The full report is now available online. Here is the Summary and Recommendations: Summary
Dance is a small, but rapidly growing, sector in the UK that employs approximately 30,000 people. As an art form it is performed regularly, and appreciated by many, at locations throughout the country. As a physical or social activity, it is enjoyed by many participants every week. It is also experienced by school children through its inclusion within the National Curriculum. Since the creation of the Arts Council England (ACE) dance department in 1979, the sector has benefited greatly from continued public sector support. In 2004, the department provides regular funding for 40 dance organisations and occasional support for many others.
In order to continue the growth that has been experienced over the last few decades, and to ensure this growth is sustainable, the sector must overcome a number of challenges. The industry must work to reduce the dependency it has on public sector funding (this currently constitutes 43% of all funding it receives), through trying to increase commercial income and income from sponsorship. It must also work, in concert with DCMS, to attract funding from alternative sources within the Government by promoting the ability of dance to contribute to the Government's objectives in relation to healthy lifestyles, and possibly crime reduction and social inclusion.
Historically, working conditions for dancers have been poor. In recent years, this has been improved by significant Lottery and ACE investment in the physical infrastructure for dance. More still needs to be done to improve many rehearsal and performance venues. We hope that investment in the built environment will continue and that consideration will be given to including plans for dance facilities at the planning stage of new towns and settlements.
Evidence we have received suggests that dance is one of those vocational industries in which very talented people are prepared to work for very little money. Historically, dancers have not been able to command large salaries because of pressure on the funding, from all sources, received by the sector. The problem of low salaries is recognised by the whole dance industry. We hope that, as the sector develops, overall available resources will increase and the existing culture of low pay will be tackled effectively. We wish to see ACE leading by example and improving the scope for appropriate salary levels from within the grant allocations which it makes.
We believe that it is very important for the Government to set out a clear, overarching policy for dance, writing down the implicit objectives which the Arts Minister seemingly devised in preparation for oral evidence to us. These were: excellence, access and contribution to healthy living. It is very important that the profile of dance, and its potential to contribute to different policy areas, is raised throughout Government and beyond. We believe that this can only be achieved through the creation of a clear strategy for dance by the Government. Conclusions and recommendations
1. Thus, it is believed that the lasting memory of dance for many children may not be a positive one. The dance sector vehemently argues that this has to be changed. If the decision-makers and policy-formers of the future continue to have bad experiences of dance, ACE told us that this "is actually not a very useful kind of experience on which to start building that change that we want to bring about." We sympathise with this and agree that in order to change attitudes, the sector has to start changing attitudes to dance at all levels, starting with school children. (Paragraph 41)
2. We recommend that the Government should investigate further how it can increase the number of people gaining health benefits through participation in dance. (Paragraph 46)
3. We agree with the view of the Ballet Association and others, that "much more needs to be done to promote inclusion and progression at all levels." The Government has a role to play in this in a number of ways but, specifically, by providing improved access to private lessons for those talented individuals who cannot afford to pay. (Paragraph 54)
4. We believe that it is imperative that dancers are paid sufficient amounts to cover any training costs, or that support should be given to them to enable participation in development courses so that their future careers are not hindered. (Paragraph 62)
5. We would like to encourage the industry to continue to reach out to those who currently do not participate or go to watch dance, in order to increase the depth of the dance sector, as well as the size of it. (Paragraph 68)
6. We recommend that in response to this Report the Minister for the Arts (in consultation with DfES, ACE, YDE and Sport England) creates a comprehensive written Government policy for dance aimed at fostering greater understanding of and better coordinated support for dance, including regional and national dance within the UK. We welcome the positive attitude the Minister showed when she gave evidence to the Committee in the course of this inquiry and we ask her, within three months, to set out for the Committee the specific action taken. (Paragraph 79)
7. We recommend that more research is carried out into the possible benefits of dance in reducing crime rates and increasing social inclusiveness. (Paragraph 81)
8. In order to ensure that the Arts Council fulfils its objectives for supporting dance as an art form in the future, we believe that it should set out clearly a strategy of how it proposes to achieve them. This would be advantageous, not only to help it to achieve its priorities, but also for the sector to know the priorities and objectives of the body which provides the main source of public funding for dance. (Paragraph 90)
9. We recommend that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport carry out a review of the processes used to allocated Grants for the Arts. We believe that, wherever possible, complete transparency of decision-making processes should be put in place. (Paragraph 91)
10. We hope that the National Lottery will be able to continue to make funding contributions towards new facilities for dance, along with the ACE, local authorities, regional development agencies and private donors, all of whom have already contributed to the enhancement of the physical infrastructure of dance. (Paragraph 96)
11. We recommend that DCMS engage in a dialogue with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to ensure that spaces for dance and other art forms are provided for within the planning for new settlements. (Paragraph 99)
12. We recommend that both DCMS and DfES pay close attention to the work of YDE and take action wherever necessary to ensure that the youth sector is able to thrive and produce the dancers of the future. (Paragraph 101)
13. We recommend that the Department for Education and Skills carry out a policy review relating to the place of dance within the National Curriculum. (Paragraph 106)
14. As we have already stated, we believe that as part of this, it is imperative that the Government sets out a clear, overarching policy on dance which states how it proposes to achieve "excellence, access and the contribution to healthy living" that it desires in relation to dance. (Paragraph 117)
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for the full report and, at the bottom, the individual submissions, including the one from CriticalDance (see above).
Just for the record, the CriticalDance submission is quoted twice in the Select Committee report.
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