News: February 2016

Ausdance responds to Royal Commission’s public hearing into Centres for the Performing Arts

1 March 2016

Statement regarding hearings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Public hearing into Centres for the Performing Arts
2 March 2016

Ausdance holds the position that any abuse of a child—sexual, physical or emotional—is abhorrent. A dance studio or class is not isolated from the rest of society, no matter how special it may appear or feel. Studio owners and class teachers, like teachers and activity leaders across the whole of our community, have a special responsibility for the welfare of children in their charge. This holds whether it is a small community dance class or a large commercially-oriented studio.

A dance class or studio is first and foremost a business and as such should be subject to regulatory requirements as any business providing recreational services for children. Dance is also a key art form, which in the view of Ausdance makes any abuse of the trust placed by children in their class leaders or studio principals especially serious.

Ausdance notes that the Royal Commission is not enquiring into abuse in dance studios or the entertainment industry. Rather, the Royal Commission is hearing evidence about two specific centres for the performing arts, one of which was for dance. However, Ausdance supports the invitation for anyone who believes they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing to contact the Royal Commission directly.

Ausdance has a series of guides and fact sheets to assist dance teachers and dance studios. Where relevant, these guides and fact sheets have links to external authorities. The guides include:

Ausdance re-affirms its statement of 15 December 2014 Teaching dance, supporting children.

Download this statement (210 KB PDF)

Neil Roach, A/g CEO Ausdance National

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UNESCO International Arts Education Week 2016

UNESCO International Arts Education Week is an arts education advocacy event that draws attention to the role arts education plays in a global agenda of peace and cultural understanding. This is a great time to focus on and advocate for your arts education programs with parents, teachers, the media and your arts associations.

We support International Arts Education Week because we believe that arts education promotes personal and social well-being. Arts education develops students’ self-esteem, social interactions and confidence.

Key information

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New study investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers

Safe Dance IV: Investigating injuries in Australia's professional dancers

Ausdance National has joined with the University of Sydney to conduct a research study about the different types of injuries in company and independent professional dancers across Australia, their contributing risk factors, access to health services and return to dance practices. 

We are looking for professional dancers to participate in this research. For more information about the study, or to be involved, please visit Safe Dance IV—Investigating injuries in Australia's professional dancers.

Please help us in spreading the word about this study by forwarding this notice to any dancers you think may be interested in participating. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Amy Vassallo, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney.

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Choreographic Practices journal: call for contributions

Key information

This special journal issue of Choreographic Practices—WORDS and DANCE—aims to draw together, contribute to and exemplify debates around the use of spoken word in current and future 21st Century dance practices as well as its place in the contemporary cultural landscape.

What are the intersections between spoken words (in the form of live narrative, poetry, dialogue or writing) and choreographic practices?
What is the relationship between the word and the move?
How can/do spoken words and dance work together, especially in improvisatory practice?
What implications does the use of voice have in dance practice?

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FINE LINE—develop dance theatre writing skills

Force Majeure and Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) have launched FINE LINE, a three-year partnership to discover the next generation of writers for dance. Led by Force Majeure's Danielle Micich and ATYP's Frasier Corfield, the program will give young writers the opportunity to develop skills in writing for the medium of dance theatre. In 2016, FINE LINE will kick off with a skills masterclass. Writers aged 18–26 interested in telling stories through dance theatre are encouraged to apply.

Skills masterclass

  • Date: 5–6 March, 10 am – 4 pm at ATYP
  • Expressions of interest: Complete the online application form by 5 pm Thursday 11 February.
  • More info: bit.ly/1WOSt3f

Script workshops

Following on from the skills masterclass, a group of up to three young writers will be selected for a series of script workshops. Danielle Micich will mentor the selected writers on every aspect of writing for dance theatre – from research and development, to how to write for a devised work with performers, to delivering a text. These will run from 4–9 July 2016.

The final stage of the three-year FINE LINE program will be the full-scale production of one or two scripts at ATYP.

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