Dance Teaching and Participation Conference Sessions and Speakers

The Dance Teaching and Participation Conference is an opportunity for teachers, community practitioners, choreographers, and those in the dance education sector to update their skills and expertise. Sessions range from insightful keynote speeches, to panel discussions, practical classes and helpful presentations. You will leave feeling invigorated with new ideas and ready to champion the value of dance.

Information about the sessions that took place below

Check our Sunday programmes for the Choreographers’ and Healthier Dancer Conference.

09.15 – 10.15 Open Level Contemporary Class

10.30 – 11.30 Keynotes

11.45 – 13.00 Making a Difference to Dance Education Through Research (one)
11.45 – 13.00 Dance in Education Briefing
11.45 – 13.00 Within Her Eyes GCSE Dance Workshop
11.45 – 13.00 My NYDC Story: Exploring young people’s voice & individualism through collaborative work
11.45 – 13.00 Dance and Resilience

13.30 – 14.30 Conversation Clusters
13.30 – 14.30 Meet the Dance Educators Group

14.15 – 15.45 Making a Difference to Dance Education Through Research (two)
14.30 – 15.45 De-mystifying Child Performance Licensing
14.30 – 15.45 Just for YOU: House class with Vicki Igbokwe
14.30 – 15.45 Assessment Without Levels KS3 Dance
14.30 – 15.45 Everybody Dances: Inclusive dance practice

16.00 – 17.15 Creative Practice Discussion Panel
16.00 – 17.15 Are We Better Together?
16.00 – 17.15 Activating Dance in Primary Schools
16.00 – 17.15 Are Your Dancers Physically Prepared?
16.00 – 17.15 Participant Centered Pedagogy Through Choreographic Practice

17.30 – 18.00 Next Steps

18:00 – 19:00 Performance

19:00 – 19:45 Drinks and Networking


Open Level Contemporary Class – Tim Casson

Start the day right! Get moving before the Conference even starts, in this open level contemporary class with Tim Casson.


Keynotes – Tamara Rojo CBE, Robert Goodwill MP (video address), Jan Burkhardt, Dance Ambassadors; Ciara, Jemma, Sophie.


Making a Difference to Dance Education Through Research – Facilitated by Dr Kerry Chappell, with research presented by Evi Dobner, Chris Marlow, Angela Pickard & Veronica Jobbins
11:45-13:00

In collaboration with DanceHE,this sessionwill feature research by and for dance teachers and education professionals.

Focusing upon or related to children and young people’s dance education within and outside of schools, we invited proposals for research-led presentations that address (but were not limited to) at least one of the following areas:

  1. Innovative approaches to dance education
  2. Approaches to dance teaching that challenge the status quo
  3. How dance education is addressing a range of educational policy agendas
  4. Benefits of dance education and participation to improving physical and mental health

The session will represent a mix of researchers at different points in their careers, and will be facilitated by Dr Kerry Chappell.
Titles include:

  • Does Dance Enhance Quality of Life in Young People Living in Deprived Urban Communities: Reflections on the Efficacy of Participation – Louise McDowall and Sarah Lyon
  • Laterality and Lateral Preference in Ballet: A Literature Review and Ongoing Research – Evi Dobner
  • “Oi. Dancing boy”: Movement, Masculinity and the Myth of Billy Elliot – Chris Marlow

Dance in Education Briefing – Claire Somerville, Stephen Mason, Sam Cairns, Mel Knott, Linda Jasper MBE, Yvonne Young
11:45-13:00

The aim of this session is to provide delegates with useful information about the context in which dance teaching and learning takes place; which factors are affecting its provision within and outside of school; and what interventions are or could be happening to improve access to dance and ensure provision is of a high quality.

The session will be in the form of short presentations, followed by discussion involving all attendees, on the topics raised in the presentations. It will be chaired by Mel Knott (Chair of One Dance UK’s Children and Young People Expert Panel).

Panel members include:
Samantha Cairns (Cultural Learning Alliance)
Linda Jasper (Co-Chair Programme Board, Children & Young People’s Dance)
Stephen Mason (FE Lecturer)
Claire Somerville (Head of Children & Young People’s Dance, One Dance UK)
Yvonne Young (Assistant Director YDance, Scottish Youth Dance)


Within Her Eyes GCSE Dance Workshop – James Cousins Company
11:45-13:00

James Cousins’ Within Her Eyes is part of the GCSE Dance Anthology. The session will explore ways to introduce Within Her Eyes practically, exploring the themes and choreographic intentions. Ideas will be provided to introduce and build confidence in contact work, as well as suggestions for creative tasks to develop performance and choreographic skills.

James Cousins’ unique style is very physical, exploring innovative contemporary partner work with floor work and full-bodied movement, with an emphasis on changes in dynamics and movement quality. He has a highly collaborative approach, and uses task-based improvisation to develop complex and engaging work. James is committed to delivering high quality education and supporting teachers to make his work accessible to their pupils.


My NYDC Story: Exploring young people’s voice & individualism through collaborative work – Michael Keegan-Dolan
11:45–13:00

In this session, choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan will relay the narrative of his year working with the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) in his role as Guest Artistic Director 2016. He will share useful ideas about the creation process for In Nocentes, an ensemble piece performed to live music (Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, recomposed by Max Richter). Whilst the work was entirely founded on the principles of communal intentionality and the power of a true ensemble, the individual identities of all 40 dancers were celebrated


Dance and Resilience – Louisa Borg-Costanzi Potts, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance
11:45-13:00

This is a practical session exploring various creative dance approaches, supporting good mental wellbeing and resilience for people of all backgrounds and abilities.

Informed by their own experience contributing to national programme Headstart, and developing Dancing Ahead – weekly dance classes for young people at risk of low resilience or poor mental health – Trinity Laban staff will engage with conference participants to discuss how organisations, institutions and artists can:

  • support young people with low resilience or poor mental healthto thrive and progress in dance
  • be effectively supportedto deliver sensitive, effective and high quality creative dance for young people with low resilience or poor mental health
  • measure the impact of their creative practice without damaging the integrity of the creative process and theexperience of the participants

This largely practical session will be underpinned by preliminary research undertaken by Trinity Laban’s Dance Science Department on the Dancing Ahead Programme, using Joan Duda’s (2013) conceptualisation of empowering and disempowering motivational climates.


Conversation Clusters 
13:30-14:30 – The Foyer

The Conversation Clusters will consist of informal conversations on specific topics relating to qualifications, progress routes and programmes for children and young people. Join in the conversation!


Making a Difference to Dance Education Through Research (two) – Facilitated by Dr Kerry Chappell with research presented by Beverley Glean & Rosie Lehan, Louise McDowell, Lauren Vincent
14:15-15:45

For more information please see the overview from the morning session.
The session will represent a mix of researchers at different points in their careers, and will be facilitated by Dr Kerry Chappell.
Titles include:

  • Cultural Diversity in Dance Training and its relevance to the future training prospects of Young People. – Beverley Glean & Rosie Lehan (IRIE Dance)
  • Does dance enhance Quality of Life in young people living in deprived urban communities: Reflections on the efficacy of participation. – Louise McDowell
  • Championing the value of dance in secondary schools: findings from a qualitative study of the views of dance teachers in England and Scotland – Laura Vincent

De-mystifying Child Performance Licensing – Gareth Lewis
14:30-15:45

Following seven years’ working involvement with child licensing, Chair of the NNCEE (National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment) Gareth Lewis understands the issues, frustrations and problems that organisations come up against when trying to navigate legislation surrounding child performances.

In this session, Gareth will break down the various parts of the legislation, explaining the definition of a performance, clarifying the circumstances under which a performance licence may be required and, more importantly, enlightening delegates about the various exemptions that they may be able to use, including the Body of Persons Approval process and the ‘four day rule’. Gareth will also explain how the process varies in respect of where children live or where performances take place.

Furthermore, Gareth will clarify how school absence permission may affect the issues encountered when contacting local authorities regarding child licensing. He encourages questions, aiming to ‘clear some of the fog’ enveloping child licensing.


Just for YOU: House class with Vicki Igbokwe – Vicki Igbokwe
14:30-15:45


Assessment Without Levels KS3 Dance – Carla Price
14:30-15:45

Using the bespoke recourse created by Carla Price and Liz Dale (AQA GCSE Dance Lead Writer and Moderator), this session will practically explore how the assessment model can be used at Key Stage 3.


Everybody Dances: Practical ways to improve how inclusive and accessible your dance classes are – Martin Wilson & Tess Chaytor from TIN Arts
14:30-15:45

TIN Arts is a specialist inclusive dance organisation, with vast experience in ensuring all participants enjoy a rich and engaging experience, regardless of ability or background. The company has a studio based in Durham, reaching out and delivering across the North of England.

Led by co-founders Tess Chaytor (Artistic Director) and Martin Wilson (Executive Director), TIN Arts comprises a team of artists and producers creating fully accessible and inclusive dance experiences for all. These include progression opportunities into Flex Dance, an integrated touring dance company featuring dance artists with a learning disability, autism and/ or additional needs.

This workshop will cover the principles of inclusive practice through practical participation.
The session will include three main activities:

  1. ‘Starting off together’ – leading warm-ups and technique class inclusively
  2. ‘Play Moves’- how simple games can offer new movement ideas and enable everyone to create original material
  3. ‘Leaping off the page’ – bringing poetry into the dance studio and adapting for all.

Creative Practice Discussion Panel: How do we help young people with different backgrounds/ cultures/abilities work creatively together? – Elsa Urmston, Hannah Kirkpatrick, Jessica Walker, Tim Casson, Sujata Banerjee and Akosua Boakye.
16:00 – 17:15

Chaired by Dance Education Consultant, Elsa Urmston; the focus of this panel discussion is to shine a light on how creative practice with children and young people is reflective of the cultural heritage from which those participants come.  We will be tackling questions such as:

  • What do we mean by the term cultural heritage?
  • What do we perceive young people’s cultural heritage to be in 2017, and how is that changing?  Are we making assumptions that should be challenged?
  • How do we reflect the cultural heritage of our participants?
  • What strategies do we use to ensure relevance for our participants?
  • How do we sustain, refresh, replenish and release the true potential of children and young people’s artistic talent, regardless of their background?

Panel members currently include Sujata Banerjee, Hannah Kirkpatrick, Jessica Walker and Tim Casson.


Are We Better Together? – Mel Knott, Carla Price, Jasmine Wilson, Fiona Ross
16:00-17:15

When we work in partnership, what can schools, dance organisations and venues bring to the table to support high quality dance for children and young people? Through a panel of dance specialists working in different organisations, there will be opportunities to discuss, debate and present case studies about both the values and challenges of making successful partnerships.

This workshop is suitable for any dance-interested individual working both in and beyond schools.


Activating Dance in Primary Schools: How to we encourage the best possible start in dance for primary school pupils  – Kari Brooks (Dance Teacher in Broadclyst Community Primary School), Laura Kendal (North West Primary Dance Practitioner), Lyn Paine (Author of The Complete Guide to Primary Dance), Lucy Seymour & Beth Robins (Tannery Drift First School)
16:00-17:15

Presentations from contributors and discussion on the following points:

  1. How can we overcome the challenges in delivering dance in primary school within a PE & School Sport setting?
  2. How can we ensure primary school children get the best possible experience of dance?
  3. How is dance being delivered to provide strong outcomes in physical literacy?
  4. How do we effectively champion the value of dance in primary schools?

Are Your Dancers Physically Prepared? – Charlotte Tomlinson
16:00-17:15

It has been suggested that dance students undertaking performance assessments might not be physically fit enough to achieve their full potential. This workshop will address this and provide you with ideas of how to embed physical and technical skills into your practical lessons.  A practical session suitable for teachers of GCSE, A Level and vocational qualifications, this workshop will be led by Charlotte Tomlinson.


Participant Centered Pedagogy Through Choreographic Practice – Laura Aldridge, Charlotte Spencer, Kerry Chappell, Charlotte Hathaway
16:00-17:15

This best-practice workshop, sharing tried-and-tested methods to facilitate young peoples’ choreography, is based upon Siobhan Davies Dance’s learning from Next Choreography, a three-year programme evaluated with the University of Exeter.

The participant-led pedagogy used to facilitate Next Choreography has had a transformative impact upon its 42 young participants’ approach to creating work, increasing their engagement with the arts and broadening their career aspirations.

Through practical activities and discussion, this workshop shares the content and pedagogy of Siobhan Davies Dances’ work, with insight from the University of Exeter research team.  Participants of the Next Choreography course are exposed to and experience diverse lines of enquiry, choreographic approaches and processes, with time, space and support to play, tinker, and test. The participant-centred approach ‘cultivates curiosity’, opening participants’ eyes to a range of possibilities, empowering them to identify artistic ideas that matter to them.

This session will enable dance teachers to consider relevant practical applications of this pedagogy within their own teaching contexts.


Next Steps – Vicki Igbokwe, One Dance UK, Dance Ambassadors

Rounding off the conference, before we all enjoy the performance, our Conference Host Vicki Igbokwe, aided by some of the One Dance UK Dance Ambassadors, will share some thoughts and observations arising from the day. This session will also enable delegates to share their own comments and will help everyone galvanise their next actions to Champion the Value of Dance in their own setting.

Email us for further information or with any questions.