Cheshire Dance for Practitioners

Cheshire Dance runs a CPD programme for dance artists and professionals working in the community and education. Led by the Dance Director, the involvement of the whole Cheshire Dance team and a range of specialist freelance practitioners, the CPD programme focuses on practitioners and their field of practice. The CPD is suited to creative development, career progression and to meeting work challenges.

For a roundup of what's going on sign up to our mailing list here.


Inquiring Bodies 2021

2 days of workshops by dance artists, for dance artists 

Over two days four Cheshire based dance artists will share their practice and we invite you to take part in this great opportunity to dance and be part of a mutually supportive environment for exploration and for creating stronger links amongst the freelance dance community. Inquiring Bodies Cheshire has been developed to support and showcase the community of practising dance artists who live and work in Cheshire.

  1. The Inquiring Bodies 2021 artists are:
    * Rafael Braga
    * Giorgio De Carolis
    * Manny Emslie
    * Carli Trigg

When: Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd October 2021
Where: Lion Salt Works, Northwich
Time: 10am - 5pm

Inquiring Bodies is free attend but due to limited capacity we ask you to reserve a space by sending us an email:

Cheshire Dance can provide travel bursaries of up to £ 20.00 to attend this event for freelance artists or those on low income / unwaged.


Inquiring Bodies 2021 has been made possible thanks to the Arts Council’s Cultural Recovery Fund.




Meet the Inquiring Bodies 2021 Artists

Rafael Braga:
Rafael Braga is a capoeira artist from Brasil who has dedicated more than 25 years to this beautiful art. He has travelled across more than 30 countries sharing, learning, teaching and performing capoeira to others, and showing his culture to other cultures around the world with love and passion. 

Workshop Overview:
At the Inquiring Bodies Workshop, Rafael with share with the artists something he is beginning to develop in his own practice - a flowing way of teaching to develop what Rafael calls 'a powerflow' way of moving. 

Powerflow explores using full body movement and movements from capoeira, designed to develop flexibility, power, motor coordination and strength to enable movement with more agility, lightness and balance. The objective is to develop your capability to execute movements with the best possible form, whilst naturally strengthening the whole body.

Powerflow training does not focus on working muscles in isolation; instead, the movements allow all the muscle groups to work in an integrated way. The exercises are derived from natural movements of the body.


Giorgio De Carolis:
Giorgio moved to the UK in 2006 from Italy and attended London Contemporary Dance School where he graduated with an MA in Contemporary Dance.

As a dance artist he has worked and collaborated nationally and internationally with numerous independent creators and established dance companies, including Motionhouse, Joli Vyann and Henri Oguike – performing in indoor and outdoor settings.

Giorgio’s development as a dancer has been informed and enriched by his parallel studies in the Franklin Method®, which he now teaches. He delivers sessions in vocational, professional, community and educational settings, and works as a dance lecturer for the University of Central Lancashire.

Workshop Overview:
Over the last year and a half, Giorgio has been developing a personal dance practice for refining movement skills and developing movement awareness. This practice includes meditation, anatomical embodiment explorations using the Franklin Method®, solo movement improvisation and reflection.

Despite opening his practice to the participation of others via Zoom, he is yet to shared it live in the same space with other bodies. Giorgio hopes that the Inquiring Body event will offer a suitable, supportive setting in which to take this next step and will reflect on what facilitation adjustments might be required within a studio context.

Giorgio will use the workshop to test the potential of this practice as a methodology for generating movement material - a methodology that could be applied within a choreographic process as a devising tool for movement composition.


Carli Trigg:
Inspired by all ways of moving, after leaving dance college Carli went straight into working and training in the commercial industry; appearing in music videos, film and television. She has lived and worked in LA working alongside Dana Foglia (Beyoncé), Rhapsody James (P, Diddy), Shaun Evaristo (ML, Justin Bieber), Tamara & Cloud (The Greatest
Showman) to name a few. She has appeared on the BBC 2 series of Peaky Blinders, completed filming for numerous feature length films with Warner Brothers and has performed at the Brit awards alongside Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris.

Carli is currently taking time to focus on her own movement and choreography, and believes in pushing dancers to the next level in a safe space free of judgement.

Workshop Overview:

At the Inquiring Bodies event, Carli will be delivering a workshop that explores movement through different ways. She will look to create a space that changes the way people view their own movement and what dance can be through certain exercises that she has been developing herself.

Carli will develop a way of bringing her personal practice into a workshop-like space, will teach without moving herself and may change others’ perspective on movement through guided improvisation. The workshop will manipulate the mind’s way of thinking of 'dance' for each person and the session will allow for different ways of moving by reacting to different suggestions.



Manny Emslie

Manny is a somatic practitioner and facilitator with a penchant for dance improvisation. Taught by Joan Skinner in the USA, she is a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT). She has taught SRT for over two decades. Manny has edited a seminal book, Skinner Releasing Technique: A Movement and Dance Practice, which was published this year by Triarchy Press.

More recently she has been practising Amerta Movement alongside SRT, out of which has grown a personal practice of dwelling and moving in sacred and natural landscapes.

She is a Buddhist and has a daily meditation practice. For the past five years, she has been exploring ways of integrating her somatic movement, meditation, and Buddhist practices.


Workshop Overview:

Manny will explore cultivating Awareness, Paying and Shifting Attention. There will be invitations to slow down and, to linger in stillness so we can reconnect with the present moment and consciously choose what is to come into existence.

The workshop will begin with a short sitting meditation practice that will transition in to acknowledging and attending to what the body needs and what is arising moment by moment with, as best we can, a curious and non-judging attitude.

Variations of the four postures of meditation - lying, sitting, standing, and walking – and the transitions in between them will be explored, eventually leading to an improvised event or events.

We will finish with a short sitting meditation practice, followed by sharing our experiences.

Please NOTE – No spiritual or religious content.




 Reserve a space at Inquiring Bodies Cheshire 2021 at:




Wildfire Rising - Associate Artist Development Programme

Wildfire Rising from Cheshire Dance and Movema is an associate artist programme that aims to remove barriers of inequality by investing in and supporting dance artists from African, South Asian, East Asian and South East Asian diasporas to make way for the rising of their artistry, representation and development. 


The programme has now recruited three North West based dance artists, who will each take part in paid, bespoke professional development and reflection as well as receiving a £1.5k commission with support to develop their own dance work. 

Each Wildfire Rising Associate Artist will receive a total fee of £3.5k.

Who is the programme for?

The three spaces have been allocated as follows;

Place one: A female artist from the African diaspora
Place two: An artist from African, South Asian, East Asian or South East Asian diasporas
Place three: An artist from African, South Asian, East Asian or South East Asian diaspora with an existing or desired specialism in traditional dances from world cultures.


This programme is now taking place in Cheshire, in Liverpool and online.


Programme start date: Tuesday 6th July 2021

Programme end date: End of December 2021

Dance Consortia North West

Are you a North West Dance Artist, emerging artist, student, lecturer, professional or arts organisation with an interest in dance. Go to Dance Consortia North West to sign up to the mailing list so your voice can be heard on how together we can shape the future of dance in the area.

Safeguarding in Dance

Safeguarding – especially where ‘at risk’ young people or adults are concerned – is your responsibility, and understanding how to recognise, respond to, record and report safeguarding is paramount for keeping both you and your participants safe.

To register interest in attending the next Safeguarding course, specifically designed for those in dance settings, please email

For : Dance artists, Teachers, Facilitators working with children and vulnerable adults who want to get their safeguarding training up to date.

The course will also cover :-

  • * Guidelines for practitioners/organisations
    * Designing effective safeguarding policies
    * Important changes to safeguarding policies
    * Child licensing regulation updates
    * Internet and social media safety
    * Touch/non-verbal negotiation
    * DBS/chaperoning     


LATEST NEWS: The next Safeguarding in Dance Training Course will take place on 26th April 2020 at Winsford Library. Bookings are NOW being taken via Ticket Source.

Book now

Click here for additional information.




First Aid Courses

Cheshire Dance delivers an annual First Aid Course at its studio in Winsford Cheshire.

This course is for dance artists, facilitators, teachers and others, and is designed for designated first aiders as well as those simply requiring a comprehensive first aid course. 

The course includes:

* Introduction and explanation.
* First aid health and safety regulations.
* Learn about the priorities of first aid and how to manage an incident safely.
* Treatments of unconsciousness including CPR, Shock, bleeding, and common injuries such as strains, sprains.
* Combination of practical and theory sessions to deal with first aid emergencies.

Learn how to administer first aid in your practise. Enhance or refresh your knowledge and gain an understanding of different incidents/injuries to ensure you treat participants and colleagues efficiently and effectively.

NB: All dance practitioners delivering classes with Cheshire Dance are required to have an up-to-date first aid certificate.  


(Booking details for the next course coming soon)


Book now



CPD: Between You and Me - Working with dance one-to-one in a healthcare setting

A two day workshop on working with dance one-to one in healthcare
with Miranda Tufnell and Filipa Pereira-Stubbs.

This workshop will explore key aspects and skills needed in the co-creative process - qualities of presence, listening and intention.  We will explore our capacity to listen creatively to what another’s body is telling us and calibrate our responses in a way that supports anothers’ well-being.

For more information and to book on go here

Inquiring Bodies 5

Cheshire Dance launches the new look Inquiring Bodies.

Cheshire Dance has listened to the voice of the artistic community in the curation of Inquiring Bodies 5 the four guest artists who will be sharing their practice on the 27th January 2018 are Elle Mesma, Stella Uppal Subbiah, Baris Yazar and Funmi Adewole.

Inquiring Bodies is an event by dance artists, for dance artists, Inquiring Bodies features four guest artists who invite others to engage in their current research, the questions they’re asking themselves and their emerging interests.  Inquiring Bodies creates a mutually supportive environment for dance exploration and open dialogue. Guest artists’ sessions may take the form of workshops, discussions or sharings.

When : 27th January 2018 from 10 am - 6pm

Where : University of Chester, Kingsway Campus

Price : £50/£30 for concessions

Go to here to read more about this event and to book on


Inclusive Dance Training

The day opens up a learning environment for dance artists working in all styles and settings. The focus is on making dance sessions welcoming to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

The training will help dance artists:-
- Discover how to make existing sessions accessible
- Gain confidence in responding to diverse circumstances
- Celebrate diversity as a creative tool.

When: 10am-4pm, Sunday 17th September 2017

Where: Cheshire Dance, Winsford Library, CW7 2AS

Price : £40 if booked before 1st August £50 after
If you book both the Safeguarding in Dance and the Inclusive Dance training on the 17th September together then the following prices apply:-

£70 early bird before 1st August  £90 thereafter

There are only 20 spaces available so book on now to avoid disappointment by emailing :

Frontiers of Dance and Health Symposium

This two-day symposium is an opportunity for practitioners to share ways in which somatic movement practices and improvisation are applied when working with one-to-one and in groups in hospitals, hospices, healthcare environments and the community. Frontiers of Dance and Health supported by Cheshire Dance and is hosted by Liverpool Improvisation Collective (LIC) as part of the Inhabit project; a partnership with Bluecoat, Liverpool’s Centre for the Contemporary Arts.

Workshops will be led by members of the Knowing Body Network: Penny Collinson, Daphne Cushnie, Lisa Dowler, Susie Tate and Miranda Tufnell.

For more information click here

To book on click here

Where : Bluecoat Liverpool

When : 10th (10am-7pm eve optional) & 11th May 2017(10am-5pm)

Price : Early Bird discount (up to 30th March) £90 thereafter £100 Early Bird discount concessions (up to 30th March) £70 thereafter £80 (proof needed)

Fergus Early OBE - Dance, Older People and Dementia Workshop

This workshop is aimed at dance artists, health and social care professionals.
Fergus will introduce skills and approaches needed to lead dance sessions with older people, with a particular focus on people living with dementia.

For more information on the workshop

Where : MMU Crewe Campus, Crewe Green Rd, Crewe CW1 5DU

When : 4th (10.30am-5pm) and 5th (10am-4pm) February 2017

Price : Early Bird discount £75 (upto the 3rd January) thereafter £85
10% discount for concessions (proof needed).

To book on : Go to the booking form or email:


Inquiring Bodies 4

Inquiring Bodies 4 is back in Cheshire on 21st May 2016 at Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe Campus. The event will be partnered with MMU Dance’s Horizons Platform on the 20th May 2016. For further information about the Guest Artists, the Horizons platoform and how to book on click here.

Inquiring Bodies is a day for dance artists, where guest practitioners share their own unique inquiries into movement, the body or creative practice. See the Inquiring Bodies page. Also visit our Gallery to view the photos from Inquiring Bodies 2.



Dance Artist Training : Dance with Adults with Learning Disabilities

We are excited to be working with Ruth Spencer who will be delivering this training specifically designed for Artists interested in developing or refreshing their skills in delivering dance to adults with disabilities including delivery to participants who have profound intellectual and multiple disabilities.

Ruth Spencer is an Independent Dance Artist and Lecturer in Higher Education whose work is deeply rooted in Education and Community Practice. Through a person centred approach, Ruth encourages individuals to discover and explore their own ways of moving and through this build relationship with others.
Passionate about debunking myths around dance and dance teaching- she continues to be curious, to question and reframe her own dance practice.

The training day with Cheshire Dance will be an opportunity for others to join with Ruth and the Cheshire Dance Team to examine and collate practical knowledge and skills that can support practitioners to lead movement sessions for adults with Learning Difficulties.

Over the two days we will explore methods of inclusive practice and a few of the topics that we will be covering are detailed below:-

  1. Translation
  2. Communication
  3. Additional Tools
  4. Structure
  5. Support
  6. Opportunity to learn directly with one of Cheshire Dance Project Group
  7. Sharing of your own practice and experience

“Day one will introduce the field of dance for people with learning disabilities and set out  some key questions for us to consider over the two days. We will look at the skills we need as practitioners to work with Adults with learning disabilities and how we can address a variety of needs and abilities in the same setting (from people with profound and multiple disabilities to those with learning difficulties who are more able bodied.) We will cover a range of approaches and methods during the day including working with sensation and touch, improvisation, adaptation and objects. You will come away with a 'tool box' of ideas and approaches to invest in your own work.

Day two will include time for planning in groups as we will be delivering a session to one of our Cheshire Dance groups of adults with learning disabilities in the afternoon. This is an opportunity to put what we have learnt/re-discovered into practice and try some approaches that are new or different to each of us.  There will be time for group discussions and questions and answers so the group can share their experiences and challenges and ask any questions of Ruth, Cheshire Dance or one another.”

Details of the training:-

  • Date : Sunday 6th and Monday 7th September 2015
  • Time : 10.00 - 16.30/17.00
  • Place : Cheshire Dance, 1st Floor, Winsford Library, Winsford, CW7 2AS
  • Price : £75 full price / £50 Students and other concession holders

At Cheshire Dance we are a leader in inclusive dance practice. Our program spans health, wellbeing, adult services, youth, early intervention, performance, professional training and development. We are currently developing our program for people with disabilities and will be recruiting Dance practitioners from this CPD to take over the delivery of 5 project groups that currently meet weekly accross Cheshire.

To book on contact


Material for the Spine-Ideas for Teaching Adults with Disabilities

Rosalind Holgate Smith our Dance Development Artist for Cheshire East recently attended the material for the Spine workshop at the Siobhan Davies Studios and wanted to share her experiences with you.. Click here to read about her experiences


DACh (Dance Artists Cheshire )

A forum for Dance Artists in Cheshire (DACh) and beyond, providing an opportunity to exchange views and information, debate issues and through a network of new, emerging and established artists, teachers and organisations and build a stronger dance network for the County.

The aim of the DACh is to:

  • Empower local artists through direct communication and sharing of ideas/services/skills with other artists
  • Minimise a feeling of geographical and artisticisolation
  • Offer artists equal access to information and grow communidation
  • Give artists a stronger voice in the strategic development of Cheshire Dance, The North and the wider national agenda.

This friendly and informal day will give artists a great chance to see what's on offer, free space, training opportunities, work and more. We propose some movement, some talking and some drinks! You never know where a connection might lead.

The event is open and free for artists to attend, no booking required, but to give us an idea of numbers please email to let us know that you are coming.

  • Date : 11th October AND 4th December 2015
  • Time : 10.00 - 16.00 (morning movement, afternoon chat and drinks, welcome to come to all or just half a day.
  • Place : Cheshire Dance, 1st Floor, Winsford Library, Winsford, CW7 2AS



We are recruiting upto 4 Volunteers to support the delivery of 2 dance and falls prevention programmes for Older People across Cheshire West and Chester. Also giving the opportunity to be a part of a nationally significant project.

For more information on the project and how to apply click here

We are also recruiting for 1 shadowing dance artist to assist in a pilot project at Macclesfield hospital for Dance and Stroke.

For more information click here

In THIS Moment CPD

In THIS Moment - Artist CPD - 25th Feb 2015. Book Now !!
Click here for more details.


2012 Survey and Case Studies

Artists and Practitioner Survey and Case Studies
Amidst the busy 2012 year Cheshire Dance had the capacity to conduct a robust evaluation exercise across its practitioner base. From staff to freelance artists to practitioners who receive our newsletters to professionals working in teaching, care and youth settings as well as young professional at College, we asked a series of questions to find out exactly what you think of our provision and how we can continue to move practice forward and support your development. This was followed by more indepth case studies with some of the respondents.

The results were somewhat shocking. We were not aware of the strength of feeling amongst our 1,200 strong artist and practitioner network.

The survey and case study exercise was conducted and summarised independently by Sue Harrison (former Director: Arts at the British Council and Chief Executive of North West Arts Board)

'The survey response by practitioners was encouraging with a sufficiently high response to ensure the data is robust.

100% (84 respondents) rate the quality of Cheshire Dance's offer positively, with 93% rating it as either 'Excellent' or 'Good'.   Practitioners return rate is also high, returning more than 5 times on average to Cheshire Dance to deepen their engagement and learning.  96% (81 respondents) said they would recommend Cheshire Dance to others.

There is very strong evidence of the high regard in which those who work with Cheshire Dance, particularly the artistic staff, are held.  Comments [about their engagement] were overwhelmingly positive.  Cheshire Dance is valued for its friendliness and support that it gives practitioners as well as the quality of planning and teaching, with respondents ranging from university students to mature dancers.

The follow-up Case Studies aimed to gather more qualitative evidence about how well Cheshire Dance is valued by practitioners, how influential the artistic practice pursued by Cheshire Dance is respected and under stood and to identify how services, including artist development (CPD), could be developed and improved.  

All interviewees felt that Cheshire Dance worked hard to maintain its artistic practice and was uncompromising in believing in the values.  The majority of interviewees had not been involved in improvisation or contact improvisation before becoming involved with Cheshire Dance.  Many agreed that Cheshire Dance had altered their thinking about how they built their own artistic practice and how it affected their work with others. There was great value placed on the intensity of artist's development work led by Cheshire Dance and the success of this type of programme.

Generating more useful information for Cheshire Dance to analyse and build upon, all interviewees ended their interviews with very positive comments about the organisation, feeling that it was one of the very few dance organisations that listened to its practitioners, was wholly committed to its artistic practice and was fully aware in the way it structured its programmes of work to support the development of each individual.'

Sue Harrison, Independent Survey Analyst

More facts and Case Study Responses here.

“I've taken CPD training from many different sources, e.g. Creative Partnerships, several disability organisations etc, and some from Cheshire Dance. The Cheshire Dance training is always very well delivered and totally relevant to dance artists.”

Cheshire Dance's Values of Creative Practice

Much reference is made to Cheshire Dance's stated values through the survey and case study work. For reference, here they are. They were articiulated by Cheshire Dance only recently in 2011. They have however formed the basis of our artisitic practice since the Creative Leadership Enquiry took place.


Creative Leadership Enquiry

The recent survey work follows a four year programme of Continuing Professional Development activity that has taken place since Cheshire Dance conducted its Creative Leadership Enquiry. The original enquiry brought together 5 of the most experienced dance leaders in the UK and was supported by The Foundation for Community Dance and Ludus Dance:-

Gil Graystone, 12 o North, (formerly Ludus Dance)
Jacqueline McCormick, Cheshire Dance
Ruth Spencer, Independent Dance Artist
Sue Akroyd, Laban (formerly Foundation for Community Dance)
Diane Amans, Independent Dance Artist, Freedom in Dance

Part facilitated by Gerri Moriarty, Independent Arts Consultant

The Creative Leadership Enquiry set out to identify and describe the leadership skills which are used by experienced practitioners. The commission was initiated by Cheshire Dance following research with professionals in the field, most of whom “engage daily with strategic thinking, motivation, inspiration, facilitation, ‘team’ building etc”, but could not easily explain what they do and how they do it. Each practitioner spent 12 days on the project and Gerri joined the group for 4 of the days.


A training and dance delivery programme for teachers in schools supporting the full gamut of policy development to delivery across a range of school contexts, including dance curriculum, cross-curricular activity, creating shows, Arts Mark and Arts Award, supporting arts weeks, residential programmes, you name it really. ....More

"I felt challenged mentally, physically and emotionally, comfortable, free and inspired."

Bespoke Projects
Cheshire Dance works with partners to devise bespoke projects with your specific needs in mind. Please contact Adam Holloway on 01606 861770 to discuss a project you'd be interesting in developing with us.

Design By Balance