Industry news

Ausdance leads on child safety issues for dance schools

To ensure a safe environment for dance students, Ausdance will soon publish a studio policy pack, containing best-practice recommendations and sample policies to assist teachers and studios to meet their legal, ethical and moral obligations.

Ausdance National President Shane Colquhoun said: ‘Children have a fundamental right to be safe from any form of abuse while involved in dance, sport or any other activities—it is a moral obligation and a legal requirement. Child protection requires a commitment from everyone, including individuals teaching or leading dance and movement activities.’

This new publication will provide teachers, students and parents with up-to-date information and guidance about child protection, and will include advice about choosing a dance studio.

Ausdance continues to compile and distribute information and guidelines about dance training, focusing particularly on issues of quality and safety. The Australian Guidelines for Teaching Dance suggest minimum standards for dance teaching and codes of ethics for dance teachers and parents.

Teaching dance, supporting children: information from Ausdance National

We welcome your thoughts and feedback on these resources and the broader discussion on dance for young people. Please join the discussion and leave your thoughts below or contact us directly

If you would like to be notified when the new dance policy pack is available please send us an email. In the meantime, here is our recently updated Child protection fact sheet.

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Ausdance announces new constitution and interim executive leadership

As a member of the Australian dance sector, I wanted to let you know of some changes to Ausdance National in recent weeks.

In September 2016 the Ausdance National Council agreed to significant changes to the Constitution—moving away from a network-led board to a new skills-based governance structure and extending the membership to engage more directly with a range of stakeholders. We are opening up membership at a national level to engage directly with individuals through the state and territory offices.

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NAAE archives donated to the National Library of Australia

In an important development for arts education research in Australia, the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has negotiated with the National Library of Australia (NLA) to accept its archival material. After almost a year of cataloguing and sorting, the NAAE archive is now safely rehoused at the NLA from its original home in the Ausdance National library.

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Shaun Parker & Company seeks executive producer

Shaun Parker & Company is one of Australia’s most far-reaching dance companies, having toured extensively internationally to 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States. Based in Sydney, the Company has delivered a range of award-winning dance theatre productions, outdoor festival works and transformative dance education programs. Shaun Parker & Company has secured funding until the end of 2020, having been awarded multi-year funding from Arts NSW and four-year funding from the Australia Council. Shaun Parker & Company is renowned for its powerful, humanist, dance theatre productions, which have touched audiences across the globe, transcending borders and demographics.

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2016 Australian Dance Awards recipients

The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance.

Presented by Ausdance and Harlequin Floors, the 2016 Australian Dance Awards were held at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, Sunday 18 September at 6.30 pm as part of the MoveMe Festival 2016. 

Ausdance thanks presenting partner Harlequin Floors; Gaynor-Minden, Equity, AON Risk Services; and other partners. Ausdance is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.  

The Australian Dance Awards are produced by the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance.

Outstanding Performance by a Company

Bangarra Dance Theatre's Lore for an uplifting, intense and beautiful double bill, incorporating myriad choreographic styles performed by an ensemble of versatile and superb dancers. 

Outstanding performance by a company: Bangarra Dance Theatre for Lore

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

David Mack in Sydney Dance Company's Frame of Mind for a mesmerising and sensational performance, demonstrating exceptional technique and clarity of line, along with extraordinary focus, strength and fluidity.

David Mack performing in Frame of Mind

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

Elma Kris in Bangarra Dance Theatre's Lore for her charismatic and stand-out performance in a pivotal role that showed great wisdom, skill and ability to connect with an audience through her commanding and magnificent storytelling.

Elma Kris performing in Lore

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

​​​​Sue Healey for On View: Live Portraits—a sophisticated, perceptive and ingenious work that was entertaining, beautiful and powerful, with stunning, innovative choreography and photography throughout.

Performers in On View: Live Portraits

Services to Dance

Roy David Page (composer, performer, Nunukul Munaldjali man) for his many talents across multiple genres and art forms, and particularly for his prolific production of memorable and exceptional compositions for Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Services to dance

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre

Circa Contemporary Circus for Il Ritorno—a compelling and dramatic story presented via circus, acrobatics, opera and physical theatre with astounding vision, technique, design and music.

Circa performing Il Ritorno 

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance 

Force Majeure & Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT) for Jump First, Ask Later—a brilliant and life-altering collaboration creating an urban choreographic portrait of the culturally diverse streets of Western Sydney as experienced by the young performers.

Powerhouse Youth Theatre & Force Majeure performing Jump First, Ask Later

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media

Meryl Tankard for Michelle’s Story—an intimate and uplifting film about Meryl Tankard’s long-time friend and colleague Michelle Ryan—a testament to a dancer’s transformative ability to gather strength through her art. 

Performers in Michelle's Story dancing in front of white salt dunes

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

Lucy Guerin for Motion Picture (Lucy Guerin Inc.)—an innovative, sophisticated and surprising work inspired by the film noir aesthetic and meticulously crafted by a visionary choreographer.

Performer in Motion Picture

Services to Dance Education  

Dr Joan Pope OAM (teacher, Dalcroze Eurhythmics educator & researcher, community activist)—for more than 50 years of inspired and passionate leadership, for her commitment to education through dance and music and for a lasting impact on generations of young artists and communities.

Joan Pope teaching a movement class to primary school students

Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance

Dancenorth for Twilight—Cheryl Stock’s spectacular, multi-site, intergenerational and culturally diverse dance and music journey from dusk to dark in a meaningful and memorable anniversary celebration of Dancenorth and Townsville. 

Performers in Twilight dance beside the ocean

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Terri Charlesworth receives 2016 Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement

Terri Charlesworth’s initiative, dedication, generosity and passion have greatly influenced generations of Western Australian dancers. As well as being a dazzling performer, Terri has had outstanding success as a teacher and leader in dance education and training. 

Born in Perth, she began her early ballet training in Melbourne with acclaimed dancers such as Kira and Serge Bousloff and Xenia Borovansky. She joined West Australian Ballet for its inaugural 1953 season and was later appointed Assistant Artistic Director.

Terri Charlesworth teaching balletPhoto: Darren Clark

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2016 Election wrap—what’s next?

Remember 2 July? What a day for the arts in Australian democracy. Over the previous 12 months, the Arts sector had engaged with the Senate through the inquiry into the ‘Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts’. The strong recommendations from that process set a tone for the election campaign. Arts became an issue for parties; the ALP, Greens, and Xenophon Team released policy positions and the Arts Party claim that between 40-50,000 Australians gave them their first preferences. An election debate, focused solely on the arts, allowed the sector to explore key issues with the major parties. 

Here we are, now four weeks later, and we’re still waiting for the full results of the Federal Election. We know the Liberal-National Coalition will form government, and who the Arts Minister (Senator Mitch Fifield from Victoria) and Shadow (former Minister Tony Burke from NSW) are, but we still wait for the full results of the Senate count. 

So, what happens now?

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Have you done the Safe Dance IV survey?

Ausdance National has a long history of researching dancer health and well-being, and Safe Dance IV is the latest in a series that looks at how professional dancers manage injuries and sustain their careers. Safe Dance IV is a little different to I, II and III, as it is being conducted online by PhD student Amy-Jo Vassalo under the auspices of the University of Sydney. 

What do we hope to learn from Safe Dance IV? For starters, the survey will update the authoritative findings from the previous surveys that helped to improve the management of injuries. One of those findings was the importance of the warm-up, especially a warm-up with a cardiovascular component for rehearsals. 

And the definition of a professional dancer is probably wider than for the previous surveys as the range and style of professional practice has expanded, so the potentially wider data pool may bring in new information. 

In the past few months, information about the survey has been widely circulated through our e-news and on Facebook. Ausdance staff have sent hundreds of emails to dance companies and individual dancers requesting them to share and take the survey. Hard copies have been printed and sent to The Australian Ballet, the West Australian Ballet, and the Queensland Ballet. Don’t be shy about sharing it further! 

But we still need more responses to create the size of data pool Safe Dance IV deserves, to allow for the authoritative findings that can help to sustain careers. If you are a professional dancer—and the very first question is a filter question to help answer this—please do the survey. It will take a little time but it is completely worth doing to help sustain your career. 

Read more about Safe Dance IV.

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daCi and WDA announce World Dance Congress for 2018

How can dance help in transforming society? This and many more questions will be a focus in 2018 at one of the world’s largest gatherings of dance educators and young artists in Adelaide, Australia. 

During the week of 11–15 July 2016, delegates from daCi (dance and the Child international) and WDA (World Dance Alliance Education and Training Network) met in Adelaide, Australia to collaborate in planning for a joint congress to be held from 8–13 July 2018. How to connect with UNESCO and initiate global advocacy informed our planning. 

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The 2016 Australian Dance Awards – Perth!

Presented by Harlequin Floors and Ausdance as part of the MoveMe Festival 2016. 

Australian Dance Awards 2016 Ochre Contemporary Dance Company performing outdoors

Perth is ready to host the 2016 Australian Dance Awards straight after the MoveMe Dance Festival—put Sunday 18 September at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia in your diary! Tickets on sale at Ticketek

This night-of-nights for professional dance sees twelve Awards including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, Outstanding Performance by a Company, and Outstanding Performances by Female and Male dancers. 

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Big Dance Australia 2016 update

Big Dance is a biennial festival of people dancing led by the Mayor of London in partnership with People Dancing and the Big Dance Hubs, a network of leading dance organisations across the UK.

Big Dance Week ran from 2 to 10 July 2016 and Ausdance Queensland and Tracks Dance in Darwin hosted Big Dance events.

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Australian Dance Awards 2016 shortlist

Congratulations to the shortlisted nominees. 

Presented by Ausdance and Harlequin Floors, the 2016 Australian Dance Awards will be held at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, Sunday 18 September at 6.30 pm as part of the MoveMe Festival 2016.

Get your tickets from Ticketek.

2016 Shortlist Australian Dance AwardsOchre Contemporary Dance Company performing at the 2014 Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe beach, WA. Photo: Dana Weeks Photography.

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Call for applications—Sydney Dance Company pre-professional year 2017

We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for Sydney Dance Company's 2017 Pre-Professional Year. Australian and New Zealand dancers aged 18 or over are eligible to apply.

Led by course Director Linda Gamblin, this nationally accredited one year intensive offers students the chance to work with some of Australia’s most renowned choreographers and dance educators. Students will develop their technique, artistry and performance skills alongside members of Sydney Dance Company led by Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela.

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National Advocates for Arts Education supports implementation of the Arts curriculum

National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) met in Canberra on 19 & 20 June to discuss a range of outstanding issues affecting implementation of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts. Several projects were identified that would assist classroom teachers, students, governments and other decision makers in the implementation process. NAAE plans to develop these projects in the coming months, and seek partnerships and funding to bring them to fruition. 

I stand with the arts.Members of the National Advocates for Arts Education at the National Library Australia, 19 June 2016. Taking time out to #‎IStandWithTheArts‬ ‪#‎ArtsChangesLives‬ while talking Arts Education advocacy! L–R: John Saunders (Drama Australia), Roger Dunscombe (Australian Teachers of Media), Sandra Gattenhof (Drama Australia), Bradley Merrick (Australian Society for Music Education), and Julie Dyson (NAAE chair).

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Sir Matthew Bourne auditions male dancers for Melbourne production

Arts Centre Melbourne, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Re:Bourne, the charitable arm of New Adventures are working towards a major creative project that will culminate in a one week season at Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre in Autumn 2017.

This project offers an opportunity for Melbourne-based dancers to work for one month with choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne’s leading international dance company. 

Sir Matthew Bourne and other members of the New Adventures team will be in Melbourne in August 2016 to audition six male dancers to join the company for this one-off project at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Key information

  • Audition date: Saturday 6 August 2016 (applications required)
  • Recalls: Sunday 7 August 2016
  • Where: Auditions and recalls will be held in a centrally located venue in Melbourne
  • Rehearsals & season: Sunday, 14 August 2016 (workshop) & Monday 13 March – Sunday 9 April 2017
  • For Melbourne-based male dancers with at least three years of professional level training in classical or contemporary dance with a stage appearance age between 14–22.
  • Audition notice and application information on the Arts Centre Melbourne website.
  • Applications close COB Tuesday 12 July 2016.

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Arts Centre Melbourne seeks two community dance artists for one-off project

Arts Centre Melbourne, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Re:Bourne, the charitable arm of New Adventures are working towards a major creative project that will culminate in a one week season at Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre in Autumn 2017.

This project offers an opportunity for Melbourne-based dance artists and physical performers to work with a leading international dance company.

Sir Matthew Bourne and other members of the New Adventures team will be in Melbourne in August 2016 to find two community dance artists to join the company for this one-off project at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Key information

  • For artists with experience in classical or contemporary dance, physical performance, mentoring of young people and dance workshop delivery.
  • Interview & workshop date: Monday 8 August 2016
  • Training: Friday 12 – Monday 15 August 2016
  • Outreach workshops: Monday 3 October – Sunday 11 December 2016 (P/T) &  Saturday 18 February and Sunday 19 February 2017
  • Rehearsals & season: Monday 13 March – Sunday 9 April 2017 (P/T and F/T)
  • Further details and position description on the Arts Centre Melbourne website.
  • Applications close COB Tuesday 12 July 2016.

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Asia-Pacific Channels June 2016 issue out now

Asia–Pacific Channels is the bi-annual newsletter of the World Dance Alliance (WDA), published by Ausdance National in collaboration with MyDance Alliance in Malaysia. It profiles dance events and activities from WDA members throughout the Asia–Pacific region.

Download the June 2016 issue (2 MB)

Asia–Pacific ChannelsImages from the June 2016 issue.

We produce and publish Channels as a contribution to the World Dance Alliance and dance in our region. It also helps us build the international networks that provide professional development opportunities for Australian dance artists.

Our work producing this publication helps us contribute to the World Dance Alliance's goals, which are:

  • To promote the recognition, development and mutual understanding of all forms of dance.
  • To facilitate communication and exchange among dance individuals, institutions and organisations interested in dance.
  • To provide a forum for discussion of matters relating to dance.
  • To encourage and support the research, education, criticism, creation and performance of dance.
  • To liaise, co-ordinate and participate in activities with other dance organisations in the world.

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Write for Brolga—an Australian journal about dance

Submissions are open for Brolga #41 under the broad theme 'A place for dance'.

Key information

Brolga covers

The art and community ecology in which dance exists is delicate and complex. As with the fight for survival by animals in compromised environments perhaps it is the ‘charismatic’ or ‘innovative’ artists who survive. If so, where is the place for the dancers and dance makers who exist outside the realm of publically notable; who eschew spectacle or even notoriety? And how is it possible for a dancer to find their dance place in the rich history of skill and experimentation?

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