good teaching practice

FREE training opportunity for dance teachers

Our FREE training opportunity for
Safe Dance Practice for Dance Teachers course has generated lots of enquiries in the first few days and applications are already beginning to come in. So don't delay. If you want to take advantage of this wonderful FREE offer then check out the details and download the information sheet from the safe dance practice page under the dance teachers menu.

FREE offer flyer image - Safe Dance Practice for Dance Teachers

Foundations for Excellence

Foundations for Excellence
Nurturing and supporting talented young dancers and musicians

This new virtual publication offers a wealth of resources for the support and training of talented musicians and dancers. It is available to access at:

Topics covered include:-
  • Talent - innate or trainable?
  • Motivation & goal setting
  • Hypermobility
  • Performance preparation

…. and many more

FREE Safe Dance Practice for Dance Teachers

Safe Dance Practice for Dance Teachers course starting in April 2012 is being offered
FREE to dance teachers and student dance teachers. Places are limited so check out details on the website and apply now.

A Day for Dance Teachers

A Day for Dance Teachers
A one day course for dance teachers, examiners, student teachers and wannabe dance teachers who want to explore safe dance practice basics.

Teachers often tell me that they do not believe that safe dance practice courses are for them. This arises from the belief that they are usually aimed at teachers teaching vocational students - those who are seriously looking at a career in dance. Teachers who are teaching 'once a week' kids and adults who are dancing because they enjoy it therefore might not attend safe dance practice courses. To encourage teachers in dance genres to realise that safe dance practice applies to all of us involved in the teaching and learning of dance, these courses have been devised with the needs of the non-vocational teachers in mind. In other words they will look at the sorts of safe dance practice issues that non-vocational dance teachers need to address.

Course details

4 September 2011
10.30am - 4.30pm
Albany Lions Hotel, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Special earlybird price if payment received on or before 3 August 2011

Click here to download a flyer about the course.

Scottish Day

Coming soon - details of this one day course in Scotland

Teaching Dance Skills

I am often asked by other teachers to recommend books about dance teaching. I always include Teaching Dance Skills: A Motor Learning and Development Approach because it is such an easy book to read and understand and it is packed full of helpful models that clearly presents the knowledge in a visual way. This book helps us to understand more about how students learn and how we can use this understanding to tailor our teaching to optimise learning and performance. I have read and re-read this book so many times I need to get myself a new copy. Student teachers I have recommended this book to have found it invaluable. Kimmerle and Côté have done a brilliant job addressing topics such as:

Effective dance teaching
How to analyse dance material
How a student learns dance skills
The adult novice learner
The child learner
The experienced dancer
Selecting dance skills for the learner
How to select instructional methods
How to provide feedback

This book was originally published by J Michael Ryan Publishing Inc but it went out of print. For a while it was not available but thankfully it has been re-printed through the University of Windsor in Canada and can be ordered via this link: Teaching Dance Skills

Definitely one for every dance teacher's book shelf.

Efficient alignment

I liked the reminder that was given at the IADMS Day for Teachers regarding muscular support for efficient alignment. When observing and analysing the student's posture/alignment it helps to ask yourself the following questions:

1 What is too tight?

2 What is too weak?

3 What is being recruited inappropriately?

Where we observe muscular imbalances we need to pay attention to whether muscles that appear too tight are indeed too tight (is it a flexibility issue?) or are they being recruited inappropriately (causing tension caused through using too much effort). Too much effort or over recruitment of muscles can result in rigidity where the dancer's muscles are too tense and this in turn prevents her/him moving efficiently.

Growth spurt

Working with dance students when they are going through the growth spurt as an adolescent is challenging for both the teacher and the dancer. When we refer to the growth spurt we are referring to when dramatic changes occur - for example, when the student is growing very quickly - perhaps up to as much as a centimetre in height each month. To help steer the student through this time in his/her dance training needs an understanding of the changes physically, nutritional considerations, psychological issues and training modifications to accommodate the needs of each student during the growth spurt. IADMS has an excellent resource paper that can be downloaded for free from the resources section on the website

A must read chapter of a book by Julia Buckroyd (2000) can be found in The Student Dancer - emotional aspects of the teaching and learning of dance (published by Dance Books). Chapter 4 - Adolescence and Professional Dance Training - helps us to understand how dance training can facilitate and enable emotional growth in students. Julia Buckroyd looks at various aspects of adolescent development and explores how they impact on dance training. This book is easily found via many online book sellers.

Bulletins for teachers

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The IADMS bulletins for teachers are great for enhancing teaching based on current research and understanding. The following link will take you to the IADMS site where you can download either whole bulletins or individual articles.

IADMS bulletins for teachers

Fact sheets

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You can find really useful CPD information - fact sheets and dance teacher resources available to download from the IADMS site. These resources take into consideration current knowledge and research and help us to enhance our teaching.

Click on the link below:

IADMS resource papers and fact sheets