The Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance

The Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance was established in 2003 and honours Caroline Plummer (1978-2003).

Caroline completed a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Diploma for Graduates in Dance, and was awarded the University of Otago Prestige Scholarship in Arts. What made her academic achievement most remarkable was she was diagnosed and treated for cancer during her study. Caroline completed her degrees in November 2002 and was given a personal graduation ceremony in March 2003. She died on 28 April 2003. The Fellowship acknowledges Caroline's outstanding scholarship at the University of Otago, her passion for dance, and her vision for community dance in New Zealand.

The annual fellowship is for six months (usually February until July), and is open to community dance practitioners, teachers and researches from New Zealand and overseas who have a proposed programme of activity, or project, that furthers Caroline's belief and aspirations for community dance in New Zealand. It provides the recipient with an office/dance space and not less than the minimum salary of a fulltime University Lecturer for a six-month period.

Previous Fellowship recipient

All previous Fellowship recipients

Photo of Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith

Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance 2018

Matthew Smith is from Auckland. He has a BAppSc (Human Biology) from Unitec, and is currently completing a Masters of Osteopathy. His 17-year career as a performer, teacher and dance-maker has taken him to more than 50 countries worldwide. Work he has choreographed has been performed in Oslo, Zagreb, Amsterdam and Vienna.

His fellowship project aims to use dance to enhance health and wellbeing at any age. He has already developed a community dance class for older men to help them gain confidence in coordination and balance. He plans to expand this to different age groups and to develop an educational/community resource which could be used worldwide via on-line platforms and DVD.

He is excited to research, develop and implement a number of different community programmes in his home town of Dunedin.

“I will be creating a movement/partnering class for fathers and their babies. I will also be developing further a programme I began in Auckland called “More men moving more” which was in cooperation with Men's Health Trust. This was a class for elderly men focusing on important movement skills such as balance and refining coordination associated with mobility.

“My dance career began in Dunedin and I am very happy to return. I look forward to giving back to my community by sharing something of what I have learned in my years away and abroad.”


Otago Fellows University of Otago