Kildare Arts Service : Dance : Dance Archive

Laban Guild Community Dance Leaders Course, Level 1

In response to a call for accredited training in contemporary dance, Kildare County Council Arts Service, in partnership with the Laban Guild and Riverbank Arts Centre established the Laban Guild Community Dance Leaders Course, Level 1 in January 2002. The course attracted artists, teachers and community workers from across Ireland.  Level 2 of the course took place in Kildare in Spring/ Summer 2005.

A second Level 1 course commenced in Newbridge in 2006 and course graduates received their certificates during the Laban in Practice weekend in March 2008. 

Kildare County Council considers the structure, content and delivery of the Community Dance Leaders Course to be a model of good practice, which has been applied to other programmes.

Initiated in 1981, the Laban Guild Community Dance Leaders course is now a well established course, accepted by professional bodies and eligible for funding from the Regional Sports and Regional Arts Councils. It has been employed by Education Authorities and Dance Animateurs.  Courses have run in such places as Suffolk, Somerset, Nottingham, Essex, Wiltshire, Powys, Belfast, Dublin and Kildare.  The pool of highly qualified and experienced tutors within the Guild ensures that each module of the course is taught by specialists in that area.
The course attracts participants from many different backgrounds and experiences including teaching, physiotherapy, social work, therapy, choreography, youth work and the arts.


  • To offer course members a framework for leading creative dance sessions, which they can apply to their own area of professional expertise or personal development
  • To develop in them a practical understanding of Laban’s Analysis of Movement in order to achieve this
  • To encourage them to undertake further professional development

Entry Requirements

This is not a course for beginners. All applicants must demonstrate some experience of dance or movement and experience of teaching or community work.

Course Structure
This is a 150 hour part time course extending over 15 months and includes:

  • 11 weekends of practical and theoretical study,
  • Assignments to be completed at home.
  • A final assessment weekend for those who have completed the course
  • Attendance at a Laban based Summer School

The course comprises three main modules:

  • Four weekends in which the basic principles of  Laban Analysis are experienced through the  medium of creative dance. The focus is on concepts of body awareness, quality of movement, spatial awareness and relationships.
  • Three weekends on the preparation and delivery of creative dance sessions. These cover structuring a session, the use of  different teaching styles and strategies and the essentials  of anatomy and physiology needed to  deliver a safe class.
  • Four weekends on developing ideas for dance and making dances. These will include some advice on adapting the work for different groups.

Next Course: Dance Leaders Training Scheme Belfast 2008                                 

The next Level 1 course will take place in Belfast in 2008-2009. For further information contact:

Noleen McGrath, the course co-ordinator:
or Ann Ward, Laban Guild Courses officer:

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