Mark Pace

Teaching Fellow - Dance Science & Education


I was a professional dancer for 21 years, then dance teacher, and now academic and dance scientist, currently teaching at the University of Edinburgh on the MSc in Dance Science and Education programme.

After thirty years of dancing, teaching, and guesting experience in various international ballet companies and school settings my aim is to provide dancers and educators with the tools to become artists who are critical thinkers with curious minds. My career has taught me that dance can be a powerful instrument to develop a young person, but it does come with challenges. However, by making the dance artist/educator aware of how the body works and how to cope with the adverse effects of being a performer the aim is to develop a resilient artist that moves forward through life with understanding and empathy. Now, as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, I seek to teach and understand the optimal process and methods for developing a resilient performer with already well-established research that is invariably evidence-based. Other areas of research interest include skill acquisition, performing under conditions of stress, talent development, education, dance science and professional practice in the performing arts.

I have a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Dance Education (Royal Academy of Dance) and a MSc in Dance Science and Education (Distinction) with the University of Edinburgh where I am presently a PhD. candidate, focusing on talent development and the dancer.

I am originally from Australia, I joined the Australian Ballet School when after one year was accepted into the Australian Ballet (AB) under the direction of Maina Gielgud where I was awarded a grant to study at the Paris Opera Ballet School.  At the age of 21, I was nominated to soloist, performing many roles in the classical and neoclassical repertoire of the company. I later joined Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Bayerishes Staatsballet (Munich) and Ballet de l’Opéra National du Rhin (France) where I continued to perform until 2007.

Other dance projects include international guesting, coaching and assisting choreographers with ballet companies such as the Paris Opera, Shanghai Ballet, Central Ballet of China, National Ballet of Vietnam, among others.

As a pedagogue, my work includes many educational roles, teaching dance in vocational and non-vocational school settings and higher education. I have taught creative movement and choreography to primary and secondary schools students by developing a practice that employs links to the industry and brings the importance of theory into practice.

Esteem Indicators / Leadership:

  • Head of Revision of the classical ballet syllabus for the Australian Teachers of Dance, A.T.O.D (2011 – Present)
  • President of the Jury for the Dance Teachers Diploma, Centre Jennifer Coubé, Paris (2015)
  • Member of the Jury EAT, Marseille in Dance Classique, France (2014 / 2015)
  • Member of the Commission Interregional for Dance, Région Nord-East (2004 – 2007 / 2012)
  • Manage the selection of independent companies for grants in the studio program (Acceuil Studios) with the Ballet de l’Opéra National du Rhin, France (2004 – 2007)


PDF icon 76005.pdf


AFHEA (Associate Fellow Higher Education Academy)

MSc In Dance Science and Education (University of Edinburgh)

BA (Hons) In Dance Education (RAD)

State Dance Diploma (DE) (France)

Certificate of Aptitude (CA)  (France) 

Diploma for Dance Teaching and Management (Australian Teachers of Dancing, ATOD)

Certificate 4 in ‘Training and Assessment’  (ATOD)


Responsibilities & affiliations

Professional Member: International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS)

Graduate Student Affiliate:  Association for Psychological Science (APS)

Undergraduate teaching

Dance Education in

  • MA in Physical Education Year 1 and 2


Postgraduate teaching

  • Dance Pedagagy ( MSc Dance Science & Education)
  • Preventive Dance medicine  ( MSc Dance Science & Education)
  • Course Organiser: Professional Development and Leadership in Dance Teaching (PDLDT)  

Dance Education in

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Education  (Primary)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Secondary Physical Education

Research summary

Dancers's Talent Development and their environments

Affiliated research centres

Conference details

October 2017: Exploring the Closeness, Investment and Attachment Styles of Adolescent Dancers to their former Dance Teachers: Presented in the 27th Annual Conference of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) held in Houston, 12-14th October 2017

March 2018: Exploring the Closeness, Investment and Attachment Styles of Adolescent Dancers to their former Dance Teachers: Presented in at the NVDMG symposium 'Genees en Kunst 18' on Thursday March 29th 2018 in Lourdeskerk, Scheveningen.

October 2018: Dancer’s attachment to their first principal ballet teacher: Presented in the 28th Annual Conference of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) held in Helsinki, 25-28th October 2018

October 2019:  Fulfilling potential: developing an interventional training programme for dancers in three inclusive dance companies​: Presented in the 29th Annual Conference of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) held in Montreal, Canada, 24-27th October


Invited speaker

Australian Teachers of Dancing 'Come Together' dance conference 2018 and 2019