News: Be heard, not just seen

Wednesday 25 October 2006

Following the summer launch of the “Dance Manifesto”:, a cross section of the dance industry came together earlier this month for A Chance for Dance – Be heard not just seen: The Dance Manifesto Summit at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, organised by Dance UK as part of Dance Umbrella 2006.

An invaluable guide to making the case for dance with decision makers has also been published by Dance UK and is now available at danceuk.org.

The Dance Summit was a chance to discuss the first phase of the Dance Manifesto campaign in a lively panel debate. Speakers included Arlene Phillips, Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, Mike Lee, Communications Director of the London 2012 bid; Christina Chrisou, Professional Development Manager, Akademi; Jane Robinson, Deputy Director, National Campaign for the Arts and Caroline Miller, Director, Dance UK.

Issues at the forefront of the debate were:

the need for statistics to demonstrate the economic value of dance; the issues surrounding dancers’ low pay; the importance and value of good quality teaching in schools; the need for dance to connect more broadly with arts and political initiatives and the importance of supporting dance professionals in order to achieve excellence in dance.

Caroline Miller, Director of Dance UK stressed the continued need for unity within the sector in order to affect real change in government policy and called on all members of the profession to undertake the following steps to support the first phase of the Dance Manifesto:

· Write to your local MP and councillors by the end of 2006

· Invite your MP and councillor to visit you

· Tell Dance UK when you write to your MP and councillors

· Add your name to the list of Dance Manifesto supporters

The day also included the opportunity to learn some practical skills for making the case for dance, with training from a professional lobbyist and two case studies from Assis Carreiro Director of Dance East and Cheryl Baker from The Point at Eastleigh – both giving great examples of how effective lobbying has gained some great results for dance.

Pledge your support for the Dance Manifesto

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