Proceedings International Symposium on Performance Science; (247-252).
  • Thoms, Victoria and Ben Andrews; 2008; “Using a Virtual Learning Environment to teach Academic Writing to First year Dance Students: Facing the challenge of teaching dancers to write through digital images;” Research in Dance Education; 9.3 (277-292).
  • Thoms, Victoria; 2008; “Martha Graham’s Haunting Body: Autobiography at the Intersection of Writing and Dancing;” Dance Research Journal; 40.1 (3-16).
  • Thoms, Victoria; 2006; “Reading Human Sex: The Challenges of a Feminist Identity through Time and Space;” European Journal of Women’s Studies; 13.4 (357-371).

Non-refereed Articles

  • Thoms, Victoria; 2005; “Wrong Footing the Audience: Victoria Thoms considers Vincent Dance Theatre’s Ten Years of Provocation”; Dance Theatre Journal; 20:4 Winter (40-44)

Catalogue essays

  • Thoms, Victoria; 2002; “Displacements” in catalogue to  Third Sex by George Chakravarthy, Site Gallery, Sheffield,

Refereed and Published Conference Proceedings

  • Thoms, Victoria; 2004 Haunting Blood Memory: Martha Graham and the writing of the self, Society of Dance History Scholars, Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference, Durham University North Carolina.

Other refereed Conference Papers

  • Thoms, Victoria; 2007; “Theorising Graham’s First London Season in 1954: Dancing, Femininity, and Cultural Imperialism;”  Society of Dance History Scholars (in collaboration with Congress on Research in Dance, Centre National de la Danse); Paris, France.
  • Thoms, Victoria and Andrews, Ben; 2007; “Teaching Academic Writing Through Images;” EFYE (European First Year Experience) Conference; Gothenburg University.
  • Thoms, Victoria; 2006; “The Ghost Body of Martha Graham: Drag, Movement and the Bone-less Body;” Anatomical Theatre Revisited Conference; University of Amsterdam.
  • Thoms, Victoria; 2006; “Graham and the British: Ghosts of Cultural Imperialism;” Society for Dance Research, Research Conference; London UK.
  • Thoms, Victoria; 2005; “The Failure to Move:  Identity and the Embodiment of the Historical;” Society of Dance History Scholars; Dancing from the Center; Northwestern University, Chicago, USA.
  • Thoms, Victoria; 2004; “Haunting Blood Memory:  Martha Graham and the Writing of the Self, Society of Dance History Scholars;” Celebrating Dance: Celebrating History; Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
  • Thoms, Victoria; 2002; “Haunting the Dead: Femininity, Drag, History in an encounter with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo;” Society of Dance History Scholars; Dance and the City Conference; Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Thoms, Victoria; 2000; “Strange Dinner Companions: Ghosts, Da Vinci’s Last Supper and Yolande Snaith Theatredance’s Blind Faith;” Graduate conference Dance Under Construction; University of California, Riverside, USA.

Reviews Articles

  • Thoms, Victoria; 2002; Review of Dance Space/Architecture Working Group; Dancing Corporealities Conference; Society for Dance Research Newsletter.
  • Thoms, Victoria; 1999; Testimonial Culture and Feminist Agendas Conference in Review; Women’s Studies Network Newsletter.

Experience in industry

  • 1984 –1988 Dance and Dance Teacher Diploma, Grant MacEwan Community College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (diploma)
  • 1992 – 1994 Bachelor of Arts, School for Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
  • 1995 – 1997 Masters Degree, Title: Experiences with Bodyvoice: The University Alberta Cooperative Dance Group.” Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • 1998 - 2003 Doctorate, Thesis Title: “Ghostly Present: Bodies, Dancing, Histories.”  Institute for Women’s Studies and Theatre Studies, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
  • 2004-2005 Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Wolverhampton.

Employment History

  • 2004-Present, University Of Wolverhampton, Senior Lecturer in Dance
  • 2003-2002 , Lancaster University,Teaching Fellow, Institute for Women’s Studies. Duties:  Course Convenor, Part Two Women’s Studies, Convening Women’s Studies 203, Gender, Sexuality and Visual Culture, Supervising Women’s Studies 300 full unit dissertation
  • 2002-2001,Lancaster University, Seminar Tutor
  • 1997-1995, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, Teaching Assistant
  • Grant MacEwan Community College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Modern Dance Teacher
  • Orchesis, University of Alberta Modern Dance Club, Edmonton, Canada, Modern Dance Teacher
  • 1992 -1993, Off-Centre Dance Company, The School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University,Dancer


Main areas of teaching interests: Western Dance History, Dance and Gender, Dance and Race, Dance and Cultural Studies, Poststructural Feminist Engagements with Cultural Phenomena, Feminist Theory, Choreography and Devising, New Strategies in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and Dance Research Methods.

Previous modules taught: Dance and Cultural Studies (first year), Movers and Shakers (Dance History Module) (first year), Personal and Professional Development (first year), Dance Journalism (second year), Research Methods (second year), Dance Innovators (third year) Dissertation Projects (third year) and Choreographic Processes 3: Devising and Performing (third year).

Pedagogic Interests

Main areas of interest: Facilitating Academic Writing (Academic Literacies Approach), Implementing use of VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments) in Dance Teaching Environment, Developing Reflective Teaching Practice.

Pursuit of interests: Completion in 2006 of Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education,  Research project undertaken with SSPAL (School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure)  Learning Coordinator Ben Andrews to facilitate academic writing for first year dance students using Virtual Learning Environments. Member of *Pathfinder Project* (through Higher Education Academy) implementing first year student learning through online personal portfolios.

STRONG>Outputs: Paper presentation of research into teaching academic writing to first year dance students through VLEs (with SSPAL Learning Coordinator Ben Andrews) at European First Year Experience Conference, Gothenburg Sweden.

Further information

Membership of University Committees


  • Research Ethics Committee
  • Academic Research Committee
  • Positive Working Enviroment Group
  • Health and safety Committee

Administrative roles


  • Team Liaison to Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton

Relevant External Activities

  • 2008 - present: Member of the DANCELINES editorial board.
  • 2008 - 2011: External Examiner, Roehampton University (BA Dance Studies)
  • 2004 - present: Member of Executive Committee of the Society for Dance Research
  • 2011: Chair of the Committee of the Society for Dance Research

Media Experience

2005 - present: Director of third year Dance Performance, Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton, UK

Research Grants and Awards

  • 2008: British Academy Small Research Grant (£3577)
  • 2005: Promising Young Researcher Scheme, University of Wolverhampton (£5000)
  • 1998 - 2001: (ORS) Overseas Research Scholarship (grant to only pay home student fees)
  • 1992 - 1994: (SUCA) Senate Undergraduate Committee Award, Simon Fraser University ($1000)

Choreographic and Creative Achievements

  • Developed and implemented the founding of Bodyvoice Dance Improvisation Group, University of Alberta, Canada in 1995. Nine group members attended the international Women’s Studies conference Transformations: Thinking Through Feminism at Lancaster University, United Kingdom  in 1997. Funding to make this trip implemented through corporate sponsorship and collective fundraising.
  • Contributed choreographic work for Dance Motif, the annual performance of Orchesis, The University of Alberta Dance Club, 1995, 1996 and 1997.
  • Choreographic work Saturday Night Rossini selected for choreographic showcase at vetted competition of American Dance Festival West Conference, Weber State University, Utah, 1993