Dancing in my head again

jazz silhouette

Dancing in my head was the topic of a post I wrote back in 2012 and I thought it is time to say something more about this exciting topic.

What I refer to as, dancing in my head, is often called mental practise or mental rehearsal. In dance this mental practise involves imagining that one is in the dance environment performing the desired dance task or tasks. One aspect that I find works really well for me when dancing in my head, is rhythm. Going through the step or movement in rhythm in my head helps me to get the right feel of the dance, step or movement. Feeling the rhythm in my head is the same as feeling it in my feet or body when I dance it or teach it.

Mental rehearsal is a good way to get steps, movements or a dance clear in your head before you physically perform them.. Take Highland dancing for example, dancing a new step or a new link from one movement to another, in your head reduces the amount of energy needed and hopping that needs to be done. In fact, Highland is a dance genre where teaching your students about mental rehearsal or dancing in their head can really benefit their performance. Competitive Highland dancers and other competitive dancers of course, can gain from ‘dancing in their head’ as part of their training regime for competitions.

I like to explore using a variety of ways to achieve the end goal and mental rehearsal is one that you might find helps your dancers to focus on how to practise and get the most from that practise.

Whatever dance genre/s you teach why not consider encouraging ‘dancing in your head’ for your students and see what they make of doing regular, mental practise?

Remember to read my previous post on this topic for more information.



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.


Short video – Alignment of the Achilles

Below is a short video presentation to help you to develop your observation skills and understanding about the alignment of the Achilles tendon and the part of the foot called the tarsus. I trust that you will find it useful for you and your dance students.




What teacher does in class


When planning a dance class you might identify the following:

  • the teaching material or content that you plan to teach
  • the teaching material or content that you plan to teach
  • key teaching points to address
  • delivery of teaching content
  • student activity in the class – what they will do as they learn and progress
  • learning outcomes
  • time allowance for each part of the class

All of these are important aspects of planning and delivering a class but I want to ask you to consider something else that is often overlooked – what the dance teacher does in class. I find considering and identifying what we do as teachers in the dance class is often a revealing and extremely valuable exercise to go through as we see below.

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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

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