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.

Course dates for October to December 2016


Start date: Friday 11 November 2016
Finish date: Thursday 1 December 2016
Closing date for bookings: Monday 31 October 2016

Learning and Teaching Dance: Tension & Rigidity in Dance

Bookings for this course have closed.

Dance Teaching Ethics: an introduction

Bookings for this course have closed.

Further information
Further information about each course is available on the Short Online Courses page – once there scroll down for individual course details and links to course information sheets to download. This is also where you will find the general information about the Short Online CPD Courses for Dance Teachers.

Each course takes 10 hours of your time over a period of three weeks and only costs £55 (GBP) which is fantastic value.

If you want to take two courses at the same time (and some teachers do) please ensure that you have time to do two courses together and can teach two classes (one for each course) in week three of the courses. Please read the Short Online Courses page for further information about the courses.

The October courses are now underway


Start date:  Friday 14 October 2016
Finish date:  Thursday 3 November 2016
Closing date for bookings:  Monday 3 October 2016

Learning and Teaching Dance: teaching dance to older people

Bookings for this course are now closed.

Safe Dance Teaching Practice: proprioception   

Bookings for this course are now closed.

Vouchers for courses

Resting shopperWith Christmas fast approaching you might want to put a Voucher for a short online CPD course on your Christmas list. Vouchers are available to purchase for one or more courses at £49 (Sterling) per course.

Vouchers purchased in 2015 are valid to pay for courses starting in January or April 2016. So you have four courses to choose from.

Why not buy a Voucher for a course for a dance teaching friend?

To buy a voucher for one or more courses please email :

sho @ (take out the spaces either side of @ when typing the email address).


Courses start on Friday

This latest group of courses start on Friday. If you are still wondering about taking one or more courses then please get your booking form in and payment made and cleared before Friday.

I am excited about the two brand new courses starting on Friday.

The importance of dance teachers understanding the difference in approach to teaching social and leisure dance and syllabus or serious career-type dance is essential. I was brought up the elite dance route where we worked hard to develop and perfect our skills. And while this worked for serious dance students this approach does not work when teaching dance as a social or leisure pastime. The different skills that teachers need and use when teaching these different types of dance are considerable. And I would recommend that dance teachers focusing on the serious side of dance learning spend at least a little time teaching social or leisure dance to develop a whole range of dance teaching skills that can be adapted for teaching elite students too. These additional skills can be quite eye-opening for teachers not used to the social dance approach to teaching. So, if you have not considered teaching a more social type of dance class then why not put it on your list of things to do? You never know, you might find it very enjoyable.

New pathDance teaching ethics is something very close to my heart and something that I believe is fundamental and vital to all dance teaching. Considering and reflecting on what we do and how we do it in dance teaching helps us to be better teachers and encourages a person or student-centred approach to our teaching. I have been studying ethics in relation to dance and particularly dance teaching for well over 20 years now (can it really be that long?) and it becomes more fascinating and more useful as time goes by. Dance teaching ethics should become an essential part of dance teacher education and development and I hope that one day this will be the case. For now, I hope you will join me on a journey introducing you to the fascinating world of dance teaching ethics.

More details about September Courses

I am pleased to be able to offer two new courses for the September group of courses starting on 25th. I want to expand a little on what you can expect to explore and address on these two new courses.


Learning and Teaching Dance: teaching social and leisure dance

Further to what I said in my earlier post about this course, I want to encourage everyone teaching social and leisure dance to join me on this course. With guided development tips about teaching this wonderful population of dancers, you can help your dancers to get the most from their dance hobby.

There are many settings and situations for teaching social and leisure dance and this is why it is so important for you to be able to tailor your development to enhance your own dance teaching practice. If you are teaching young people, older dancers or a group of mixed level dancers then your main focus on the course will be on the teaching aspects and needs for your particular group.

Learning social and leisure dance should be fun and this is remembered throughout the course.

Whatever social dance genre you teach you should find plenty of opportunities on this course to help to stimulate and inspire your dance teaching practice.

To the Line dance teachers who have been in touch recently, I hope we can work together on this course next month.


Dance Teaching Ethics – an introduction

I wondered about the title for this course because saying the ‘e’ (ethics) word might put teachers off. But the reality is that the ethics of what we do and how we behave as dance teachers is what it is all about. This is not a heavy duty academic course but a short introduction to what I like to refer to as ‘doing the right thing in dance’.

Ethics and dance teaching might seem like a totally new topic for dance teachers but in reality dance teachers have been dealing with ethical dilemmas for a long time. In ethical dance teaching practice we aim to deal with such dilemmas in ways that respect the whole person. We do this through teaching methods and approaches that value dance students and dancers for what they are rather than what they can do. In other words, valuing the person they are and not just their dance abilities. This ethical or person-centred dance teaching practice considers both the physical and psychological aspects of the teaching. Ethical teaching helps student dancers and dancers to reach their fullest potential.

During this course we will explore, discuss and reflect on examples of teaching ethically and how ethical principles can be applied in dance teaching practice. We will also consider the codes, rules or standards that dance teachers often sign up to and how they work or not in practice.

I fully believe that embodying ethics in our dance teaching practices helps us to be better dance teachers.

As with all of my online courses, the emphasis is about applying the development in practice and seeing and feeling results. There is no formal essay writing. Any writing is in note form so that you can write your thoughts about your teaching practice without worrying about writing in academic format.

Will you join me on this course to explore another aspect of dance teaching practice?



The third course available to take in September, is one that has already been enjoyed by dance teachers from around the world:

Learning and Teaching Dance: tension and rigidity in dance

This course has already been run very successfully, twice this year. Reflecting on how tension and rigidity are often taught or encouraged as a way of achieving control in dance, certainly makes for interesting study. Feedback from earlier courses found that applying the techniques and ideas about releasing unnecessary tension has helped the dance teachers to help their students improve technique and performance.

Through releasing unnecessary tension we explore how this impacts on your student dancers and the potential benefits that this offers.

Using breathing and relaxation skills is something I have believed in for many, many years and it is really enjoyable to share them with interested teachers and explore how these  skills are incorporated within their own practices. Helping your dancers to reduce tension and rigidity often has a positive effect on you, as the teacher, too.

If you want to develop your understanding of tension and rigidity in dance then please join me on this course.


Booking courses

You will find booking forms and other information about the courses in this earlier post.

There is such a lot of development that happens in the short three weeks of these courses. I am delighted with how engaged teachers are during the courses and their commitment to applying course materials and development to their dance teaching practices. I am really looking forward to these three courses starting in September.



Booking your CPD course

Below is the booking form for the short online CPD courses starting in September.

Booking form

Some FAQ about the courses:

Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes you can. A number of dance teachers have already successfully taken two courses together. Remember that you need to plan a class in week 2 of each course and then teach your planned class in week 3. If you take more than one course then you need to plan and teach a separate class for each course. If you have time to do your 10 hours per course over the three weeks then go ahead and book your courses.

Do you give personal guidance during the courses?

Yes I do and this is a vital part of each course because it makes sure that the courses you take are tailored to your own dance teaching practice and development. At the end of each week on a course you email in your assignment for your weekly email tutorial. In response you receive a comprehensive tutorial email with comment, discussion and feedback to support your teaching development on the course. These personal tutorials have been extremely well received by teachers taking earlier courses.

Can I take the courses if I do not live in UK?

Yes you can. Dance teachers from around the world have already taken short online CPD courses with me. As the courses are online what matters is that you have a computer and good internet connection to access, view and download course materials and information for the three weeks of your course/s.

What are the dates for the September courses?

The courses start on Friday 25 September and finish on Thursday 15 October 2015. Your last tutorial email will be due to be sent in by the completion date of 15 October 2015. More details here.

If you have any further questions about the courses please contact me via email (email address is on the booking form) or ask a question here on the site via the comments facility,

New courses for September 2015

Two new Short Online CPD Courses for Dance Teachers are available for September 2015 plus one of the courses run earlier this year:

Learning and Teaching Dance: dance teaching ethics – an introduction – New

Learning and Teaching Dance: teaching social and leisure dance – New

Learning and Teaching Dance: tension and rigidity in dance

The dates are:

Start date: Friday 25 September 2015   Completion date: Thursday 15 October 2015 – please note updated completion date

The dance teaching ethics course
aims to introduce dance teaching ethics and explore simple ways of encouraging ethical dance teaching practices. An important topic introduced in  a basic, easy to understand, bite-sized format. Dance teaching ethics is a topic relevant to dance teachers across every dance genre and at every stage of learning and development. Further details about these courses will be available shortly on this site.

Teaching social and leisure dance, is a course for teachers of all the many forms of dance taught to people of all ages wanting to enjoy learning to dance. Some of the social and leisure dance genres include:  Line dancing; Swing, Modern Jive, Salsa; Folk; Swing; Jive; Balletcise, Street dance; Tap and lots more, as you know. Dance as a hobby or pastime has grown enormously in recent times and along with this have emerged many teachers who may not have a teaching background but teach under a ‘learn as I do’ model. A short course like this one can help social dance teachers (with or without a traditional teaching background) to consider ways of teaching movement and dances that can help leisure dancers to learn quicker, more accurately and importantly safely. The importance of the social and fun factor in leisure dance is always considered when approaching teaching matters on this course.

The tension and rigidity course has proved to be a very popular course with dance teachers from around the world who, through taking this short course, have discovered many benefits from understanding more about tension and rigidity in dance, some of its causes and ways to avoid or reduce unnecessary tension in the dance class and performance.

This course has been enjoyed by dance teachers teaching a whole range of dance students from elite to social dancers and from children through to older adults.

General information about short online CPD courses for dance teachers

Course type: Each course is one of a series of short online CPD courses for dance teachers and trainee dance teachers created by Sho Botham.

Duration: 3 weeks

Time commitment: The time commitment for each course is 10 hours over the three weeks. This means that you have flexibility in when you study and prepare the weekly assignments to fit around your existing work and family commitments.

Delivery: Each course is delivered via short, online, learning activities that may include reading, presentations or videos to watch and practical tasks. Some learning materials or guidance may be provided as PDF files for you to download. A weekly email tutorial with your course tutor is an important aspect of how each course is personalised for you and your dance teaching practice. This provides opportunities for discussion, reflection and feedback.

Cost: Each course ONLY costs £49 (GBP) and offers terrific value for money.

Generic outline of courses

Week 1 – Guided learning and/or reviewing

Week 2 – Planning and application to practice

Week 3 – Reflections and thoughts for future practice

Each course offers an opportunity to apply the course development to your dance teaching practice through the planning of a class or session incorporating aspects of the course. Feedback is received on your teaching plan, via the weekly email tutorial, before you deliver the taught session. This enables you to incorporate any planning feedback for your taught session which you deliver in the third and last week of the course. Following this taught session your last email tutorial reflects on how your taught session went, identifying what went well and why and what needs further development and why. This email tutorial also enables you to consider your future dance teaching practice in relation to the course topic and development.

Writing: there is no formal essay writing on these short CPD courses. Any writing is in note form. This means that you can write about the topic and your practices and experiences on the course without needing to pay attention to formal essay writing protocols. The key focus of the courses is on incorporating the CPD development into your dance teaching practice.

Certificate of completion: a certificate of completion is sent to you following your completion of the course.

Sample certificate

A sample completion certificate

Watch out for booking details to be posted on the site shortly. If you have any questions you can post them here on the comments facility or contact Sho via email on:

sho at (change the ‘at’ to @ and remove the spaces)

The following new course will be available to take next time:

Learning and Teaching Dance: developing proprioception skills

June CPD courses completed

New path

A big thank you to those teachers among you who have just completed the June short online CPD for dance teachers courses. Once again the commitment to doing the courses and the development that has taken place fills me with joy. Working with people who have open minds and want to develop their skills and understanding is always inspiring. Well done everyone.

These short online courses are working out well and feedback is very encouraging. The length of them is sufficient for positive development to take place. And from the tutorials it appears that this development has a long-term, positive impact on planning for teaching as well as teaching approaches and methods. This is an excellent outcome from the courses for teachers and their students.

I hope to welcome some of you who have taken these short online CPD for dance teachers courses starting in April or June to new courses starting in September. Please watch out for details of these courses coming soon.

Adding comments to a post

LeapingI have had a couple of queries about how to add comments for the previous post requesting comments about the potential new short online CPD courses for Dance Teachers. I thought it would be helpful to put the information here so that it is available for everyone. There is always something new to learn when using online sites.

Adding a comment to a post

When you see the comment bubble to the right of a post heading, click on it and it will take you to any other comments already left and the ‘Leave a Reply’ box where you can add your comment. When the comment box has a number in it this is the number of comments already listed for this post. I trust this is useful and you can add your comments about the courses and other topics on the site now.

CPD courses in planning

I mentioned in a previous post that I would give you some information about new courses and ask for your comments about them before they become part of the list of courses available to take online with me. Well here they are. Two potential new courses in the Learning and Teaching Dance category that I am looking at for after the summer:

Teaching social dance

Teaching social dance would explore teaching methods and approaches appropriate for teachers of social dance. Recognising that the fun and enjoyment aspect of social dancing is usually what dancers want to focus on we would look at ways of teaching that help the dancer to learn effectively and safely whilst still enjoying their hobby. There would be lots of useful teaching tips shared throughout the three week course. An opportunity to plan and deliver a session with personal email tutorial feedback would be a valuable part of this short online CPD course for dance teachers.


Exploring and developing proprioception

Proprioception balance on one legBeing able to sense the body and limbs in space is vital for dancers and dance students. Proprioception is often referred to as the dancer’s sixth sense. This short online CPD course for dance teachers would explore proprioception in relation to dance and your specific dance genre. We would then explore ways of developing, enhancing and maintaining proprioceptive skills in the dance student and dancer. An opportunity to plan and teach a class focusing on proprioception with email tutorial feedback would be a vital aspect of this three week CPD course.

Can you help?

It would be of enormous help if you could let me know via the comment facility or by email if you prefer, if either of these two courses are of interest to you. Obviously I want to develop future courses that give dance teachers like yourself opportunities to fill knowledge gaps, explore new topics or review aspects of teaching.


First two online CPD courses completed

logoOver the past three weeks dance teachers from around the world have engaged with me as they participated in the first two Short Online CPD Courses for Dance Teachers. What a delight it has been to work with teachers so keen to learn and develop their skills for the benefit of their students. The success of these two courses demonstrates that a lot of useful and valuable development can happen during these three-week courses with email tutorial support.

A huge thank you to all of you for participating in the courses. I trust that you will continue to build on and develop what we have explored over the past three weeks with your dance students. I too have been actively learning and developing from engaging with and being inspired by you all. And I hope we get the opportunity to work together online again soon on another Short Online CPD Course for Dance Teachers. Look our for your well deserved Completion Certificate arriving soon.

The next two courses begin in June and further details are available here.

Booking for June courses

LogoThe April short online CPD courses for dance teachers are well underway with a lot of great learning and development going on.

It is always good to find out how dance teachers use course materials in their teaching in dance studios around the world.

The two courses we are doing at the moment will be repeated in June. If you want to take part in one or both then book now.

The courses start on:

Friday 12 June 2015

These short courses are three weeks in duration so the June courses finish on Thursday 2 July 2015. There is course information available in earlier posts such as here. You can download the Information Sheets and Booking Form and these give you all the information in one document.

The courses are suitable for dance teachers in all dance genres.

Course 1: Aspects of Anatomy for Dance Teachers: exploring basic shoulder anatomy and function in dance.

In dance we tend to talk about placing and moving the arms and not focusing on the shoulder joint where the movement occurs. So, in this course, we will explore the basic anatomy of this vital joint and then focus on how it functions in dance. You will consider ways of incorporating teaching methods that aim to improve shoulder alignment and movement into your own teaching practice.

Course 2: Learning and Teaching Dance: tension and rigidity in dance.

First we will reflect on how tension and rigidity are often taught or encouraged as a way of achieving control in dance. This might relate to a rigid and tense posture or use of tension and tightness to support the arms or perhaps tensing the feet when dancing. Then we will explore methods and approaches relating to your own dance teaching practices that should help to develop control in your students’ technique and performance without relying on tension and rigidity.