In TENDU (out now) some rather strange dance research takes place in the dungeon studio of the castle. Much has changed in the story that I first conceived thirteen years ago, but that part has stayed more or less the same.
My late father was a research scientist, and I grew up hearing about how scientific studies can be heavily influenced by those that finance them and how they can be geared to lead to desired results. They can sometimes be unscientific. And unethical. It was all very interesting, and it stuck with me.
- I should note that Amalphia’s parents are not based on my parents. Lynn and James Treadwell (very minor characters) are an example of the narcissist/enabler dysfunction as described in the book Toxic Parents.
Dance Research and Therapy
I do four grand pliés in fourth and fifth position every morning while I wait for the kettle to boil for tea. It feels like a strong way to start the day. I find it calming and grounding. And I need that just now, with a book release so close. For several years, due to illness, my legs were too weak to manage this exercise, so it’s joyous as well as beneficial.
The benefits of dance for conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease are becoming quite well known, of course, and it’s dancers’ brains that get studied in my books. They have been studied quite a bit in the real world too. Examples below:
- The Dancing Brain: Structural and Functional Signatures of Expert Dance Training
- Study finds dancers capable of true multi-tasking
- Human see, human do: Ballet dancers’ brains reveal the art of imitation
- Structural neuroplasticity in the sensorimotor network of professional female ballet dancers
The fictional research I created is a bit different from these very serious studies. It had to have some instant and dramatic effects to be interesting as part of a novel. Different characters will believe different things about those effects over the series, and I hope it’s entertaining to read!
About the books
My dance background and love of history and spicy stories are what inspired this heady mix of contemporary romance and ballet set in a castle. Readers of my historical fiction will recognise the castle and stone circle that feature in these books.
A Dancer’s Journey is available in paperback and Kindle and on Kindle Unlimited.
Official Release dates (2023)
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