With the current Mindfulness in Dance Teaching course underway I have been reflecting on a personal retreat I spent recently at Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery and Centre for World Peace and Health on the banks of the river Esk in Scotland. Although this is a Buddhist Monastery, it is not necessary to be Buddhist or even religious in order to visit or stay at this peaceful place. I loved being close to the water and this lovely little beach with its colourful pebbles.
The photographs in this article are ones I took during my retreat. Although it was still quite wintry weather there were some dry and bright patches of weather too. You can see from the photos that there is still some snow lying on the banks of the river and pond beneath the bridge.
During my retreat I spent time joining silent meditations as well as spending time by the river enjoying some mindful moments doing mindful breathing and movement. Breathing in fresh, clean air and doing some early morning mindful movement is a great way to start the day.
Several times during my retreat I walked across the wooden bridge to the river where I spent a little time sitting on a stone enjoying a mindful moment or two in meditation. Even just a few mindful moments here and there offers benefits. I certainly felt it was beneficial doing some little and often meditation.
Doing little and often mindfulness is something that we can do as dance teachers for our own wellbeing. Most dance teachers are very busy people so it is not always easy finding time to switch off and relax. But once you are into the habit of spending some mindful moments for you then you should feel the benefit. In the Mindfulness in Dance Teaching course we explore ways of bringing some principles of mindfulness into our dance teaching practice. This course is not a strictly mindfulness course. Instead it explores ways of teaching dance that incorporate aspects of mindfulness such as noticing, non-judgemental observing and mindfulness in action. Exploring non-judgemental observing can be challenging for dance teachers as a lot of dance teaching can be about being judgemental. Teachers who have already taken this course report finding this aspect particularly challenging but also a very useful addition to their dance teaching toolkit.
You can read more about Mindfulness in Dance Teaching in an article posted earlier on this site. Meanwhile I am looking forward to another stay at Samye Ling’s in the not too distant future.
There are three short online CPD courses available to book now. Check them out on the Book a Course page.
These short online courses are increasing in popularity with dance teachers around the world. A growing number of teachers are returning to take further courses. You can read about the course details on the Short Online Courses page and download a course information sheet there for each course too.
If you are considering taking one or more of these courses please make sure that you book by the closing date.
You still have time to book one or more of the short online CPD courses for dance teachers, starting later this month. Bookings for these courses close on Thursday 18 January 2018 (UK time).
If you want to fit some CPD in around your existing home and work commitments then take a look at the list of January starting courses and book now.
As a special New Year offer you can save money by booking one or more course/s by this Friday, 5 January 2018. So don’t delay book today.
The first group of short online CPD courses for this year is now available to book on the Book a Course page. Included is the brand new course Teaching the Adolescent Dancer. Why not take advantage of the New Year offer and save when you book?
Full details of all the short online CPD courses for dance teachers are available on the Short Online Courses page.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or just enjoy the festivities at this time of year, warmest wishes to you.
Thank you for your support and interest in my short online CPD for dance teachers courses in 2017. A brand new year is just around the corner and I look forward to working with many of you during 2018.
Courses list for the first part of 2018 will be posted shortly after Christmas on the Book a Course page.
Do you find adolescent dancers challenging to teach? Do your adolescent students struggle with how to cope with the changes they face at this time of physical and emotional change? Do you want to understand more about teaching adolescent dancers? Then the new short online CPD course that I am currently preparing will interest you. Teaching the Adolescent Dancer will be a brand new course exploring key issues relating to teaching adolescent dance learners.
I will release full details of Teaching the Adolescent Dancer shortly and the dates for the first course which will be later this month. If you want to take this course then keep checking the site for news of how to book and when the course will start. Alternately, you can sign up for free to receive an email each time something new is published here on the site. This way you won’t miss new articles and information about courses. You can sign up via the link in the sidebar to the right of the page.
You can read some information about my short online CPD courses for dance teachers here.
This is a quick reminder to say that bookings for the November courses close tomorrow, 31 October. If you are thinking of joining us for Mindfulness in Dance Teaching or the Proprioception course then you still have time to book your place online by the end of 31 October 2017 (UK time).
These short online CPD courses only take 10 hours of your time over the three weeks of the course. Completition certifcates include the number of hours and date of competition (the last date of your course). Dance teachers from around the world have successfully completed a variety of short online CPD courses with me since I introduced them in April 2015. During this short period of time course participants have included dance teachers just starting out, through to very highly experienced teachers who have been working in the dance industry for decades. As the weekly email tutorials enable the course to be personalised and tailored to suit your specific dance teaching practice, they are meaningful for your practice and not just in a general way.
If you are new to these courses why not take one in November and see how you can enhance your knowledge, skills and understanding in topics that you might be revising or are new to, and want to explore and find out how to incorporate them into your teaching.
If you have already taken one or more of my short online CPD courses then are you ready to take another course?
Thank you for considering these courses. If you are taking one or both of the November courses then I look forward to working with you then.
You still have time to book your place on a short online course. The closing date is the end of the month, 31 October 2017 and you can book online.
If you need some CPD or just want to enhance your knowledge, skills and understanding then why not book your place today?
You can read previous posts below about the topics of the two courses coming up.
Mindfulness in dance teaching
Want to know about a course? You can download information sheets about all of the short online courses here.
I am running two short online CPD courses for dance teachers starting on Friday 10 November 2017. Details and booking at Book a Course.
Teachers often ask if they can take two courses at the same time and my answer is yes, of course, as long as you have sufficient time available to fit in both courses and also teach the class for each course in week three. The class for each course needs to focus on what we explore about the topic on that course so if you do take two courses then you will need to teach two classes in the final week of the course. As long as you can do this then you are welcome to take two courses together. Teachers who have taken two courses at the same time have reported many benefits as topics always have connections with each other. After all they are all about enhancing our knowledge, skills and understanding of how we teach.
You can find out more about the courses available to book and all the courses that we offer at Short Online Courses. And you can book current courses at Book a Course.
Why don’t you join me on a short online CPD course for dance teachers in November?
The words spoken by Gene Kelly at the beginning of the film, That’s Dancing, are a real favourite of mine. I have quoted them many times in my work. For me, these few words say so much about dance, its roots, its present and its future. They are inspiring and spoken by a man whose life was dance, dance, dance.
Read or spoken mindfully these words remind us of the dance that is within us. I was delighted to discover the video below, on YouTube, of the opening credits to the film That’s Dancing and if you listen to the very beginning you will hear the dulcet tones of Gene Kelly saying these wonderful words:
Long before the dawn of history, long before he could sing or even speak, man danced. Moving to his own internal rhythms, the pounding of his heart, the beating of his pulse, primitive man discovered dance. It is within us always.
I hope you enjoy these words too.
A link to this interesting article dropped into my inbox the other day. Older people and dance is something I have been interested in for a long time. I have taught a variety of different dance genres to older people and saw the positive impact learning and enjoying dance can have on this dance population.
It is good to read about the positive outcomes for older people who are given new challenges in the dance class each week. The constantly changing patterns of steps, movements, arm positions or patterns are thought to account for the difference in balance displayed by the dance group in the study. This certainly reflects my own experience of teaching older people dance. After just a few weeks I often noticed improvements in balance and of course maintaining good balance abilities is good in helping to reduce trips and falls. As well as improvement to balance I also noticed how much confidence the older people would gain when they could remember and perform their dance sequences or short dances without depending on cues from me, their teacher.
Below are some of the earlier articles that I have written here about older people and dance that you might want to read:
Teaching dance to older people
Dance and older people
When do you become older
Health and social benefits of dance for older people
One of my short Online CPD Courses for Dance Teachers is Teaching Dance to Older People. You can find out about this course on the Short Online Courses page.
On Friday 26 May 2017 there is an IADMS Regional Meeting in UK. The day focuses on The Adolescent Dancer. Continue reading