23 October 2022 10am – 12pm

Introduction to Child Development and Dance (Exeter)

As dance teachers, we know that what we do is more than teach dance steps. For an hour or more a week, we are responsible for ensuring that the dance classes we teach are informed beyond the teaching of technique – teaching the whole person, starting with the child.

This lecture-based workshop will introduce you to selected principles of child development, and explore how these principles relate to the teaching of dance. Focusing on children from pre-school age to 10 years, you will examine selected concepts of social, emotional and cognitive development and how these concepts can provide you with an insight into what children can do at different ages and stages of their development. You will also consider how what you do as a dance teacher can promote and support wellbeing and psychological development for each student who comes to your dance classes.

The workshop will be interactive, with tasks and discussion opportunities threaded throughout the session.


The aim of this activity is to equip participants with an understanding of key social, emotional and cognitive childhood milestones and how these can be fostered through dance classes.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the activity, you will:

  • have knowledge of some of the cognitive, social and emotional milestones of childhood development,
  • have some understanding of children’s social, emotional and cognitive competencies at different ages and stages as they relate to learning dance,
  • have been introduced to ‘attachment theory’ as a key consideration in the learning and teaching of dance, and
  • have an understanding of best practice for the promotion of wellbeing and psychological development through the teaching of dance.


University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, EX4 4QJ

Recommended preparation

You will find further information regarding recommended preparation in your booking confirmation email.


Dr Siobhan Mitchell

Siobhan Mitchell trained vocationally as a dancer before completing a BA Hons in Dance Studies (University of Roehampton), an MSc in Dance Science (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance), and an MRes in Health and Wellbeing (University of Bath). Awarded a full ESRC studentship in 2014, she completed her doctorate in 2018 and currently works as a Research Fellow in Child Health at the University of Exeter. Siobhan’s doctoral research explored the psychological and social implications of early and late maturation in young ballet dancers.

Siobhan is currently leading on an ESRC funded Impact Acceleration Co-creation grant (GuiDANCE) in collaboration with the RAD which aims to address the challenges associated with the pubertal transition for young people in dance contexts. Her research interests are in child and adolescent development and Siobhan is active in research both within dance and sport and in public health. Siobhan is passionate about education in adolescent development and regularly delivers workshops for dance teachers, dance students and parents of young dancers.

CPD Hours

3 hours Time-Valued CPD


Members of the Royal Academy of Dance receive discounts on all CPD activities.

How to book

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If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please contact the CPD Team, cpd@rad.org.uk

Following this workshop, Dr Siobhan Mitchell is delivering Introduction to Physiological Development in Dance. You can book onto both workshops for £86/€100/$104 (Members) or £103/€119/$124 (Non-Members).

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Key Information

Time Fee
10am – 12pm Member Fee: £43/€50/$52
Non-Member Fee: £52/€60/$63