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National Advocates For Arts Education May 2017 update

by Julie Dyson, Chair

NAAE is coordinating the publication of a new edition of its highly successful More Than Words Can Say – a View of Literacy Through the Arts, last updated in 2003. This has meant re-engaging with the original authors and commissioning a new Foreword. We’re delighted to announce that this will be written by arts educator Professor Robyn Ewing AM of the University of Sydney, author of the influential research paper The Arts and Australian Education: Realising potential.

The dance chapter has been revised by Sue Fox, Principal Education Officer (Dance & Drama) at the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (and an NAAE member), with support from the original author, Ralph Buck. We look forward to publishing the completed edition with all arts forms later this year.

In the meantime NAAE is in the process of setting up a meeting in June with the Ministry for the Arts in Canberra to explore the possibility of bringing together some of Australia’s leading STEAM advocates. We recognise that there is good work currently being done across Australia to have the Arts included in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) agenda, but we think it would be beneficial to come together to map some combined advocacy strategies.

Also on the NAAE’s radar is sharing information with the new Labor for the Arts group, which we note has indicated a strong interest in arts education. We have proposed a meeting to introduce the NAAE and its work, and to find out more about this group’s aspirations. The group was launched in March by Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke, followed by a panel discussion with industry leaders discussing cultural diversity in the arts. You can learn more from their Facebook page. In the meantime, NAAE maintains its policy of advocating for arts education to all political parties and politicians in Canberra, and we look forward to further meetings in Canberra soon.

Finally, we congratulate NAAE member John Saunders, President of Drama Australia and Education Manager at Sydney Theatre Company for his new publication (with Prof. Ewing) The School Drama Book: Drama, Literature and Literacy in the Creative Classroom. John has also written a very interesting article, Drama in the Australian national curriculum – the role of advocacy, which documents the role of advocacy in the arts, and includes the influence of NAAE in the development of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts. John will also represent NAAE at a Labor for the Arts education and the arts forum to be held on Saturday 29 July at the Sydney Town Hall. 

Ausdance Educators Queensland Conference 2017

Ausdance Educators Queensland (AEQ) is a voluntary group of dance teachers who work across primary, middle and senior secondary schools, from the independent, Catholic and state sectors. Collectively they form a strong support base for Queensland’s teachers of dance in schools. These teachers also represent Queensland’s teachers at national dance education meetings and forums.

The AEQ hosts workshops and meets to discuss current issues. They want to hear from you about your ideas and needs so join their Facebook group.

  • Dates: Friday 5 May – Saturday 6 May 
  • Location: Queensland Ballet studios at the Thomas Dixon Centre in West End, Brisbane.

The conference will have professional development opportunities for primary and secondary dance generalists and specialists.

For conference program and registration, visit Ausdance Queensland.

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 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.

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.

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).

Ausdance National faces challenge

13 May 2016 media release

The Australian Dance Council—Ausdance congratulates the 12 dance organisations which were successful in the four-year funding announcements by the Australia Council. There is a solid core of highly creative, inspiring and highly productive organisations to create and tour dance around Australia and overseas.

Regrettably, the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance Inc (Ausdance National) finds itself amongst the 62 previously funded organisations that have not been successful. Ausdance National has been notified by the Australia Council that it will not receive operational funding beyond 31 December this year. This brings to an end many years of operational support for the work of Ausdance National.

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

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

Single tickets on sale for Arts Learning Forum opening reception and keynote

Opening reception and keynote by Katherine Zeserson (UK)—Single tickets on sale

We are releasing extra tickets to the opening reception of the Arts Learning Forum featuring international arts learning champion Katherine Zeserson and followed by a reception by the Maribyrnong River. This opportunity to hear Katherine Zeserson, Uncle Larry Walsh and Tony Grybowski, CEO of the Australia Council is open to anyone interested in arts learning: from tour guides to marketers, educators and CEOs, funding partners and board members. Bring a colleague!

  • Time: 3.30 pm registration for 4.00 pm start
  • Date: Wednesday 25 November
  • Single tickets price for Opening function: $40 available online

The Arts Learning Forum program is a three-day event for arts professionals with a role or interest in arts education, learning or engagement across all art forms, ages and communities. Delegates will exchange insights, practices and creative ideas and be inspired by Australian and international leaders including Katherine Zeserson (UK), Anna Cutler Director of Learning from the Tate in London, and Deborah Cheetham Artistic Director of Short Black Opera Company.

NAAE welcomes final endorsement of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) welcomes the endorsement of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts by the Australian Education Council, and the release this week of the updated Australian Curriculum website (version 8.0).

The NAAE, which represents the five art forms included as separate subjects in the curriculum, has been campaigning for seven years on behalf of arts educators across the country. The Arts were not initially included in the national curriculum at all, and this week therefore marks a significant occasion, when The Arts are not only in the curriculum, but they include all five art forms: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and the Visual Arts.

NAAE welcomes ACARA’s response to the Review of the Australian Curriculum, which had recommended a reduction of the Arts curriculum from five arts subject to two. In response to the review's concerns about the 'crowded curriculum', ACARA has introduced optional, single learning area achievement standards for The Arts, while keeping existing subject specific achievement standards as an alternative (NAAE's preferred option). There will be no changes to content descriptions.

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts has already received international recognition as a leader in 21st Century curriculum. Australia is in the unique position of having an Arts curriculum that provides sequential development for each art form, achieving language cohesion without homogenisation, and using appropriately more specialised language in the secondary years. The curriculum provides teachers with information for implementation support across the five art forms.

However, NAAE recognises that schools and teachers have flexibility to make decisions about how they teach the curriculum in accordance with the needs of their students, the requirements of their school and local curriculum authorities. We will continue to work on advocacy and implementation issues as the curriculum is rolled out across the country.

Download the media release. (550 KB PDF)

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.

Adoption of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

Today the Education Council endorsed the Australian Curriculum in eight learning areas, INCLUDING THE ARTS! Congratulations to all our NAAE colleagues, to Linda Lorenza, and to all the wonderful teachers out there who supported the consultation process and contributed their expert knowledge to the writing of the curriculum. What a fabulous outcome for the Arts and for Australian students everywhere!

Adoption of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts by Australian education Ministers is an exciting development, especially after the Pyne review recommended that five art forms in the draft curriculum be reduced to two. However, in response to the review's concerns about the 'crowded curriculum', ACARA has introduced optional, single learning area achievement standards for The Arts, while keeping existing subject-specific achievement standards as an alternative (NAAE's preferred option). There will be no changes to content descriptions. Version 8.0 of the curriculum will be available on ACARA's website from 18 October.

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.

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.

Why the arts curriculum review recommendations should be rejected!

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne commissioned the Review of the Australian Curriculum earlier this year and its recommendations were recently made public. The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) have concerns about the recommendations that relate to The Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

Today the NAAE sent letters to the federal, state and territory education ministers asking them to reject these recommendations when they meet with Minister Pyne in December to consider the Review. Here is the NAAE's letter and detailed responses to each of the Review’s recommendations (see appendix).

The National Advocates for Arts Education believe that, after an extremely rigorous development and writing process by ACARA, in consultation with teachers and the arts industry, we have achieved a well-written and well-researched national arts curriculum that has been endorsed across the teaching and practice professions. The Australian Curriculum: the Arts was endorsed by state and territory Education Ministers in July 2013 (subject to resolution of some matters raised by one state). We are concerned the Review’s recommended changes would severely compromise a curriculum that has taken four years of careful work to produce.

The Arts curriculum must be allowed to follow ACARA’s evaluation process after being properly implemented by classroom teachers. All curriculum is reviewed and refined over time; however it is only after implementation and with consultation that this process should occur. Notably, most state and territory jurisdictions have already begun to seriously invest in the implementation of the Arts curriculum, and we do not believe that the recommendation to rewrite it has been justified.

Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers

This book on Australian contemporary dance focuses specifically on innovative choreographers, concentrating on a work by each with an accessible interview and an insightful essay by a leading dance writer. It is ideal for dance practitioners, students and researchers as well as seasoned dance audiences.

Beautifully designed and affordably priced, the book includes superb images of the dance works taken by Australia's best dance photographers.

Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers features a generation of award-winning Australian choreographers with international reputations and legacies of influence: Kate Champion, Rosallnd Crisp, Tess De Quincey, Russell Dumas, Lucy Guerin, Sue Healey, Helen Herbertson, Gideon Obarzanek, Stephen Page, Garry Stewart, Meryl Tankard and Ros Warby.

The field of innovative dance in Australia is vibrant and diverse. With their extensive background as writers in the field, the aditors have created a collection of essays that offers a lucid account of a wide range of experimental dance work and conveys some of the excitement it generates in live performance.

—Jane Goodall, Adunct Professor, The University of Western Sydney.

Editors: Erin Brannigan, Senior Lecturer in Dance, School of Arts and Media, UNSW and Virginia Baxter, Managing Editor, RealTime.
Publishers: RealTime and Wakefield Press. RRP: $34.95

The RealTimeDance archive [1994-present] features a range of interviews, articles, reviews, video excerpts and links about the body of work of each of the twelve choreographers featured in this book, as well as providing information about those works and others which are available online or as DVDs or for loan. Visit the Dance Archive on the RealTime website to find out more. 

The National Advocates for Arts Education respond to the Review of the Australian Curriculum

Media Release

The future of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts
A response to the Review of the Australian Curriculum, October 2014
(550 kb PDF)

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) acknowledge the Review of the Australian Curriculum – Final Report (pp.213–220) and welcome its general statements about the value of the arts in formal school education. The NAAE also welcomes the report’s emphasis on the need for greater teacher professional development in the arts.

However, we consider this review to be premature. There has been little opportunity to test the five arts subjects in the classroom, and, as we noted in our submission to the review, we ‘strongly urge the review panel to enable the Australian Curriculum: The Arts to be implemented in its present form, allowing processes of refinement to be managed by classroom teachers. It is a living document that can be refined by expert arts educators as it unfolds across the country’. Teachers need to implement, test and reflect on the current well-developed arts curricula and NAAE rejects the recommendation that ‘the content of each of the arts forms needs to be restructured and re-sequenced along the lines suggested by the (two) subject matter specialists employed by this review’.

Ministers agree about the importance of arts education

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) continue their work to ensure the entitlement of every young Australian to an arts education, one that includes all five artforms—dance, drama, media arts, music and the visual arts.

In August representative of NAAE met in Brisbane progressing discussion on the role of the Minister for Arts, working with the Minister for Education, to support arts education. NAAE was pleased to hear that there had been agreement between Ministerial offices about the importance of arts education, and the centrality of the arts to a liberal education.

The meeting noted NAAE’s support for Minister Brandis’s statement about ‘taking the arts to a new place of creative excellence’.

Read the full statement from NAAE.

Sydney Dance Company Heritage Collection

SDC is excited to announce that work has commenced on the editing and digitising of film and video recordings of some of the major works created by long-standing former Artistic Director, Graeme Murphy AO and his Creative Associate, Janet Vernon AM. 

Image: Salome, 1998 Choreography: Graeme Murphy. Dancers: Josef Brown, Tracey Carrodus and Bradley Chatfield. Photo: Lois Greenfield

 

The Heritage Collection will include re-mastered films of many works created by Murphy on the Sydney Dance Company ensemble during his 31 year tenure from 1976–2007, in addition to a new documentary resource of Murphy in conversation, interweaving a myriad of interviews filmed over a period of three decades, with new footage in which he reflects on his body of work.

A free screening of a selection of works from the Collection is being planned for October. For a sneak peek, check out this teaser.  

Download the full Media Release for more information.

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