Teaching dance

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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.

    Booting the tutu: teachers and dance in the classroom

    Ralph Buck (National Institute for Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland) focuses on how we might develop sustainable dance education practice in the primary school classroom. He emphasises the importance of changing perceptions about dance in terms of the associations with femininity, ability, performance, mastery of skill and elitism.

    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.

    Effective dance teaching methods

    A checklist of skills, knowledge, considerations and practices that form the basis of good teaching methodology. Some are generic and apply to good teachers of any discipline, while others are specific to dance and artistic instruction.

    Parents’ code of behaviour

    The code of behaviour for parents is intended to support you to reassure your child that dance is for enjoyment and that they are loved for themselves rather than for their achievements.

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    Dance part of every young person’s education!

    Participating in dance provides creative, healthy and stimulating experiences for young Australians. Dance is now a part of the Australian Curriculm which means every young person will have the opportunity to experience dance. This offers huge potential for developing creativity and innovation across the curriculum.

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    Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers

    Australia is at the forefront of dance injury epidemiology efforts; the Safe Dance Project Report on dance injury prevention and management in the Australian dance profession, known as Safe Dance®, was launched almost 30 years ago. It was the first study of its kind conducted in Australia and showed an alarming prevalence of both chronic and acute injuries in Australian dancers. These findings led to a variety of recommendations and initiatives, including a recommendation to repeat the Safe Dance study regularly to evaluate the effect of these initiatives and provide further insight into dancer health and wellbeing.

    Dance in the Australian Curriculum

    With the arts now part of the Australian Curriculum, we continue to promote dance as a key artform in alongside music, visual arts, drama and media arts.

    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.

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    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.

    Dance, young people and change

    Dance, Young People and Change brought together young people, parents, educators and others from around the world to share and consider the role of dance in young people’s lives. It provided critical evaluation and reflection on approaches to dance learning, teaching and curriculum for young people and offered opportunities to critique the relevance of dance for young people within education and community contexts.

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    National Advocates for Arts Education—November 2018 update

    The NAAE met in Sydney in September at the offices of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to have discussions with Arts Curriculum Specialist Helen Champion and Director of Curriculum, Janet Davy.

    Helen noted that ACARA was about to release Arts Learning Area advice to support the National Literacy and Numeracy progressions and that ACARA was starting to think generally about what learning progressions looked like in different learning areas; for example, what it means to progress in learning in the arts.

    Helen gave NAAE members a thorough briefing of current ACARA thinking, and requested feedback from member associations. At this point ACARA has no plans to develop an Arts Curriculum for Senior Secondary (Years 11 & 12).

    Janet Davy said that ACARA’s approved work plan from the Education Council included providing advice to ministers at the end of 2019 on options for the refinement of the Australian Curriculum. To inform that advice ACARA has established a research program that includes comparative studies with other countries.

    NAAE noted that members are looking to get something substantial and meaningful out of the research so we know what's actually going on in schools. We also need to know more about the emerging challenges, and the learnings that students are gaining. There is not a critical mass of data about student outcomes and teaching populations, which is a real missing link. Janet said that ACARA would be happy to support research led by the professions.

    After much discussion it was agreed to continue to work with ACARA on a range of issues, and to share information in support of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

    NAAE discussed the urgent need for a research project that included impact, review and evaluation of implementation of all five art forms, socio economic factors in public and independent schools etc. with particular emphasis on primary education. We need qualitative and quantitative data on the number of students and teachers, and case studies related to examples of implementation, e.g. how many of the five art forms are being implemented?

    It was agreed that such research should be considered in the context of a new strategic plan for NAAE, to be developed late in 2018 or early in 2019. This process would also include a review of the NAAE constitution.

    The rewriting of the NSW Arts curriculum was discussed, following a meeting by key NAAE members with Prof. Geoff Masters, who is leading the review of the NSW curriculum. Earlier in the year NAAE had also met with the NSW Education Minister, the Hon. Rob Stokes to express major concerns about the direction of the Arts curriculum.

    Following these meetings, each state association had been invited to bilateral meetings with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to discuss individual concerns, followed by group meetings with representatives from each of the state associations.

    The meetings were positive and productive and the state associations worked with NESA to find common ground and an agreed way forward. We understand that significant changes have been made to the Arts curriculum that reflect the consensus found during the targeted consultation meetings, and NAAE has written to Minister Stokes to thank him for his intervention.

    NAAE is also in the process of making a submission to the review of the NSW School Curriculum.

    Report by Julie Dyson, Chair

    Dance in Proximity: World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific Conference & AGM

    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.

    dancer spinningMunguntsetseg Munkhbadrakh demonstrating traditional Mongolian dance movements during the Cross-cultural Dance Education session. Photo Julie Dyson

    ArtsPeak update October 2017

    The ArtsPeak executive is currently exploring possible restructuring and support for the new privately-funded arts advocacy team formed by the Myer Foundation, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and the Keir Foundation’s program called A New Approach. The foundation recently announced that the Australian Academy of the Humanities and Newgate Communications have been engaged to deliver the program, and that the foundation will provide $1.65m to establish the lobby group to ‘defend and promote the benefit of intellectual and creative life’.

    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.

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