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.


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.

Reflecting on previous posts

Sea & sky




I was reminded this week that it is useful to highlight previous posts because they will be new to some of you. If you have not seen these posts before, I hope you find them useful and maybe even interesting. If you have seen them before I hope you will  have another look and reflect on them again.


What teacher does in class

Ethics and dance thesis

Teaching with mirrors in dance class

Highland Dancing competitors – are we expecting too much?

Valuing dancers for what they are and not just for what they can do

When can I start pointe work?

Helping dancers thrive and feel motivated

If you want to start a discussion or interact with fellow dance teachers about one or more of these topics why not leave a comment in the box below.


April 2016 Courses

Book your April course/s now


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

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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.



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.

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

Know when new posts are published

New pathThe easiest way to know when new posts are published here at CPD for Dance Teachers is to follow the blog via email or RSS feed. Both are available on the sidebar on the right. Either click on the ‘follow’ button and follow the instruction regarding your email address so that you will receive notifications when posts are published. Or click on the RSS – Posts link to get RSS feed notifications when new posts are published.

I write about lots of topics relevant to dance teaching and learning and you can get access to them when you like. Topics include:

Pointe readiness

Data protection email facility

Irish dancers – 3 studies published

Ethics and dance thesis

As well as signing up for notifications of new publications, you can also interact on the blog by leaving comments or asking questions on the blog. Hope to hear from you.

Data protection email facility

MP900439364A company recently sent me an email letting me know about some changes to the customer service staff. I was amazed to see that my email address had been shared with hundreds of others on the email list as the list had not been protected. Nowadays companies should know better than to share customer data like this. This incident made me think about how the dance teaching profession and especially how private dance teachers have to understand a much wider body of knowledge about so many things on the admin side of dance teaching. I hope you find the tip below for protecting email address lists useful.

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.

Teaching with mirrors in dance class

MirrorsIt is over 10 years since I first chatted to Sally Radell at a dance medicine and science conference about her fascinating research into the use of mirrors in the dance class. Her work in this area has highlighted that mirrors can be an effective tool in the dance class but that they can also have a negative influence on how dancers evaluate their body image and their work.

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Valuing dancers for what they are and not just for what they can do

Dancers work hard to gain approval for what they do. And this can motivate them to work through physical and psychological pain and injury. I remember working through all sorts of injuries when I was training and when I was dancing professionally. Back then it was a case of the show must go on and all that. I know better now. I know that motivating dancers in this way is not desirable. We need to look after our students and dancers and help them to flourish as people as well as dancers.

Continue reading