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GCSE Dance Entries are 7% down on 2021, 48% down since 2010. ‘A’ Level Dance entries are the same as 2021, 47% down since 2010. It’s a similar picture across all the Creative subjects but at ‘A’ Level in particular, dance is declining at almost twice the rate of Creative subjects as a whole (47% decline since 2010 vs 28%). This fact needs singling out to emphasise the alarming state of the dance industry and a call-to-action amongst policy-makers.
Adam Holloway, director at Cheshire Dance has commented: “I’m sure you can recall a mesmerising dancer or performance you’ve seen, or a similarly transformative experience of dancing yourself or perhaps a young person you’ve witnessed. With fewer than 1,200 young people starting a dance ‘A’ Level across the whole of England this September, the knock-on effect at Higher Education level sees more and more degree-level courses and dance departments disappearing. The foundations of the entire dance industry are in ruins, bombed out by a narrow-minded and regressive Education policy!”
“We need a vision to support our young people that genuinely recognises the cultural, social, health and artistic learning potential of Dance; a vision that starts with the fundamentals of physical and brain development in early years, dance’s contribution to physical and mental health and wellbeing amongst young people and the entire population – particularly in this post-pandemic era – its transformative role over the last 10 years in the rise of outdoor festivals and town centre revival, as well as the critical career platform for nextgen dancers, choreographers and the entire dance workforce.”
“Every child and young person in this country should have access to a progressive, post-colonial 3-18 Dance curriculum. AND, as obvious as it sounds (but so often not the case), it needs to be taught by teachers who actually have a dance training themselves.”