Department for Health

Mrs Valeria Symonds

Teaching FellowBSc (Honours), MA

1 West 4.111
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 3525



World Dance Heritage Centre


I hold a BSc (Honours) in Preservation of Cultural Heritage from Tuscia University (Viterbo, Italy) and an MA in Tourism Management and Economics from Ca' Foscari University (Venice, Italy).

I am about to complete a PhD on dance and cultural heritage in Cardiff Metropolitan University. My PhD project is inspired by the 2003 UNESCO Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage, but criticises the suitability of separating cultural heritage into tangible and intangible forms. The case study for this PhD is Egyptian raqs sharqi (commonly known as belly dance). Raqs sharqi is examined in a way that centralises how such forms of heritage are embodied and transmitted by people via their practices, experiences and traditions. Raqs sharqi originated in the Middle East, but it is now practised across the world, hence I also investigate transcultural interactions and hybridism in dance and culture.

I specialise in qualitative research methods (particularly interviews, dance analysis and online ethnography). Areas of interest include ethnochoreology, dance anthropology, cultural hybridism, transculturality, cosmopolitanism, sociological theories of the body and embodiment, cultural heritage (tangible and intangible).

Research interests

  • Cultural heritage
  • Cultural transmission
  • Sociological theories of the body
  • Online ethnography and research methods
  • Dance, physical culture and subjectivity