Safe Dance ®

2015 Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare annual conference

Key information

The Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare (ASPAH) recognises that all performing artists, young and old, amateur and professional, have unique needs that may not be met by standard models of healthcare.

The 2015 conference theme is 'A Career in the Spotlight: Enhancing Performance Health and Wellbeing'.

This year’s theme will inspire attendees to consider the health and well-being of the whole artist through evidence-informed practice, whether this is in the private teaching studio or the rooms of a healthcare professional.

Keynote speakers include international and national experts in performing arts healthcare: Dr Kate Hays, Associate Professor Rae de Lisle and Dr Cate Madill.

Researchers and clinicians in the fields of dance, drama, voice and music health will present their latest research and discuss possible strategies to overcome the health challenges associated with being a performing artist.

There will also be themed workshops about dance, music, voice and performing arts medicine research.

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Working with children in performing arts—industry consultation

Working with Children in performing arts? Innovation and Business Skills Australia, in conjunction with Focus on Skills and Ausdance, is developing a working with children skill set and units of competency in performing arts.

This project will involve working with AUSDANCE to address identified gaps in the current Dance qualifications and units:

  • Safe dance environments and equipment
  • Dances appropriate to age groups
  • Student health and wellbeing
  • Regulated environment for good teaching practice and code of conduct.

The first round of industry consultation has been completed and revised drafts of the Working with Children in Performing Arts skill sets and units have been updated to reflect stakeholder feedback. A new draft unit applicable to all people working with children in performing arts environments and an additional skill set were developed in response to feedback. All materials are now available for final validation and stakeholder input. Responses are required by close of business Monday 19 October.

Draft materials f or feedback

IBSA invites final comment on the following new materials:

Skill set:

  • CUASS00054 Working With Children in Performing Arts Skill Set
  • CUASS00055 Assistant dance teaching skill set

Units of competency (and their assessment requirements):

  • CUADTM412 Promote the physical and emotional wellbeing of children in performing arts
  • CUAWHS405 Provide a safe performing arts environment for children
  • CUAWHS406 Interact appropriately with children in performing arts environments

To read the draft materials for feedback, visit the Working with Children in performing arts web page on the IBSA website.

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Child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse would like to hear from anyone who has experienced, or has information regarding, child sexual abuse in institutions in the entertainment industry.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said that the Royal Commission is calling for people with information about child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry to contact the Royal Commission.

Read more…

Teaching dance, supporting children: information from Ausdance National

For almost thirty years Ausdance has been working with dance teaching societies, organisations and teachers looking for the best approach to support the industry and students. 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 suggests minimum standards for dance teaching and ways teachers can maintain or upgrade their teaching skills. You can also access the code of ethics for dance teachers and for parents, information about child protection and choosing a dance studio for your child.

We remain committed to providing resources which help to facilitate the highest possible quality of dance education and training in this country. We continue to work with studio teachers, the broader dance sector and the wider community in reviewing and investigating additional strategies to ensure positive dance experiences within a dance-training environment.

Children have a fundamental right to be safe from any form of abuse while involved in dance, sport or any activities. This is a legal requirement as well as a moral obligation. Child protection requires a commitment from everyone, including individuals teaching or leading dance and movement activities, to ensure the dance environment is safe for all children.

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.

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Visiting Harlequin HQ

One of the key supporters of the Australian Dance Awards is Harlequin Dance Floors. Established in 1979, Harlequin supply dance floors around the world, so it was great to meet with them at the Harlequin HQ in Kent, England.

 Ray, Technical Director with Harlequin undertaking a slip test on Harlequin vinyl floors   Paul, demonstrating the innovative locking method of the 'Liberty' panels Ray, Technical Director with Harlequin undertaking a slip test on Harlequin vinyl floors. Paul, demonstrating the innovative locking method of the 'Liberty' panels

Mark Rasmussen, Global Group Marketing Manager, took the time to show me the main workshop and a presentation on how Harlequin are continually refining their knowledge and processes with the aim of ensuring dancers get the best support they can from a Harlequin dance floor. Harlequin supply a range of different floor types including portable and permanent floors. They have recently redone the stages at the Bolshi Ballet in Russia, and supply the floors for Sydney Dance Company and the Australian Ballet. Riverdance performances for the last ten years have been on a portable Harlequin floor.

Harlequin have been interested in research (being undertaken in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and in Australia) looking at the scientific benefits and different impacts of floors on the dancers body. A lot has changed in the last few decades as dancers, teachers and choreographers have become more aware of safe dance practices. A good floor is just as vital to a dancer's wellbeing as a good diet and well-trained technique. Ten years ago research was based on sports floor models, but now we know what a basketballer is looking for out of a floor is significantly different to what a contemporary, classical or ballroom dancer needs. We have known for years that sports floors aren't ideal but research is still underway looking at what is right for dancers. And, of course one of the ongoing challenges is that what a classical dancer requires in a floor is different to what a hip-hop or tap dancer needs. While Harlequin have a growing range of floors available, studio owners, community dancers, performance facility directors and companies need to make an individual assessment about what will work best for their dancers.

Over the coming months DanceUK and Ausdance will be reviewing the recent research on dance floors and updating our dance floor information sheets.

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