Summer Course

For Schoolteachers

Summer Course for Schoolteachers

Ballet Ireland is developing a summer course for schoolteachers with the aim of giving them a well-rounded understanding of the basic principles of dance technique and how to teach it, and the confidence to incorporate dance into their weekly curriculum in a meaningful way.

A pilot week for a limited number of teachers will take place at DanceHouse, Dublin, starting Monday 12 July 2021.

The summer school will be based on the workshop programmes already in place at several National Schools, in operation since 2005.

  • The week will incorporate a breakdown of each of the workshop exercises, how and why they are constructed, and how they can be developed.
  • We will thoroughly explore how the exercises combine with music, with special emphasis on the relationship between the two, and on counting rhythm and measure.
  • We will examine muscle groups and their functions, posture and placing from an anatomical perspective, and areas of concern that might arise when working with children.
  • We will investigate dance as an expressive artform, using mime, mood and dynamic, and explore how dances of story and character can be created.


There will be eight places available for this initial week and we aim to include teachers typical of the variety of schools with which we already collaborate.




We are looking for enthusiastic teachers that feel they would both enjoy and benefit from the week and who also would be willing to contribute to the development of the programme.

The week will inform the development of our summer school programme which will be offered in subsequent years as CPD for teachers.

The week will be led by Stephen Brennan, Education Officer at Ballet Ireland, supported by Jane Magan, former ballet dancer and long-standing member of the educational team, and Hayley Cunningham, former Ballet Ireland dancer, currently Stott Pilates instructor, qualified ballet teacher and a member of the Ballet Ireland educational team.

Focused workshops will be led by Nolwenn Collett, a composer and musician trained at the Paris Conservatoire, and a specialist in dance accompaniment, and Deirdre McKenna, a Musculoskeletal & Dance Physiotherapist specialising in sports and dance training and injury prevention.

Each afternoon will conclude with a period of assessment during which we would like all participants to have a significant input. Their experience will be a fundamental factor in informing the further development of the programme.





The pilot programme will take place at DanceHouse, Foley Street, Dublin for one week commencing Monday 12 July 2021. Each day will comprise 2 two-hour workshops and an additional session, up to an hour, for discussion and feedback. There will be 8 students/participants.


Although the programme is initially aimed at teachers of First and Second Class pupils, the material covered can be easily adapted and developed to suit older age groups, and children with diverse abilities and experiences.


Teachers often cite lack of expertise or experience in teaching dance, though it is part of the curriculum, currently as part of the PE strand. It is largely included in the school curriculum for its quantifiable benefits in health and wellbeing rather than for its intrinsic artistic and expressive potential.

WHAT you will gain from the programme:

  • Confidence in teaching dance
  • Understanding of the structure of a dance-based class/workshop
  • A well-rounded understanding of the basic principles of dance technique
  • Knowledge of musical structure
  • Techniques in constructing simple ‘chains of movement’ and dances
  • Examples of how dance augments an integrated learning approach
  • Dance used as a means of expression, interpretation, and communication
  • An exciting and rewarding experience


For more information, please contact:

Stephen Brennan, Education Officer Ballet Ireland:

Martin Lindinger, General Manager Ballet Ireland: