Meet our dance teaching CPD instructors

Teaching CPD Course Instructors

Mel Knott

Mel Knott has been working in dance education since 1989 as a teacher, manager, trainer and choreographer.  She is based in Leicestershire and currently delivers dance in primary and secondary schools, at post-16, in Higher Education and within the youth and community dance sector.  Mel also leads the Curve Young Dance Company, a youth group for talented young dancers living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, with whom she has created a number of dance pieces for both the stage and site-specific environments.


Alongside her teaching, Mel leads continuing professional development for a range of national and local organisations, supporting teachers and dance artists on planning and delivering high quality dance to children and young people in schools and beyond. Mel is also an examiner, moderator and trainer for the GCSE Dance qualification, and an executive board member for the National Dance Teachers Association.


Prior to moving to the East Midlands, Mel was the Director of Dance at The BRIT School in London. She has also managed a range of dance events for young people, and undertaken advisory and evaluation work for a variety of dance education projects.


Mel is passionate about teaching dance, and is inspired by working in artistic contexts which enable her to collaborate with a variety of people and places.

Lucy Pocknell

Lucy is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Service Management at the University of Brighton.


Lucy has a B.Ed. (Hons) degree in Physical Education and a Masters degree in Education, both from the University of Brighton. On graduating, Lucy’s work in schools focused on physical education at KS3 and 4, and teaching GCSE and A Level examination work in dance and physical education. In 2003, Lucy became an Advanced Skills Teacher in dance, and as part of this role within West Sussex she offered CPD to departments establishing examination dance within their school, as well as providing support and training for dance provision at Key Stage 3. This was through either consultancy or curriculum development work, or through INSET training led by the local authority.


Lucy has been a GCSE dance moderator for AQA for the past eight years, and is also an executive member of the National Dance Teachers Association. Over the past six years, Lucy has presented at a number of conferences around the country (AfPE annual conference, NDTA annual conference, West Sussex Physical Education Conference), and has also delivered numerous CPD training courses to non-specialist dance teachers, based on the resource A Practical Guide to Teaching Dance (Coachwise, 2007).


Lucy is currently Route Leader for PGCE Dance and a member of the Dance Education Programme board, and she lectures in Dance to undergraduate students. She has choreographed a number of performance pieces for the university all-female company, Fidget.

Charlotte Slade

Charlotte Slade is currently a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Development at the University of Winchester.


Charlotte teaches on both the undergraduate and postgraduate initial teacher education courses, alongside her role as a Research Associate for the University of Exeter. As well as her teaching commitments, Charlotte has delivered an extensive number of CPD projects through The Place, the National Dance Teachers Association and various School Sport Partnerships in London.


A Physical Education specialist, she is passionate about her subject and has endeavoured to specialise her career in dance and gymnastics. Charlotte graduated from the University of Exeter in 2013 with a Masters in Creative Arts Education and plans to develop her MEd work further for her PhD. Charlotte’s research interests are creativity, interdisciplinary learning and creative risk taking. She has presented her projects at local, national and international conferences.

Fiona Smith

Fiona is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Service Management at the University of Brighton. She holds a BEd (Hons) Dance & Physical Education (Brighton Polytechnic), and MA Dance Studies (Laban Centre).


With a specialism in the field of dance, Fiona teaches on both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including modules in Learning & Teaching through Dance, Examinations in Dance and Dance Performance & Choreography.  She is an executive member of the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA) and sits on the National Programme Board for Dance, where she works actively to raise the profile of dance, shape national policy and support workforce training.  She has a breadth of experience in delivering CPD ranging from supporting ‘the reluctant dance teacher’ to those teaching examinations in dance.


Fiona coordinates the school extracurricular dance programme, including the staging of student performances; she is Artistic Director of the all-male Kick-Start Dance Company; and she creates platforms and festivals for children from the region to perform at.  Most recently, she has created work for students to perform at the Dome Theatre, Brighton; The Hawth Theatre, Crawley; Congress Theatre Eastbourne and the Royal Opera House, London.


Following the well-received publication A Practical Guide to Teaching Dance (2007, Leeds; Coachwise), which forms the foundation on which many secondary schools build their dance curriculum, she is currently completing A Practical Guide to Teaching Dance to Boys.


In addition to her dance-related work, Fiona leads the school’s social engagement programme. This provides students with opportunities to work with community groups to enrich their personal and professional development.  She has an interest in Widening Participation and will be leading the school’s first residential Sports Summer School offering pupils the opportunity to gain an insight in to the academic, sporting and social aspects of university life.


Fiona is a regular contributor of resource materials to the NDTA professional magazine. Examples include:


  • Resource: KS3 Politically Speaking – Dance Matters Issue 65/Spring 2013
  • Report & personal reflections on Hofesh Shechter’s conference workshop – Dance Matters Issue 65/Spring 2013
  • Resource: KS3 Urban Journey –Dance Matters Issue 63/Summer 2012
  • Resource; KS4 Endeavour –Dance Matters Issue60/ Spring 2011