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Ruth

Ruth Osborne

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: Australian Capital Territory Arts - Performing > Dance
To research youth dance programs focused on career pathways, mentorship and creative collaborations - UK
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Major lessons and conclusions learnt

  • There are thousands of young people involved in local, regional and national youth dance companies across the UK. Many companies have grown out of community dance practice and are funded and supported through a variety of sources. Australia has less than ten across the whole country.
  • The UK has developed infrastructure over 40 years through service organisations and partnerships with professional dance companies as well as arts, education, health and sport departments. Australia needs this kind of  support and profile to grow their sector. I think financial support for Youth Dance Australia as a national youth dance network will help this happen.
  • There are more opportunities for broader career pathways in the UK with specialized qualifications for Teaching & Learning (Children & Young People), funded internships and leadership programs, and a greater variety of full time training institutions. I think Australia’s dance universities should place more importance on dance in the community - encouraging teachers, choreographers, animateurs and arts administrators to bring contemporary dance and youth dance to a broader demographic.
  • The National Youth Dance Companies of England, Scotland and Wales bring an important focus on the value of youth dance practice. They hold a strong position in the national dance landscape and as role models they help to lift the standard for all other companies. I think it would be a perfect time for Australia to have some form of a national project and that Youth Dance Australia should investigate potential funding sources.
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