History

Maths Dance is the result of a longstanding interest Panorea Baka has had with the link between mathematics and dance. Having an academic background in Applied Mathematics and Biomedical Engineering and many years of working experience in the performing arts she has always considered the link between mathematics and dance as one that could be developed further. She first thought about the educational implications of her idea in 2009, when she participated as a maths specialist in a research project that took place at Kinitiras Studio, Athens.  Her main objective for this project was to explore new ways of creating choreography and performance through mathematics. This yearlong research highlighted opportunities for further research. The next step she took in her dance flavoured mathematical journey was an MA in Maths Education at Roehampton University, London. Her research study was important for a number of reasons:

  1. The research had been designed and conducted by a specialist with a strong mathematics background as well as significant experience in dance.
  2. It examined the effectiveness of using movement to teach mathematics specifically in a primary school environment.
  3. The research took place in a school and the lessons were part of the curriculum maths teaching and not an extra curricular activity.
  4. The study was based on the principles characterising the pedagogy of pioneers of education and eminent mathematics educators (such as, Piaget, Vygotsky, Dienes, D’ Ambrosio), as well as on academic research of mathematicians, professionals from the dance industry, artists and neuroscientists.
  5. This topic had not been previously studied in detail in the UK.

 

After completing her research successfully, gaining a distinction for her thesis, she founded Maths Dance in January 2013.

Her aim ever since has been to contribute to the understanding of embodied and creative mathematics teaching and learning and to help make this approach accessible to as many maths educators and students as possible.