As Secretary of WDA Asia Pacific, I am preparing agendas and papers for the annual general meeting of WDA Asia Pacific, to be held in Adelaide on Wednesday 11 July. Ausdance National supports the WDA through publication of conference proceedings on the Ausdance website and I represent Ausdance through board membership of both the Global Executive and the Asia-Pacific region.
Following meetings in Canberra with politicians and the Secretary of the Department of Communications & the Arts in late February, the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has again focused on what it considers to be the flawed consultation process being undertaken by the NSW Education Syllabus Authority (NESA).
Ausdance National and the Australian Dance Awards selection panel and advisors are pleased to announce the 2018 Australian Dance Awards long list. Congratulations to all nominees.
It is with great excitement that on behalf of the Ausdance National Council, I am pleased to announce that the recruitment process for our new Executive Director has been completed, and this week we welcome Kerry Comerford to our Ausdance community! Kerry is an exceptionally experienced senior executive and CEO who has worked for more than 30 years across the global arts and entertainment industries.
The Australian Dance Council—Ausdance Inc, the national peak body for dance, is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director for Ausdance National.
Five Australian entertainment industry professionals attempt suicide every week. The time for change is now!
We need you, as an Australian entertainment industry professional, to share your thoughts surrounding the mental health needs of our industry people, how they should be supported and what are the most pressing issues.
International Dance Day is celebrated on the 29 April every year. Find out more about the day on the International Theatre Institutes's website.
This year the International Theatre Institute has selected five message authors to write a message—one from each of the five UNESCO Regions: Africa, the Americas, Arab Countries, Asia Pacific and Europe.
It’s been a very busy start to 2018 with quite a number of changes happening at Ausdance National!
Firstly, we ended our 40th year with a fabulous acknowledgment of the important work that Ausdance National undertakes, through critical funding support from the Australia Council for the Arts to assist in supporting the advancement of dance sector priorities. We are very grateful for the opportunity to appoint a new Executive Director to lead a refocused Ausdance National as a future enabler for the sector. We are currently in the final stages of the recruitment process, which has drawn strong applicants from across Australia and Internationally. The Board looks forward to completing this process very soon and actively supporting the incumbent in transitioning into the role.
The Ausdance Queensland Management Committee has announced their new executive director, Kate Usher. Kate is a vibrant and tenacious leader who brings to Ausdance Queensland a wealth of international and national connections to continue the growth, diversity and outstanding reputation of dance in Queensland.
Media release 27 February 2018
In meetings in Canberra yesterday with advisers from all political parties and senior staff from the federal education and arts departments, the National Advocates for Arts Education called for a rethinking of all political parties’ commitment to various key aspects of arts education, and made specific recommendations.
A delegation of members of the NAAE asserted yesterday that arts skills are at least as important as literacy and numeracy and should be prioritised alongside STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).
North Queensland based and nationally renowned dance company Dancenorth have been awarded the 2017 Sidney Myer Group Award
The winners of the prestigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were announced by Carrillo Gantner AO, Chair of the Sidney Myer Fund at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Australian Performing Arts Market on Wednesday 21 February 2018.
Congratulations to Lucette Aldous who has been made Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the Australia Day 2018 Honours List.
Lucette has been recognised with the nation’s highest honour for her eminent service to the performing arts, particularly to ballet, as a principal artist at the national and international level, to dance education, and as a mentor and role model for young performers.
Lucette received the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Dance Awards.
Ausdance National has received $64,860 from the Australia Council’s Arts Projects program to support the position of a new executive director who, in 2018, will work towards achieving outcomes that support identified sector priorities.
Under the leadership of a senior arts professional, and supported by a skills-based board, Ausdance National will advance prioritised national agendas across education, research, health, employment, and sector development.
As the end of the year draws closer, it has provided the opportunity to reflect on what a year 2017 has been for Ausdance National.
Firstly, we turned 40! It is incredible and humbling to reflect upon Ausdance National’s achievements over the past 40 years, including the huge number of people that have made significant contributions to supporting, advancing, promoting and celebrating the dance sector. While there were a number of key events and activities that assisted in celebrating this important milestone, a detailed outline of all these achievements can be found on the Ausdance National website.
Taipei National University of the Arts, 10–11 November 2017
There were some special moments at the Dance in Proximity conference, hosted in Taiwan by the Taipei National University of the Arts in November, and organised by a wonderful team of artists, choreographers and teachers, led by Yunyu Wang.
The NAAE has had another busy year advocating on behalf of all five arts subjects in the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. In 2017 we –
The Safe Dance Report IV: Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers, published today on the Ausdance National website, examines the Australian context and occurrence of injury in professional dancers and makes recommendations to support sustainable, healthy, and productive dancing careers.
A collaboration between The University of Sydney and Ausdance National, Safe Dance IV is the fourth in a series of Safe Dance research projects. It continues the important work started by Ausdance National almost 30 years ago.
The survey of 195 Australian professional dancers found 97% experienced at least one significant injury in their dance career, compared with 89% in 1999. And 73% of dancers reported experiencing a dance-related injury in the past 12 months.
Author and lead researcher Amy Jo Vassallo, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Sydney, said the consequences of these injuries can be quite substantial and include missed performance opportunities and income, ongoing pain and disability, and expensive treatment including surgery. Serious injuries can even lead to early retirement from dance careers and lifelong disability.
‘The proportion of dancers reporting fatigue as a contributing factor to their injury has increased from 26% in 1990 and 33% in 1999 to 48% in 2017’ she said.
‘However, compared with previous Safe Dance survey results, fewer dancers reported poor technique or environment as a contributor to their injury. This demonstrates the benefits of education, policies and interventions regarding safe dancing practice for dancers and teachers at all stages of a dance career, including early teaching and pre-professional training’.
Ausdance National President, Professor Gene Moyle, said the Safe Dance Report IV continues an important lineage for the Australian dance community. Hearing the words “safe dance practice” being so much a part of our language and approach within the dance sector today is a testament to the impact and contribution of the collective Safe Dance reports within our industry.
Recommendations have outlined that access to dance-educated or dance-specialised healthcare services is essential; addressing the cultural aspects of injury reporting is critical; and that a better acknowledgement of the psychological and psychosocial aspects of injury is required.
Survey respondents’ employment as a dance performer was most commonly with a dance company (66%) or as an independent dance artist (38%).
Injuries remain common in professional dance, with 73% of professional dancers reporting experiencing an injury in the past 12 months. The most common site of injury was the ankle (26%), followed by the knee (11%) and hip (10%).
The most common injury type was a strain (25%), followed by chronic inflammation (19%) and a sprain (18%).
There was one accidental or traumatic injury for every two overuse or gradual injuries. The most common responses regarding the self-reported contributor to injury were fatigue (48%), followed by new or difficult choreography (39%) and ignoring early warning signs (31%).
Despite 62% of respondents reporting belief that there is still stigma associated with sustaining injuries as a professional dancer, 75% of dancers did say they would seek professional opinion if they suspected an injury. However, only 50% stated they would tell someone within their dance employment and 49% said they would also take their own preventative steps to manage their injury.
Despite seeing a clinician for treatment of their injury, 40% of dancers whose injury was currently unresolved were unsure if their injury would resolve in the foreseeable future. This indicates that many dancers need to be provided with improved and realistic expectations of their injury, capacity to dance during their injury and likely return to full dance ability.
For interview contact:
Amy Vassallo | PhD Candidate
Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Sydney
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 02 9351 9010 and 02 9351 9108
Professor Gene Moyle ARAD MAPS MCSEP GAICD SFHEA
Ausdance National Council – Ausdance Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 7 3138 3616
Download Safe Dance Report IV media release
WDA Asia Pacific will elect a new Executive Board and regional Vice Presidents at its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 11 November in Taipei. Nominations were called for several weeks ago, and the AGM agenda circulated.
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.