Mindfulness – Ruby Wax

Dance teachers are busy people. How often do we hear about how a teacher is rushing around or trying to fit in an extra class or doing some other busy thing? Below is a video of a lecture given by Ruby Wax in 2013 about Mindfulness. Continue reading

Useful articles

_MG_0750I thought it was time to point you in the direction of some of the previous articles from cpdfordanceteachers.com.

Feet are very important for dancers (and dance teachers) so I hope you will download the Focus on Feet exercises as well as reading the article and watching the short video about alignment of the Achilles.


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Past posts for dance teachers

Holding Daisies

In this post I am flagging up some previous posts that cover a variety of topics so you should find something that is useful for your dance teaching practice.

You can download a free performance booklet and read about why CPD is so much more than syllabus.

You can engage with articles published on the site by leaving comments or asking questions via the comment facility at the bottom of each post. Continue reading

Ballet shoes for black ballet dancers

I read an interesting article on the BBC website this morning about Eric Underwood, soloist from the Royal Ballet and the difficulties he has faced getting flesh coloured ballet shoes to tone with his black skin. The article explains how non-white ballet dancers have been using make-up on their shoes for years so that they tone with their skin. Click on the link below to read the article on BBC site to see how this problem is being resolved  for Eric and others.

Why don’t they make shoes for black ballet dancers?


From Eric’s video (via BBC site) showing him applying pancake make-up to his shoes

Teaching dance to older people

This is an area of dance that I did not intentionally get involved with but I am so glad that I did. Teaching older adults became popular through the exercise and fitness arena with the groups referred to as:

  • 50 plus
  • TOFFS (The over fifty fives)
  • Golden age
  • Gold
  • Seniors
    and so on…

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CPD is so much more than syllabus

StudyHave you noticed that my CPD courses and posts are not about dance syllabi? There is good reason for me avoiding syllabus in favour of all the other amazing things that are so enlightening and useful for dance teachers around the world. A good percentage of dance teachers are likely to be teaching some sort of syllabus in one or more dance genres. And if syllabus is your bread and butter for class content then why would you want to spend your CPD time looking at the same steps, movements and dances that you teach most of the time? Yes, we need to know the syllabus and content at each level but if we are teaching it regularly then is it not more useful to use your CPD time to enhance aspects of your dance teaching that whilst not about the syllabus, will surely add to your knowledge, skills and understanding of the how, what and why of dance teaching including syllabus? Teaching syllabus requires much more than just knowing the steps. To be able to teach with understanding of the physical and psychological issues relating to the learning and teaching of dance needs us to look outside of the syllabus and open ourselves up to the other areas and topics that help to make us better dance teachers.

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Foot on ball

Did you know that the foot has over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments?

Do you know what the main functions of the foot are?

Find some more basic foot facts in my Focus on Feet  free to download below.

As well as foot facts, Focus on Feet gives you some ideas for foot conditioning exercises. You can share these with your students and of course, you can do them yourself too.

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NEW – CPD online short courses

studentAre you a busy dance teacher? Do you find it difficult to find the time to attend or do CPD courses? If you do then my new online, CPD for Dance Teachers short courses, coming soon, could be just what you are looking for. These flexible online courses could give you the opportunity to enhance your skills while fitting your CPD around your busy schedule.

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Irish dancers – 3 studies published

iadms logoThe latest edition of the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science (Volume 17, Number 4, 2013) includes three papers about Irish dancers. I am sure that these will be of interest to you if you teach Irish dance.

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Dance Psychology Conference

attractive young healthy caucasian womanI am going to the dance psychology conference in Birmingham on Friday 29 November 2013: Beyond the body: Psychological tools for performance enhancement and well-being in dance

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My latest book purchase

Dance Medicine in PracticeMy copy of Liane Simmel’s book ‘Dance Medicine in Practice’ (newly translated into English) and published by Routledge has just arrived. I love the anticipation of opening a brand new book. When I heard that Liane’s book was now available in I immediately ordered it and at first glance, it certainly does not disappoint.

This post is about my first impressions of this book as I have yet to read it. But flicking through the sections and pages it seems well thought out and offers a lot of useful information as one would expect from a medical doctor, osteopath and former professional dancer who specialises in dance medicine.

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Weight matters and children

Ballerinas' Legs in a RowAn article on the BBC website recently caught my eye ‘10 ways to talk to your child about weight’. The first sentence grabbed my attention:

Education secretary Michael Gove’s nine-year-old daughter has been withdrawn from her ballet classes over fears she was becoming worried about her weight…

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