Collecting StrandNational Resource Centre for Dance
Extent9 files of papers, 91 photographs, 10 videotapes (masters and viewing copies), 5 films, 13 audiotapes (masters and listening copies), 76 books
Name of CreatorJones; Betty Meredith- (1908-1996); dance teacher and therapist
DescriptionBetty Meredith-Jones (1908-1996) was a key exponent of Laban-based movement education and therapy. From 1927 to 1930 she studied for a diploma at Chelsea College of Physical Education, and then went on to teach movement workshops in dance, sports and gymnastics in schools, the social services and various recreational organisations. In 1941 she undertook an intensive couse of study in Laban movement techniques under the guidance of Laban himself and Lisa Ullmann. The following year she began teaching at Homerton Training College for Teachers, Cambridge, while continuing to teach freelance workshops based on Laban movement principles.

In 1952 Meredith-Jones moved to the United States where she took up a post at the University of California, Berkeley. During her time in America she toured widely, giving master classes and running free-lance workshops and summer schools. In addition to working with trainee teachers, Meredith-Jones was involved with a wide variety of 'client groups' including autistic children and schizophrenic women. From 1956 to 1958 she did a BA in Psychology and an MA in Education at Columbia University Teacher's College.

Meredith-Jones spent her remaining working life in New York, and it was during this period that she became particularly involved with Parkinson's patients and the philosophies of Jungian analysis. She ran movement sessions both for patients with Parkinson's disease and for other professionals in the field. In 1973, she left New York to retire to the Wales, where she continued to teach and lecture in retirement.

The papers include notes for teaching sessions, notes on Laban movement theories, documents on the Berkeley Project, Meredith-Jones's curriculum vitae, articles on ageing and sport/movement, notes on 'period dances'. The photographs show Meredith-Jones teaching movement sessions with young children and the elderly, demonstrating correct and incorrect deportment, dancing in a studio, lecturing to students, and posing in 'period' dresses. The videos and films contain Meredith-Jones's teaching sessions with Parkinson's patients and the over-60s. The audio cassettes include recordings of Meredith-Jones teaching movement sessions and speaking about movement therapy and ageing. The books concern movement education, Laban movement principles, and 'national dance styles' from around the world.

Records date predominantly from 1952-1987.
Related MaterialSee also the following collections held by the University of Surrey:
Rudolf Laban Archive, archive ref L
Lisa Ullmann Archive, archive ref LU
Audrey Wethered and Chloe Gardner Archive, archive ref AW
Joan Russell, archive ref JR
Physical DescriptionThe open-reel videotapes are being transferred to digital videotape/DVD. Viewing and listening copies were made of the video and audio tapes.
Custodial HistoryThe archive was willed to the NRCD by Betty Meredith-Jones in 1994 and was received following her death in 1996. Three further deposits of material originally belonging to Meredith-Jones were made by Gerard Bagley: two boxes of books in June 1997; video, film and audio tapes in June 1997; and one videotape in July 1997. Preservation and cataloguing of the archive were funded by a grant from the Follett Initiative.
CodePerson NameDates
DS/UK/P4587Jones; Betty Meredith- (1908-1996); dance teacher and therapist1908-1996
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