About Dr Valeria Lo Iacono (Symonds)

Valeria of Dance heritage
Valeria Lo Iacono dancing in Wales, UK


Journal articles

Non-academic Press

Conference Papers

  • Wayfinding on Cruise Ships: A Complex Activity in Tourism Practice. –  Royal Geographical Society-IBG Annual International Conference, London, 1st September 2017.
  • Is VoIP a Feasible Tool for Dance Research? Use of Skype for Qualitative Interviews on Dance as Transcultural Heritage. – DanceHE Symposium, University of Bedfordshire, Bedford, 7th April 2016.
  • Can video-sharing sites be valid platforms to archive, share and re-live dance as heritage? The case of Egyptian Raqs sharqi. – Digital Echoes, Coventry University, Coventry, 4th March 2016.
  • Can online videos be powerful tools to curate dance as a form of cultural heritage? The case of Egyptian Raqs sharqi. – Presented at PopMoves, University of Roehampton, London, 24th October 2015.
  • How do we protect living cultural heritage? – Presented at Breaking Boundaries, Cardiff University, Cardiff, 23rd April 2015.


  • Best Student Poster at Cardiff Metropolitan University Symposium, 5th May 2016.
  • Best Presentation Prize at Cardiff University Breaking Boundaries conference, 23rd April 2015.

Teaching and Research Experience

  • Owner of Symonds Training, offering training course materials including on equality and diversity and employee training.
  • January 2019 – April 2019: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK, Department of Education. The research project was a systematic literature review on high school religious education teachers’ epistemologies.
  • February 2017 – July 2018: Teaching Fellow at the University of Bath, UK, teaching sociology of tourism, leisure, and sport, and supervising students’ dissertations.
  • ­Visiting Lecturer for the ‘Sporting Bodies and Social Identities’ master course in Cardiff Metropolitan University, on the topics of sociology, heritage, and identity and qualitative research methods.
  • Guest lecturer in the School of Dance at Cardiff Metropolitan University, in the module of Analytical and Contextual Studies on the topic of Hybridism and Authenticity in Dance.
  • Delivered lectures at Cardiff Metropolitan University in qualitative research methods, including using online videos to curate and analyze dance as a form of cultural heritage and qualitative interviews using Skype.
  • Hourly paid lecturer in Cardiff Metropolitan University, teaching research methods and sociological research at undergraduate and master level.
  • Lecturer of Italian language and culture at Hanguk University of Foreign Studies, (Seoul, South Korea).
  • Teaching Egyptian-style belly dance classes in Cardiff, UK, for many years. I have taught groups of up to 30 people, one-to-one classes, workshops, and hen party groups.


Academic Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Dance and Cultural Heritage at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, Wales, UK.
  • Master in Tourism Management and Economics from Ca’ Foscari University in Venice (Italy).
  • First class honors degree in Preservation of Cultural Heritage from Universita’ degli Studi della Tuscia (Viterbo, Italy).

Professional Certifications

  • Level 2 – Certificate in Teaching Exercise to Music from Fitness Wales.
  • Level 2- Introductory Certificate in Team Leading from Training Services Wales LTD.

Professional Memberships

Heritage, Dance, and Qualitative Researcher

  • Experienced UX customer experience and human factors researcher specializing in qualitative research.
  • Experienced in Digital Humanities (providing training, teaching, and as a conference speaker).

My Google Scholar Profile is here.

I work with a team of researchers offering heritage, dance, and qualitative research services. Learn more here!