Dr Shantel Ehrenberg

Research Interests

Shantel’s research encompass the intersection of dance and philosophy (phenomenology and visual culture), choreography, dance pedagogy, kinaesthesia, kinaesthetic empathy (dancer and pedagogical perspectives), and screen dance. She has experience with phenomenological, sociological (ethnography), cognitive science, and practice research.


BA Dance
Choreography I & II
Investigating Choreographic Practices
Arts & Society
Dance, Politics, & Identity
Research Methodologies

MA Dance
Performing Theories
Research Methodologies

Contact Me

Phone: 01483 68 3137

Find me on campus
Room: 05 NC 00

My office hours

For an appointment, please contact s.ehrenberg@surrey.ac.uk


Journal articles

  • Ehrenberg S. (2015) 'A Kinesthetic Mode of Attention in Contemporary Dance Practice'. Dance Research Journal, 47 (2), pp. 43-61.
  • Jola C, Ehrenberg S, Reynolds D. (2012) 'The experience of watching dance: phenomenological-neuroscience duets'. Springer Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, United Kingdom: 11 (1), pp. 17-37.
  • Ehrenberg S, Wood K. (2011) 'Kinaesthetic Empathy: Concepts and Contexts'. Cambridge Journals Dance Research Journal, 43 (2), pp. 113-118.
  • Ehrenberg S. (2010) 'Reflections on reflections: mirror use in a university dance training environment'. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, United Kingdom: 1 (2), pp. 172-184.
  • Calvo-Merino B, Ehrenberg S, Leung D, Haggard P. (2010) 'Experts see it all: configural effects in action observation'. Springer Psychological Research: an international journal of perception, attention, memory and action, 74 (4), pp. 400-406.


    Biological motion perception is influenced by observers’ familiarity with the observed action. Here, we used classical dance as a means to investigate how visual and motor experience modulates perceptual mechanism for configural processing of actions. Although some ballet moves are performed by only one gender, male and female dancers train together and acquire visual knowledge of all ballet moves. Twenty-four expert ballet dancers (12 female) and matched non-expert participants viewed pairs of upright and inverted point light female and common dance movements. Visual discrimination between different exemplars of the same movement presented upright was significantly better in experts than controls, whilst no differences were found when the same stimuli were presented upside down. These results suggest expertise influences configural action processing. Within the expert group, effects were stronger for female participants than for males, whilst no differences were found between movement types. This observer gender effect could suggest an additional role for motor familiarity in action perception, over and above the visual experience. Our results are consistent with a specific motor contribution to configural processing of action.

Book chapters

  • Ehrenberg S. (2012) 'A Contemporary Dancer's Kinaesthetic Experiences with Dancing Self-images'. in Ravn S, Rouhiainen L (eds.) Dance Spaces: Practices of Movement University Press of Southern Denmark , pp. 193-213.

Choreographic Practice and Labour for Knowledge in the University, journal article, currently under peer review.

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