Book a course

Exciting news!

Courses for March and April 2017 are available to book now.

General information is available about courses on the Short Online Courses page. The brand new course Mindfulness in Dance Teaching will have an information sheet available shortly.


Dance teaching ethics – short online course




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

April courses – bookings close today

LogoAre you intending to book one or both of the April 2016 courses? Then you need to get your booking and payment in today Wednesday 6 April as it is the last day for accepting bookings/payment for these short online courses.

If you have sent in your booking form and have not yet paid then please note that payments for April courses must be received today (UK time) in order to confirm your booking/s. If you want to pay online and have not requested an invoice with the online payment link then please ask for this now so you can make your online payment in time.

Already booked? I am looking forward to working with you on the Aspects of Anatomy:  exploring basic anatomy and function in dance and/or Dance Teaching Ethics: an introduction.

The April courses begin on Friday 22 April 2016. Further details are available here.

Next Course coming up

The next course is the Learning and Teaching Dance: teaching dance to older people that begins on Friday 6 May 2016. Closing date for the May course is: Monday 25 April 2016.



24 days until closing date



You still have about 24 days to book your place on the April 2016 short online CPD courses for dance teachers. Please remember that the closing date for bookings is Wednesday 6 April 2016 with the courses starting on Friday 22 April and completing on Thursday 12 May 2016.


The two courses running in April are:

Dance Teaching Ethics: an introduction


Aspects of Anatomy: exploring basic shoulder anatomy and function in dance

Further details are available here or click on the image in the sidebar to the right.

April 2016 Courses

Book your April course/s now


Dates and details for Short Online CPD Courses for Dance Teachers staring in April are:

Continue reading

January and April 2016 course dates

There are two short online CPD courses for dance teachers running in January 2016. Details and booking forms are available below.

Starting: Friday 15 January 2016

Completing: Thursday 4 February 2016

Proprioception balance on one leg





Safe Dance Teaching Practice: proprioception – NEW

This is a brand new course looking at proprioception in relation to dance teaching and learning. We will explore this ‘sixth sense’ or ‘awareness of one’s body in space’ and consider ways to develop and enhance this in the dance students you teach. We will also consider teaching techniques for dance students with reduced proprioception such as those with hypermobility syndrome. Planing and delivering a session or class focusing on developing proprioception enables an opportunity to apply this understanding in your dance teaching practice.

As with all of the Short Online CPD Courses for Dance teachers, the weekly email tutorials over the three weeks of the course are an important aspect of this CPD.

For more details about this course download the information sheet below:

Short online CPD – Proprioception

Booking form – Short Online CPD courses 2016

Closing dates for courses

Closing dates for courses have been introduced so please ensure bookings and payment are received by the closing date for the course/s you wish to take.

Please note that the closing date for bookings and payment for the January 2016 courses is: Thursday 31 December 2015



Learning and Teaching Dance: tension and rigidity in dance

This is proving to be a popular course with teachers. 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.

Download the course information sheet for this course:

Learning & Teaching Dance – tension & rigidity in dance

Booking form – Short Online CPD courses 2016

Closing dates for courses

Closing dates for courses have been introduced so please ensure bookings and payment are received by the closing date for the course/s you wish to take.

Please note that the closing date for bookings and payment for the January 2016 courses is: Thursday 31 December 2015



April Courses

Dates and details for courses staring in April are:

Starting: Friday 22 April 2016

Completing: Thursday 12 May 2016






Dance Teaching Ethics: an introduction

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.

For more details about this course download the information sheet below:

Short CPD- Dance teaching ethics – an introduction

Booking form – Short Online CPD courses 2016

Closing dates for courses

Closing dates for courses have been introduced so please ensure bookings and payment are received by the closing date for the course/s you wish to take.

Please note that the closing date for bookings and payment for the April 2016 courses is: Wednesday 6 April 2016


Front of shoulder anatomy model

Aspects of Anatomy: 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.

For more details about this course download the information sheet below:

Short CPD- Aspects of Anatomy- shoulder

Booking form – Short Online CPD courses 2016

Closing dates for courses

Closing dates for courses have been introduced so please ensure bookings and payment are received by the closing date for the course/s you wish to take.

Please note that the closing date for bookings and payment for the April 2016 courses is: Wednesday 6 April 2016

I hope to have an opportunity to work with you on one or more of the courses outlined above.


Congratulations to teachers completing September courses

Sample certificateA big congratulations to everyone who completed the short online CPD courses that started in September.

It is great to work with teachers who are so interested in exploring the course topics. I am especially delighted with the response to the course Dance Teaching Ethics: an introduction. During the course a lot of ethical issues arose and were explored with each teacher relevant to his or her own dance teaching practice in UK and overseas. This personal aspect of these courses is a key benefit as it enables course content and materials to be meaningful for individual dance teachers and their dance teaching practice and not just in general. I look forward to working with another group of dance teachers on this course in the future.


Next courses

The next courses will begin in early 2016 and dates will be published on this site very soon. Please check back for details or use the free sign up (on the right) to get email notifications of new posts published or if preferred join the RSS feed.

Please note that there will be a closing date for booking future courses.  This will be published along with course information. Please make sure to check the closing date for booking courses in the future, to avoid disappointment.



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

Details for Short online CPD courses

CPD for Dance TeachersDo you need to achieve a certain amount of CPD each year? These short online courses could be just what you need. They might contribute to your annual CPD requirements by qualifying as external CPD points or credits with your dance teacher organisation or body. Why not download the course information sheets and give them to the body that monitors your CPD requesting that the course/s be counted towards your CPD total for the year? Your CPD monitoring body can contact me if after reading the information sheets they have further questions about the courses.

Continue reading

Ethics and dance thesis

Ethical Issues in the Training and Development of Dance Teachers in the Private Sector

Title page

My PhD thesis is now available to download for free from my ethicsdance website. I hope you will download it and read the bits that interest you.

The following two chapters should be interesting for anyone teaching dance even if you are not interested in the chapters about the data collection, analysis and presentation.

A history of private sector dance teaching is explored including contrasting reflections on pedagogy with the development of dance teaching in the public sector. Traditional dance teaching practice, surveillance and docile bodies, current dance teaching practices and dance pedagogy are in chapter two.

Chapter six introduces ethical codes or codes of practice and considers the purpose and virtues of them.

For codes to be of use to us, we need to take them seriously and internalise them so that we all benefit from them. We need to take them into our hearts, embrace them and embody them within our practices so that they become as much a part of our teaching as, say, our knowledge of the dance content and technique.

Sho Botham 2012

I hope you enjoy this thesis and the topics it explores.

Helping dancers thrive and feel motivated

The way we teach dance has changed enormously since I gained my first dance teaching qualifications.  We understand a lot more these days about involving the student dancer in the learning process (and no doubt there is a lot more to learn in the future).  So instead of it being all about the teacher striding around the studio intimidating the students, we now know that we can encourage the best from our dancers through creating a task-involving atmosphere in the dance class.  We can give dancers choices by asking them for their input on combinations or amalgamations.  We can emphasise collaboration in class so that dancers work with a variety of other class members and learn to cooperate with each other.

Making mistakes is ok

We can help dancers to realise that making mistakes is all part of the learning process.  We want our dancers to try new things and when they do we want them to know that making mistakes is all part of it.  We want them to understand that it is ok not to be perfect.  I can remember never being satisfied with what I was doing when I was training because I was always trying to be perfect.  We can encourage our dancers by letting them know that they are on the right track.  It is amazing how helpful and motivating  it is for a dancer to hear that something is going well.

This post draws on content of a handout produced by The International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS).  You can find the handout in the latest issue of The IADMS Bulletin for Teachers. It really is a very useful handout from the IADMS Education Committee.  You can download it and keep it somewhere as a reminder about what we can do to help our dancers thrive and feel motivated.

Reflective practice

You can also use the handout as a reflective practice tool.  Go through each point one by one and reflect on the last class or session that you taught.  Can you find one instance where you achieved the teaching method or approach outlined?  For example, if we use the ‘Give dancers choices’  point, can you identify a choice that you gave your dancers in the class?  By reflecting on the teaching methods and approaches you used in class you can find any examples of giving your dancers a choice.  If you cannot find one example from the session then you can use the reflection as a way of flagging up something that you can try to include next time.  You may want to keep notes of your reflective practice so that you can refer back to them.  It is also fine to use reflective practice as something you do by mentally reflecting on a particular aspect of a teaching session.  You might find, like me, you keep notes sometimes and not others.  There is fine, you can find the way that works best for you and your students.