Creative & Cultural Skills chair secures 5.5million to get young people dancing

Following the publication of his review into youth dance, Tony Hall, chair of Creative & Cultural Skills (CCSkills) and chief executive of the Royal Opera House, spoke today of his reaction to the resultant £5.5million investment pledged by Government.

“My review aims to do one thing” he said. “And this is to get young people dancing; wherever they live and from whatever background they come. Dance answers lots of the issues young people face – from expressing their creativity to working in teams; tackling obesity or just having fun. I am delighted the Government is acting on our ideas.”

Announced by Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, and Schools Minister, Andrew Adonis, the initiative will be funded through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS); the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCFS); and Arts Council, England. Designed to help boost dance opportunities for young people across England the initiative includes:

• the development of a national youth dance strategy across both school and youth dance sectors through a new organisation – Youth Dance England (YDE)

• a pilot of dance co-ordinators in schools – supporting the provision of dance; both as an art form and within school sport

• six new Centres of Advanced Training (CATs) between now and 2011 to help training and support approximately 1,500 more young people inspired to take dance to the next level

• a joint DCMS/DCSF Dance Review Programme Board to provide leadership – bringing together stakeholders; agencies; funding bodies from the sectors of education and dance; and young dancers themselves.
Culture Minister, Margaret Hodge said:

“Dance is one of our oldest art forms and one that people can take part in, or simply watch, at just about any age or degree of skill and experience. Dance is also triumphantly eclectic, drawing in styles and forms from all over the world and from every tradition. I am thrilled that young people will now have access to a higher standard of provision, and that the dance sector itself has now received the further recognition it so richly deserves.”

According to the 2006/07 sport survey by DCSF, dance comes second only to football as the most popular type of formal exercise in schools.