Can you dance your emotion? Yes, you can!

Dance Your Emotion is an international team of researchers from various disciplines including psychology, neuroscience, dance, filmmaking, computer science and anthropology.

News & Events  |  Team 


We’re researching dance from an empirical aesthetics point of view. Our research is about why we like the dances of the world, and how and why both watching and doing dance can make us feel good, but also… ugly, bad, beautiful, moved, impressed, happy, sad, angry, fearful, peaceful, strong, weak, protected, comforted, and sometimes… filled with awe.

“Dance moves… in many ways”

Please see our team members and collaborators below. Behind the scenes there is, of course, a whole wonderful network of helpers and colleagues without whom such very international and interdisciplinary work would be entirely impossible. For example, from the admin department, graphics and PR teams, laboratory team, art lab team, and the facilities team to whom we are profoundly grateful for all their help and support.  

Current Research & Studies

Studie zur Erkennung von Gefühlen – "Emotions in dances and faces"


Studie zur Erkennung von Gefühlen – "Emotions in dances and faces"


Studie zur Erkennung von Gefühlen – "Emotions in dances and faces"


News & Events

April 2021
Welcome to two new student assistants, Eva-Madelaine Schmidt and Daniela Egersdörfer
February 2021
Review paper published in Frontiers in Psychology about how to research dance with empirical methods

February 2021
Article published in AEON about the arts and the authenticity of the self

January 2021
Article published in Acta Psychologica about psychophysiological responses to emotionally expressive dance movements
January 2021
Article published in dance Magazine TANZEN about dance, touch and corona (in German, p. 30)

May 2020 
Book chapter published in the Cambridge Handbook of the Imagination about types of imagination that help dance training

April 2020 
Opinion article published in Leonardo about the importance of the arts for the stability of human societies

April 2020
Studies launched – halted

January 2020 
Interdisciplinary lectures on empirical aesthetics of dance
Dance / Research (Max-Planck-Institute for Empirical Aesthetics)

December 2019 
Stimuli library creation: The Max Planck Dance Movement Library
Library creation Max Planck Institute

September 2019
Public engagement event: British Science Festival, GB: Talk, workshop, and drop-inactivity
Seven ways dancing can improve your life

August 2019
Visual Science and Arts Conference, Leuven, Belgium 
Poster presentation & Press release

June 2019:
Public engagment event: Tate Modern Museum, London – drop-in activity
Tate Exchange Moving Humans

June 2019
Dance Your Emotion
Project presentation

April 2019
Tagung Experimentell Arbeitender Psycholog(inn)en (TEAP 2019)

Core Team

Meet our core team, the experimental psychologist and ex-dancer Julia F Christensen, the dancer and choreographer Shahrzad Khorsandi, and the 3Fish science film team, Fahima Farahi and Sina HN Yazdi who are both full-stack filmmakers.


Dr Julia F Christensen

Experimental psychologist, and former dancer.
Author of ‘Dance is the Best Medicine’.

Shahrzad Khorsandi

Dancer and Choreographer. Head of Shahrzad Dance Company.
Author of ‘The Art of Persian Dance’.

Fahima Farahi

Full-stack documentary filmmaker and co-founder of 3fish.
MA in English Literature and MBA.

Sina Nejad Yazdi

Full-stack documentary filmmaker, musician, and co-founder of 3fish.

Student Assistants

If you participate in our experiments, you will meet in the labs:

Eva-Madelaine Schmidt

Marco Münzberg

Daniela Egersdörfer


“Dance connects… everything.”



Dance Your Emotion Team


Winfried Menninghaus

Director Department of Language and Literature MPIEA

Gemma Roig

Professor of Computer science at Goethe University. Dance enthusiast

Edward Vessel

Neuroscientist at neuroscience department MPIEA

Kirill Fayn

Psychologist at department of language and literature MPIEA

Muralikrishnan, R.

Engineer, computer scientist at methods & labs MPIEA

Rebecca A. Smith

PhD student at University of Glasgow, UK

Andrés Fernández

Research Assistant at University of Surrey, UK

Antoni Gomila

Professor at University of the Balearic Islands, Spain.

Meghedi Vartanian

University of Teheran, Iran. Clinical psychologist. Cognitive rehabilitation therapist

Khatereh Borhani

Professor in psychology at Sahid Beheshti University, Teheran, Iran

Georgios Michalareas

Engineer, neuroscientist at neuroscience department MPIEA

Cristina Acedo

Professor at University of Leon, Spain. Anthropologist, economist

Susana Bravo Serra

Full-stack documentary filmmaker. Bravo Films Mallorca, Spain

Press & Recent Publications

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Julia F. Christensen

Dr. Julia F. Christensen

Kognitive Neuropsychologie

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

+49 69 8300479-412