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    Safe Dance IV—Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers

    The 4th Safe Dance® project, Safe Dance IV—Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers, is about to be launched by the University of Sydney and Ausdance. This national survey of all professional dancers in Australia is being conducted by Amy Vassallo, a PhD candidate, and her supervisors Dr Claire Hiller, A/Prof Evangelos Pappas and A/Prof Emmanuel Stamatakis. It has been developed based on previous national and international dance injury studies, a comprehensive review of relevant literature in the field of sport medicine and epidemiological research and expert advice from the local dance community.

    Dancing the Design

    This article is an account of Sela Kiek-Callan’s postgraduate research journey in “Dancing Design”, an exploration of affinities between architecture and dancing bodies which become manifest in embodied responses of weight, rhythm and intensity when dancers pay attention to the built environment in which they are encased.

    A historical overview of dance in the New Zealand curriculum

    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.

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    Vote for Arts – 2 July 2016

    For the first time in a generation, the arts are claiming space in the lead-up to a federal election. While ‘jobs and growth’ and ‘putting people first’ are dominating the debate, after 18 months of cuts, despair and confusion, the arts community is coming together and calling for our voices to be heard. 

    Here's our guide to putting arts on the political agenda.

    National Dance Forum 2015

    The National Dance Forum 2015 focused on the inherent concerns and realities affecting current professional practice in Australia.

    Supporting the Live Performance Training Package

    After nation-wide research, Innovation and Business Skills Australia concluded that 'there is strong industry and community demand for national qualifications to help lift standards across the profession and set clear national benchmarks which promote consistency while maintaining flexibility'.

    Dance Plan 2012

    Identifies four ambitions for 2012, with a list of achievable objectives. These ambitions reflect the diversity and dynamism of dance in our communities. They require our energy and attention to ensure that dance, as an artform and an enjoyable form of recreation for all, remains at the heart of Australian life.

    Dance in the National Cultural Policy

    Ausdance supported the development of Australia's National Cultural Policy. We believed it should not only deliver new ideas and strategies, but also reflect the ambitions of the Australian community (including those identified in Dance Plan 2012).

    It should respect and promote Indigenous perspectives, and encompass the cultural ambitions of our multicultural society. It should reflect and acknowledge the breadth of cultural activity and diversity, including professional excellence in artistic performance and education, community access and participation, and artists’ career development and sustainability.

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    National Advocates for Arts Education report—March 2017

    The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has had a very productive start to 2017, with the NAAE paper advocating for inclusion of the Arts in the STEM agenda being submitted to the Federal Government’s Inquiry into Innovation and Creativity: Workforce for the new economy. The paper was co-authored by John Saunders and Sandra Gattenhof (Drama Australia), with input from all other artform members of NAAE, including dance educators Jeff Meiners (SA) and Sue Fox (Qld).

    While most people only refer to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) when discussing innovation and creativity, the Arts are considered in many countries to be an essential element of an innovative economy, hence the increasing advocacy for STEAM in Australia. We note with real concern that the arts were not included in the Federal Government’s original National Innovation & Science Agenda, nor do most submissions to the current inquiry mention the Arts.

    However, strong submissions were made for a STEAM agenda by several prominent organisations, including the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG), the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), the Australian Copyright Council, and Arts Educators, Practitioners & Researchers Australia, as well as several universities.

    NAAE wants to bring together all those advocates for STEAM and develop a new strategy for increasing the voice of the Arts in this country’s innovation agenda.

    To keep up with current NAAE agendas and discussions about future activities, go to our NAAE Facebook page and join the conversation.

    Julie Dyson – Chair

    Ausdance advocacy report

    Ausdance National's dance sector advocacy update ​Ausdance National's new interim National Executive has formally appointed Ausdance National (volunteer) representatives to attend and speak for Ausdance at the following organisations and forums: ArtsPeak, National Advocates for Arts Education, World Dance Alliance and Tertiary Dance Council of Australia.

    VET FEE-HELP funding cuts—impact on professional dance training

    VET FEE-HELP funding cuts—impact on professional dance training—media release (246 KB PDF)

    Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham
    Minister for Education and Training
    PC Box 6100, Senate
    Parliament House
    Canberra ACT 2600

    Dear Minister,

    Ausdance is deeply concerned about your decision to include some of Australia's leading professional dance training courses in the crackdown on courses eligible for VET student loans.

    We are particularly concerned about the statement that these professional dance training courses are being subsidised because they are 'used simply to boost enrolments, or provide 'lifestyle' choices, but don't lead to work'.

    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.

    Challenging questions explored at Ausdance dance sector meetings

    Ausdance coordinated a meeting of eight representatives of the nationally funded dance companies with the CEO of the Australia Council and senior staff on 12 December 2015.

    The aim was multiple: to understand the further implications of the diversion of funds to the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (now Catalyst); to query the status of the vacant role of Chair of Dance, as an announcement had not been made about retaining this role; and to discuss the role of funding in sustaining the dance ecology so carefully developed over the past years.

    The diversion of funds does challenge the current number of nationally funded small to medium dance companies, and the announcement of funding or otherwise in April 2016 will reveal the extent of the loss. We note the recent departure of the Australia Council Director Dance Carin Mistry and thank her for many years of dedicated championing of professional dance. We congratulate the new Arts Practice Director, Dance, Adrian Burnett, and look forward to a similarly productive relationship.

    Other meetings attended include a teleconference with ArtsPeak; a teleconference convened by the MEAA at the request of freelance commercial dancers to consider minimum pay rates, which will result in a first-ever survey of this sector (think #paythedancers); and a teleconference to consult with youth theatre companies with the thought of learning for youth dance funding.

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