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  1. Awarding Organisations offering Graded Examinations in Dance, on behalf of their member teachers, are dismayed that the authorities have not issued clear guidance on when private or independent dance teaching studios can open in England. This is despite allowing pubs, restaurants and aspects of theatre activities to open from 4th July 2020.

  2. Not only do these dance studios in many cases represent the sole source of income for longstanding family businesses, but they are also a valuable resource for young people in particular, giving them an outlet for their creativity, the chance to exercise, and providing vital support to their general wellbeing and mental health. This is particularly important at this difficult time when other educational structures are not available to them.

  3. Darcey Bussell DBE, president of the Royal Academy of Dance says "I have great concern for the health and wellbeing of our teachers and students, but we believe that the risk to our teachers' long-term ability to continue to teach and to connect their communities through dance is now greater. As a sector we are ready to return to our dance studios safely and revive that special experience that can only happen in the studio."

  4. These dance awarding organisations, whose qualifications are mostly regulated by Ofqual and are institutionally validated by the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT), have a combined: 
    • turnover of more than £45M each year.  
    • annual examination entries in the UK of 500,000 and 225,000 overseas. These figures include regulated and non-regulated provision.
    • number of examination venues approaching 7,000 in the UK and 11,000 overseas.
    • membership of 15,000 teachers in the UK and 10,000 overseas.
    • examiners of over 1,000.

  5. They, and the teachers they represent, seek clarity regarding the inclusion of private or independent dance teaching studios on the list of facilities that can, with appropriate measures in place, open in the near future. Further, they urge that the DCMS issues guidance on how performing arts organisations can return to training, rehearsal and performance in line with the law, and with current social distancing advice, at the earliest opportunity. CDMT is pleased to be liaising on this with Dr Nick Allen (Clinical Director at the Birmingham Royal Ballet).

Notes

a. Awarding organisations offering graded examinations in dance make an enormous contribution to the sustainability and international profile of the UK creative industries. These organisations represent the interests of a large number of practitioners both at home and overseas, along with ‘UK plc’ internationally, and together they have significant concerns about the support needed to restart the sector for business.

b. CDMT is today the only industry body in the UK offering quality assurance and membership services to institutions delivering training, education and assessment in the performing arts, and has recently produced a paper titled Covid-19 and  Practical Lessons in Dance, Drama and Music: Restarting the Sector, which is available here.