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    Child safe dance practices

    Children have a fundamental right to be safe while involved in dance, sport or associated activities and teachers need to be aware of their legal obligations.

    Safe Dance ® practice

    These Safe Dance ® practice guidelines include how to set up a safe learning environment, what makes a practice or performance venue safe, the importance of cater for physical different bodies and abilities, how movements might impact on the body, and simple injury prevention and management strategies.

    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.

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    Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship

    The biennial Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship supports international travel and experiences by emerging choreographers (under 40 years) across any dance genre.

    Support Ausdance National with a tax-deductible donation

    The Australian Dance Council—Ausdance has for nearly forty years led, inspired, supported and informed the Australian dance community.

    Now we need your support to continue this work. All donations to Ausdance National above $2 are tax deductible.

    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.

    2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts

    The Commonwealth Budget 2015–16 announced major changes to arts funding. With funds cut from the Australia Council, the Federal Minister for Arts established the National Program for Excellence in the Arts. This led to reduced funding programs across the professional dance sector, increased uncertainty about the sustainability of artists' careers, and the potential loss of arms’ length funding and genuine peer assessment. 

    We are working with our members and ArtsPeak to contribute policy direction and provide advice.

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    Publications View all

    Australian guidelines for teaching dance

    The Australian guidelines for teaching dance outlines codes of ethical and professional behaviour and emphasises the importance of safe dance practice and teaching methodology.

    We designed it to help dance teachers and students by providing minimum standards, and by suggesting ways teachers can maintain or upgrade their teaching skills. Parents can use the Guidelines  to help choose a dancing school or group for their children.

    Ausdance National newsletter

    Published every two months, and themed around an event or popular dance topic, our email newsletter reflects on professional dance practice and shares ways for you to get involved.

    Dancehouse Diary

    The Dancehouse Diary aims to bring the independent dance makers’ thinking to wider audiences. It aims at developing rigorous content around their work and triggering new perspectives and connections around their research. It is a catalyst for provoking critical thinking, discourse and a poetic vision of dance and other related arts forms. It is Dancehouse’s mission to cultivate access and appreciation of this art form and for that, the Diary is a less ephemeral and a more in-­depth attempt to make those connections.

    Safe Dance® fact sheets

    Information to help teachers make sure that students are dancing safely and responsibly.

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    News / Blog / Press Releases / Events View all

    Harlequin Floors continues to support the Australian dance community

    Ausdance National is pleased to announce the continued support of Harlequin Floors as Principal Sponsor of the Australian Dance Awards (ADAs).

    World leaders in advanced flooring technology for dance and the performing arts, Harlequin Floors supports (literally) thousands of Ausdance members on a daily basis.

    Mark Rasmussen, Head of Industry Relations for Harlequin Floors said, ‘Every year, the Australian Dance Awards act as a showcase for the amazing breadth of work produced in Australia from exquisitely produced classical to the most exciting experimental. Such work deserves to be celebrated and so it is with much pride that 2018 marks eight years that Harlequin Floors has supported its friends at Ausdance in the presentation of these awards, seven of those as its main sponsor’.

    The ADAs will be held at the Brisbane Powerhouse on 8 September 2018 and Mr Rasmussen will present the Outstanding Performance by a Company Award. This award acknowledges excellence in performance and production in any dance style or genre. 

    This year’s nominees are Co3 for The Zone, Dancenorth for Attractor, STRUT Dance for William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, Reproduced and Queensland Ballet for Raw (triple bill): No Man’s Land, Glass Concerto and Ghost Dances.

    Harlequin Floors have been working closely with the dance community for many years to develop a range of floors suitable for all forms of dance. As the world leader in advanced technology flooring for dance and the performing arts, they work hard to develop floors that reduce dancer injury through collaboration with the dance and medical industries. Trust and innovation are at the heart of everything they do.

    Harlequin's experience and reputation are founded on the manufacture and supply of a range of high quality portable and permanent sprung and vinyl floors and ballet barres for dance studios and performance spaces. 

    For further media information, images and information please contact:

    Cinnamon Watson Publicity
    0432 219 643

    Book tickets to the Australian Dance Awards.

    Fatigue identified as major contributor to injury in Australia’s professional dancers

    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.

    Key findings

    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
    President
    Ausdance National Council – Ausdance Inc.
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: +61 7 3138 3616

    Download Safe Dance Report IV media release

    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.

    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.

    ArtsPeak update

    Ongoing work

    As well as recovering from the ArtsPeak National Arts Election Debate six months ago, there has been ongoing work: following up with the Australia Council on the Service Organisations Scan (complete, to be released by the Australia Council in the first quarter of 2017); advocating for the arts courses that will be affected by the VET student loans proposal (ongoing); and continuing to voice the sector’s concerns about the impact of the 2015 budget changes. The Executive has also played a part in Arts Front, and is currently monitoring (with great interest) the new initiative for a Myer, Tim Fairfax Family and Keir Foundations cultural think tank.

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