Dr Barbara Snook is a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland in the Dance Studies program. She was the Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance at the University of Otago during 2008 and taught dance in Brisbane High Schools for 20 years. Barbara was awarded the Osmotherley Award in 2007 for her services toward the development of dance in Queensland and she was nominated for an Australian Dance Award for services to dance education in 2006. Her textbooks, Dance… Count Me In and Dance for Senior Students are used throughout schools in Australia and New Zealand. She has also written Dance Room Book One and Dance Room Book Two for children in the first years of school. An updated Dance…Count me in containing all new content was released in July 2014 and an updatedDance for Senior Students containing all new content is due for release in July 2015.
A historical overview of the development of the New Zealand dance curriculum from the early twentieth century to the present day reveals shifting meanings and emphases from military drills to gymnastics, eurhythmics, creative movement, European folk dance and cultural Maori dance. In the last decade however, dance in the New Zealand school curriculum has arguably gone through its most influential change as it shifted from the physical education curriculum to the arts curriculum.
This curriculum shift refined and focussed the academic study of dance in New Zealand primary, secondary and tertiary education contexts. This article focuses upon curriculum and the key persons shaping curriculum development and its delivery in New Zealand from the early 1900s to the present day.