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“UK GOVERNMENT AND HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS MUST DEMONSTRATE AND COMMIT SUPPORT AND PUBLICLY RECOGNISE DANCE’S VALUE AND IMPORTANCE.”
One Dance UK (the National Support Organisation and Subject Association for Dance) has announced the publication of a new report, ‘Taking it Higher’, outlining worrying trends and concerns in higher dance education, following a flurry of recent dance HE course closures at several high-profile institutions.
‘Taking it Higher’ follows on from their 2021 report ‘Everything We Loved About Dance Was Taken’, which highlighted the catastrophic decline of dance education in the UK at primary, secondary, and Further Education (FE) levels, and shows the impact of the decline of access to dance education now being felt at Higher Education (HE) level.
Some key findings from the report include:
*Respondents were able to select multiple answers
Respondents to the survey additionally stated: “Courses are fighting to survive one year at a time, staff are weary and made to feel like they are failing in their roles when the reality is that it is part of a wider demise of dance at HE level “ and “…dance educators and support staff in HE settings are overworked and at their limit of sustainability”.
Chief Executive of One Dance UK, Andrew Hurst MBE says of the findings: “This latest research adds to an already worrying picture of the state of dance in education in the UK. Despite the plethora of health and wellbeing benefits that come from studying and participating in dance, we are faced with a crisis that if not tackled, could lead to dance being pushed out of education entirely. As a country that prides itself on producing and showcasing our world-leading performing arts, it would seem logical for access to dance and arts education more broadly to be a strategic national priority. The UK needs a strong and secure dance talent pipeline that is accessible to all, along with a cultural shift in thinking about the positive impact of dance on society as a whole. We are calling on the UK Government and HE institutions to show their support for dance and recognise the positive impact that it makes to the UK economy, and wider society, as well as the health and wellbeing of the general population.”
The report, which is available to read online, also outlines a series of recommendations for UK Government and the devolved administrations, educational institutions, and school and college leaders to follow to help tackle the ongoing crisis.
You can read the full report here: https://issuu.com/onedanceuk/docs/he_report