Exploring squats

This video popped into my inbox today and I want to share it with you. Squats per se are not perhaps what many view as a dance move or step but we do dance versions of squats. Pliés may be viewed as a similar type of movement but clearly they are not the same as squats – we don’t want the angle of the body and pelvis as required in a squat to be the same for pliés but we can see how the basic squat strengthens the big muscles of the legs, for example, so dancers may use squats as a strengthening exercise for their dance moves.

I like the fact that the trainer in this video, Aaron Barnett, national trainer for Fitpro team, explains the functional reasons for doing squats – being able to sit down and get up again being a key functional reason for doing squats. He goes on to explore a variety of ways to perform squats, adapting them to take account of anatomy, injury, purpose of performing squat and so on. From a dance teaching perspective it is a useful video to watch and consider how this could be useful in dance teaching.

You might want to watch the video and give some thought to understanding more about the functional aspect of movements that you teach and how this could relate to your dance teaching practice. You may not want to teach squats in the middle of centre work in a ballet class, for example, but can you think of steps and movements that you teach where there could be benefits for both teacher and student from understanding more about functional aspects or adaptations that could be made to suit individuals and their needs?

If you teach dance to older people then you will know that many older people lose muscle tone and strength as they age. Considering the functional aspects and value of dance moves could help older people to continue to perform movements that will help them to retain dignity and independence as they age.

After watching the video you may want to think about some of the teaching ideas presented that you could make use of in your dance teaching practice. Why not share ideas that you have got from this post in the comments below.

Courses from January to May 2020

CPD for Dance TeachersHappy New Year. There is always a lot to do at the beginning of the year and here at CPD for Dance Teachers it is a busy time. In response to requests for course lists to cover several months at a time the new course list covers from January to May. So you can book now for any of the courses on the list.

New courses coming later this year

There is preparation work being done on some new courses to add to the current  courses.  There will be news of them in the coming months. Watch out for announcements later in the year.

Course fees

Our Short Online CPD Courses for Dance Teachers are very reasonably priced especially as they include at least three personal email tutorials/feedback during each course. This personal feedback personalises the course to your teaching practice in a way that teachers report to be very beneficial.

We don’t often increase our course fees but it is necessary to do so this year. Current fees per course are £55 and they will increase for courses booked after the end of February 2020 to £59. In order to give you an opportunity to still pay the current fee of £55 you can book any of the current courses listed to May 2020 at £55 as long as you pay for them before the end of February 2020. Course bookings paid for after the end of February 2020 will be £59 per course. The courses will still offer fantastic value and a convenient way to get some CPD under your belt.

Course information

You can find information sheets to download about all of our online courses on the Short Online Courses page.

We look forward to having an opportunity to work with you this year.


August starting Short Online CPD Courses – book now

CPD for Dance Teachers

You have a choice of three short online CPD courses starting later this month. Visit the Book a Course page to book your place on a course now.

Teaching Dance for Health

Dance Teaching Ethics: an introduction 


Full details of each course is available to download from the Short Online Courses page.

Book online now via Paypal, debit or credit card. .

Read an earlier post about Teaching Dance for Health and my background in this field. Also a post about Proprioception – a very popular course in this series of short online CPD courses for dance teachers.


What have you read recently that has added to your CPD?

IMG_7360CPD covers many aspects of learning and review. I find reading an important aspect of CPD. There are so many wonderful books, journals, online and other materials out there for dance teachers to read and absorb. If it is a book then I don’t tend to read this type of book from cover to cover in page order the way I might read a fiction book. Instead I dip into it, perhaps reading a chapter on a particular topic, a few pages or even a paragraph or two on something of interest or with relevance to other stuff I am exploring.

We can distinguish the difference between reading something that has a CPD value and those that don’t. When I read for CPD I have my student hat on. What I mean by this is that I am actively engaged in learning about the topic or reviewing the topic. Either way I am adding to or reviewing my existing knowledge and understanding. When I read in this way it is all about making connections. Connecting new knowledge and understanding with what is already there. If you are a dance teacher at the beginning of your teaching career then you may be laying down some of the foundational knowledge that you will continue to build on through CPD over the years ahead. With CPD reading there is an element of retention and contributing to your own personal knowledge base. In contrast if you read something but are not actively engaged, not intending to retain any of it, not making connections with existing knowledge and understanding , not with your student hat on then it is unlikely that you are reading for CPD purposes.

IMG_7361Opening yourself up to doing CPD reading can be a very useful way to develop your knowledge and understanding as a dance teacher. Reading one thing might lead on to other avenues of CPD reading that you hadn’t thought of. It can be like opening treasure chests of knowledge and understanding that can contribute to you continuing to develop into the  best dance teacher you can be.

  • What have you read recently that has added to your CPD?
  • What has inspired you from your CPD reading?
  • What connections have you made from your CPD reading?
  • Have you got a favourite CPD article, book or paper that you return to time and time again and continue to learn from it?

Short articles here at cpdfordanceteachers.com can contribute to CPD. Here are a few that you might want to check out for yourself:

Goal setting in dance teaching


teaching Dancing for health

CPD and motivation

CPD is so much more than syllabus

Managing joint hypermobility – A guide for dance teachers

You can leave comments below about CPD reading. Why not share your CPD favourites?




IADMS Regional Meeting, Edinburgh

The forthcoming IADMS Regional Meeting is being held in Edinburgh, Scotland on 30 March 2019. The topic of the meeting is:

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