Resourcing teachers to deliver dance in the Australian Curriculum

We are working to ensure that the new dance curriculum (now part of the Australian curriculum) is high quality, provides every Australian child with a sequential and developmental dance experience, and that teachers are well resourced to teach it. We will help dance educators and students by highlighting successful teaching models and best practice, and give teachers the support they need to run a successful dance program.

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The National Advocates for Arts Education is lobbying the Government to provide additional resources to support the implementation of the Australian Curriculum. Dance now has equal status with other art forms in the curriculum and needs resources to match the more traditional art forms like visual arts and music.

What does the curriculum need?

The dance curriculum will need primary school teachers who understand the principles of dance and who can introduce young people to creative expression through dance. Teachers will need basic training in movement skills, safe dance practice and appreciation.

We know that not many primary school teachers have these skills and that delivering dance to every child will be challenging for teachers and schools. Dance in secondary schools is more specialised, and more high-level teacher training will be needed if dance is to be a widely accessible art form in all secondary schools. To make this work, we need:

  • Dance education included in primary teacher training courses.
  • More secondary dance specialists trained by our tertiary institutions.
  • Artists trained to work alongside teachers in schools
  • Ongoing professional development for all teachers, but particularly for those in regional and remote communities.
  • Research into the potential of the National Broadband Network (NBN) to deliver professional development.
  • Dance companies funded to develop more education programs.
  • Better access for teachers to artists-in-schools programs.

What can you do?

Write to the Minister for Education and Training (Hon Simon Birmingham MP) at Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600. Encourage the Minister to provide more support for teacher training in each of the five art forms (including dance). Tell them that as dance is now a valued part of every person’s education that offers creative, healthy and stimulating experiences for all Australians throughout their lives, dance education needs to properly resourced.

Visit your school principal and offer to support a dance program.

You could:

  • Offer to work with teachers to develop their own programs (if you are suitably qualified).
  • Identify a dance artist to work with teachers in the school.
  • If there is a qualified dance educator in a local high school, suggest that a cluster of primary schools work with him or her on a primary school dance program.
  • If you are an artist who wants to work in schools, complete the Ausdance skill set for Teaching Dance.
  • Suggest that the school offer the Active After-school Communities dance module.
  • Identify local dance schools in your area that may want to offer additional specialised training for gifted and talented students.

We want to hear from you! Keep us informed about your activities—sharing successes and ideas can only strengthen the voice for dance.

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Comment on this section
kymberlie shepherd avatar

kymberlie shepherd commented on

I am a Secondary and Primary Dance Teacher who will be returning to the Gold Coast in 2012, and the above mentioned re dance, the curriculum and implementation is what I am about. I am hoping to make an impact in either the primary sector or secondary sector and hope that more resources become available. If there is anything in particuluar you could send or keep me informed of any upcoming jobs that would be greatly appreciated.

Yours truly
Kym Shepherd

Lyndell Farmer-Smith avatar

Lyndell Farmer-Smith commented on

I am a qualified dance teacher with Australian Teachers of Dancing (ATOD) in both Jazz and Tap and a Activer After Schol Coach with the Australian Sports Commission.  I have been teaching dance for over 20 years in my own studio. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary) through Open Universities Australia and I am eager to be involved with the new curriculum in delivering authentic creative arts lessons to primary students. I am located in the Illawarra Region (NSW) and would be interested in developing a dance program with a local school while I finish my studies. I am happy for my contact information to be shared with local schools that are interested in implementing a dance program for their students. please keep me up to date with current development.

Julie Dyson avatar

Julie Dyson commented on

Thank you Kym and Lyndell for your comments (and apologies for taking so long to respond). We’ve taken note of your contact details and have added you to our list of dance educators who are wanting to receive regular information.

Our new CEO is Roslyn Dundas, and she will be taking over my role in January. In the meantime, please feel free to email me if there is specific information we can help with before then.

Jenna Claire avatar

Jenna Claire commented on

I am an Accredited Primary School Teacher and ex Dance Teacher. I am in the process of creating a Dance Program for NSW Primary Schools. I would love to receive any information from the Australian Curriculum that could assist me with this.

Kind regards,


Amy Morrison avatar

Amy Morrison commented on

We are currently operating in primary schools and would like to receive any information on primary school dance. We are also interested in any of your training, and anything further that can keep us up to date and furthering our skills and knowledge.
Thank you so much.
Amy Morrison

Deb Davie avatar

Deb Davie commented on

I am an experienced dance teacher, having managed my private dance school for twenty years.  I also hold Early Childhood, Primary and Special Education qualifications.
Please email me with latest Australian Curriculum updates for dance and drama.
Thank you very much.

Greg Player avatar

Greg Player commented on

I have been teaching dance in a fix term position with WEST MORLEY PRIMARY for the past 4 years with great successes. Implementing dance programs varying from bush dance, hip hop, zumba, ballroom, swing, bokwa, creative. I welcome any networking or contact from others out there to make this performing arts genre a significant addition to the curriculum.

Natasha Pettersson avatar

Natasha Pettersson commented on

I am an experienced Dance/Drama teacher. I have recently returned from teaching in London for the past 8 years as a Dance specialist. Teaching the UK National curriculum and two examinable dance subjects at senior level- GCSE Dance and A Level Dance. I am very interested in this article and Dance becoming part of the new Australian National Curriculum. I am planning to move to the gold coast this coming year (2014) to hopefully secure a position in a secondary or primary school. To share my knowledge and experiences. Please could you add me to the list of dance educators. I would be interested in networking with Kylie Shephard, after reading her comment and also based on the Gold Coast. Many thanks.

Michelle Bosiljevac avatar

Michelle Bosiljevac commented on

I have established Dance programs in 2 high school and have recently returned to teaching. The school I am at is very keen to establish a Dance program to run in conjunction with the Drama program. I am very keen to receive any guidance as to the next steps and any professional development that may be offered to assist with this.
Many thanks,

Megan Kennedy  avatar

Megan Kennedy commented on

Hi, I am head of dance in a secondary school in London and looking to move out to Australia in the next 6 months. I wondered if anyone could give me more information on what is taught at secondary school in Australia? Do you teach gcse dance and gcse Pe? Will there be dance jobs advertised within schools there as they are here? Thanks for any info. Megan

Rachael Jennings@Ausdance avatar

Rachael [email protected] commented on

Hi Megan. You can learn more about dance in the Australian Curriculum: The Arts here: