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    Recommendations arising from the Safe Dance IV research project

    In professional dance, as with all physical and athletic endeavours, there will always be a realistic expectation of some musculoskeletal complaints. The information gathered through the Safe Dance research studies develops a better understanding of the changing profile of professional dancers in Australia and their experience of injury. The findings can be used to assist in the tailoring and evaluation of evidence based injury prevention initiatives with the long-term goal of safely sustaining dancers in their professional dance careers for as long as they choose.

    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 November 2017 update

    Since our last report, NAAE has been engaged in meetings and correspondence with the NSW Education Minister, Mr Rob Stokes, and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) about the development of a new Creative Arts syllabus in NSW.

    NAAE’s concerns about the new syllabus centre around the exclusion of Media Arts as a discrete subject in the arts curriculum. In its meetings with NESA staff and in a letter to Mr Stokes, NAAE made several points about the essential role of Media Arts in a 21st Century curriculum:

    • The exclusion of Media Arts means that NSW students are being denied the opportunity available to every student in every other educational jurisdiction in the country to engage with 21st Century media, art forms and learning. The NESA Creative Arts draft directions provide a very mid to late 20th Century approach, setting directions that are limiting rather than enabling.
    • The notion of Media (Arts) being taught across the curriculum is fine as a tool to assist learning in other subject areas, but it denies the existence of Media Arts as a separate but equal art form. This ad hoc approach means it will not be taught at all or it will be covered inadequately, denying Media Arts practice as a discrete art form. Other jurisdictions have found with other subjects that ‘everywhere across the curriculum’ actually means nowhere. 

    NAAE also made a submission to the Gonski Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, authored by lead writers Sandra Gattenhof and John Saunders (Drama Australia). In an eight-page submission we recommended:

    • The full implementation of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts in all states and territories in Australia, across the primary and secondary years of schooling.
    • Increased professional learning opportunities across the five Arts subjects (Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts) in primary schools to support teachers to effectively teach The Arts and improve student academic and non-academic outcomes in Arts and non-Arts areas.
    • Increased time allocated in pre-service teacher training for primary teachers to gain further expertise in teaching The Arts.

    National Advocates for Arts Education October update

    The NAAE will have its next meeting on 11 December, but NSW reps will in the meantime be meeting with NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to discuss concerns about the way in which the Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus is being rewritten, and about the exclusion of Media Arts from the NSW curriculum, despite agreement by all Australian governments to adopt the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. It’s clear that NSW’s options clearly do not represent the agreement endorsed at COAG (which included the NSW Education Minister). (Minister’s response [PDF 2.9MB]

    In the meantime NAAE member Sandra Gattenhoff will be attending an open forum in Brisbane with Arts Minister Mitch Fifield on Thursday 21 November. We hope there will be an opportunity for Sandra to ask whether the Minister would be willing to receive a proposal to fund an inquiry similar to Arts Council England’s Commission to explore the benefits of arts for children.

    NAAE has also supported the development of the WA Play Strategy for Early Childhood Australia, as requested by Sandra Hesterman of the Early Childhood Association WA.

    Finally, I was a keynote speaker about arts leadership at the Drama Australia Symposium Creative Capital, in conversation with Dr Anita Collins on 30 September in Canberra.

    National Dance Forum 2017: Dance in the Digital Domain

    MEDIA RELEASE (84Kb PDF)

    Tuesday 22 August 2017
    For immediate release

    Australia’s peak dance organisation, Ausdance National, will host a two-day forum next month bringing together dance makers, producers and presenters for a highly topical forum focusing on the future of dance within the digital domain. The National Dance Forum is Australia’s key platform for dance artists, industry professionals and educators in providing rich opportunities to discuss, debate and collaborate with some of the most influential individuals and organisations in the country.

    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.
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