What are your CPD goals for 2013?


Have you got some CPD goals for the coming year? If you have then why not share some of them with fellow teachers here on CPD for Dance Teachers? Finding out what CPD others are doing or planning is a good motivator. Sharing your CPD plans can help other teachers to plan their CPD or at least add ideas for CPD to their To Do list.

You can share your thoughts about a book that you are reading that you think other dance teachers will find useful. You can do this via the comment facility at the bottom of this post. The comment facility is available at the bottom of most posts so you can interact with the blog and share your comments with other teachers who visit the blog.

Setting some CPD goals at the beginning of the year is one way of encouraging us to think about the importance of CPD for our teaching practice.

My own CPD goals for this coming year include exploring more about fascia or web connective tissue or sheath that spreads throughout the body and connects all of our muscles and organs. I am really interested in learning more about how tightness in the deep fascia surrounding muscles can restrict movement impacting on our ability to stretch. I am a fan of using therapy balls and foam rollers to release tight spots or generally maintain mobility. I have always viewed the body as being connected rather than separated. So the concept of rolling a ball under the foot to ease out the hamstrings fits into this view. If you have not tried this for yourself then here is what to do:

Stand up and keeping your knees straight roll down (letting the spine curl rather than with a flat back) and see how far down you can go without forcing anything – how do your hamstrings feel? Recover and then using a ball (therapy ball, pinkie ball, tennis ball or for those who like to really feel it try a golf ball) and roll it forward and back under your foot for say 30-60 seconds – make sure that you pay attention to any tender spots and work slowly and firmly so that you feel the ball working under your foot. Repeat the foot rolling on the other foot. Then try your roll down again and see if your hamstrings feels easier and allow you to roll down a bit further than before. A great example of how working on one area affects another area. There is a free foot exercise chart available from the freebies page on my decodanz website if you want some foot exercise ideas.

I have lots of ideas and plans for my CPD for 2013 and I will share more of them along the way. Here’s to an exciting year of CPD in 2013.

4 thoughts on “What are your CPD goals for 2013?

  1. Yeah, marvellous how using the soles of the feet can help to ease tension! I have tight hamstrings due to a past back injury so I can’t wait to try this exercise!!! Do you think that
    streching the leg along the barre (i.e the inner thighs) helps with tight back and hamstrings? It helps me a lot when I do it after a class. Many thanks again

    • Hi Catherine, my suggestions need to be considered in relation to your past injury and current stage of recovery and of course along with advice from your health practitioner or professional. You seem to be doing class so I will answer with this in mind. Easing out of tight hamstrings and back muscles is something that we can all suffer from at various times. There is an easy exercise programme that I created a few years ago and it is available free from the freebies page on my decodanz website. It also uses therapy balls to prevent and release tension in the muscles affecting the back including some hamstring release exercises too.

      You may find that stretching your leg along the barre feels good after class because you can do it. We all tend to do what we enjoy doing and avoid the things that are uncomfortable. Doing regular and carefully aligned hamstring strengthening and stretching exercises without forcing them should help, provided your healthcare professional has not advised against certain exercises. I am a fan of relaxation too both to help us relax and switch off but also to help us to recognise tension in muscles so we can do something about it before it becomes a problem.

      Best wishes

      • Many thanks Sho, it’s rather complicated with my injury ( disc prolapse 13 years ago!) and has also to do with delayed rehab, inactivity plus anatomical causes( femoral anteversion on the left leg and lack of lordosis- flat back). When I started ‘rebuilding’ my body with my wonderful dance teacher I was doing a lot of floor work which helped with the hamstrings
        (as my back changed). I haven’t been that disciplined for a year or more, hence the hamstrings perhaps plus getting older! Re inner thigh strectch and other stretches; my physio is o.k with those as they are not ballistic! I find your site marvellous. Where are you based? Are you teaching dance or any other exercise at the moment?
        Many thanks

        • Catherine yes your situation is rather complicated and obviously you will know what you feel you can and cannot do. The floor work you did previously with your dance teacher helped with your hamstrings so can you do this again? Being disciplined in the long term is difficult (I know from experience) and this is one of the reasons why I believe that it is so important to have good people (specialist physios and sport or dance medicine doctors as well as Pilates or other movement specialists) to work with and care for you. I know from my own chronic pain (neck and shoulder) that without careful guidance and encouragement from these specialists to move joints that really just wanted to seize up and not move that I could have ended up immobile which for a dancer is so not what you want. I have regular sessions to keep me moving as well as my own stuff that I do daily (sometimes less than I should do or want to do). I have discovered for myself the importance of keeping joints moving and I have also discovered that the regular sessions I have are not only doing physical good they provide motivation and support when you are struggling with chronic pain/injury. Are you having any regular sessions with your physio or other specialist that are providing some nurturing care for you and your injury?

          I mainly work within dance teacher development at the moment running courses and workshops for dance teachers covering a whole range of topics here in Sussex and also around the country from time to time – when I am away at workshops and so on I can sometimes offer limited 1-2-1 sessions.

          Thank you so much for your support regarding the site – I believe that sharing and encouraging greater understanding about the learning and teaching of dance is the way to go. I hope you continue to enjoy the site.

          Best wishes

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