Full Overview

Lesson 1: Goal Guided Design

Introduction to the concepts of mental representations and mental models. How these relate to our understanding of every aspect of a dance, including not only its steps and techniques but also its full cultural context.

How to Set Goals Using our Mental Models

Defining the "structures" of the dance, describing our mental model.

How to translate our mental model into material for our students: using examples, selecting progressions of moves, creating and communicating models.

How to Decide What to Teach?

How students shape their worldview of the dance, the "box" concept as a way to describe students' worldview; the unspoken agreements of class.

Depth of goals and how they relate to what and how we teach.

Designing classes depending on context (weekly classes, weekend festivals, tasters, drop-ins). Designing a longer term lesson plan or syllabus.

Structural Complexity: organising structures and models according to their difficulty. Analysing and assessing the complexity of the material.

The Cycle of Teaching and Learning

The cycle that takes us from our mental representation all the way through to teaching and assessing our students' demonstrations, and how that informs our next steps.

Lesson 2: Values-Driven Teaching

What Core Values Are –  And Why They Matter

Definitions of core values, and their impact.

Set, Implement, Filter

Investigating and defining our core values. Making sure our values are not only clear to us, but get reflected in our actions. Understanding and accepting what it means to really implement our values.

Lesson 3: Flow and Class Design

Introducing the concept of flow and how it relates to dance teaching. The benefits of flow episodes, distinguishing between pleasure and enjoyment.

Flow, Part 1

What's needed to achieve flow; goal setting, games, feedback. Introducing the concept of "frames per second" or "frames per beat".

Flow, Part 2

How curiosity can help with flow.

Gaining cooperation from students: introducing zones of comfort, hesitation, learning, panic, and boredom. Further thoughts on flow: mistakes, social context, movement-induced flow.


Clustering our content: helping students form connections. Definitions and qualifiers for contrasts. How to use contrasts for repetition and long-term learning.

A Class-Design Tool: the SCBT Model

Purpose and definition of a treasure, of a bonus. Using SCBT to create a class series.

Lesson 4: Language that Moves

Language in Action - Words We Use to Describe Dance

Abstraction ladder a.k.a. abstraction zoom; the difference between inspiration and instruction.

Clarity through Vision Statements

Using Vision Statements to inspire and motivate. Using the right motivation to help each student to focus on their own learning.

How to Zoom in

Recognising the right level of simplicity; analysing the root components to discover the full complexity of a movement or concept.

A Class-Design Tool: the WWHWW Framework

Creating classes that address a variety of motivations: why, what, how,  where, and where else.

Connect Your Messages to Symbols

Using stories and hooks, punching 1000 times.

Lesson 5: Class Delivery

Taking a "fail forward" approach to learning.

One Voice One Message: The OVOM Framework

Controlling how much we speak; knowing when to talk and when to let our students practise.

Handling questions without losing flow; handling disagreements with a teaching partner during class; connecting personally with students.

Teaching Temperature

A framework for class design and delivery. "Cold", "lukewarm", "warm", and "hot" stages of class. How much to talk and how much to let students dance, levels of activity and independence in various phases of the class.


A simple tool to get students to the "hot" stage as quickly as possible.

Assigning Tasks

How different task types can help us connect our instructions t...

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