News: Dance Vote 2010

Tuesday 6 April 2010

As Thursday 6 May is officially confirmed as the date for the next election, leading dance theatres, companies and organisations are launching a campaign to raise awareness of dance activity throughout the country with the people who will become decision makers in the next government. Everyone who is involved in dance in any way at all is encouraged to contact their local candidates for parliament, tell them about the part dance plays in their lives and ask them to pledge their support for dance.

A new website –*- makes the process very simple. Just enter your postcode to find a list of candidates in your area and select the ones you’d like to contact. An email outlining your involvement in dance will then be sent on your behalf.*

Caroline Miller, Director of Dance UK, the national support and advocacy organisation who have organised the campaign says: *“Most local MPs have no idea how much dance activity is happening in their local area and what a difference it makes to the quality of life of their constituents. It’s up to us to change that. Funding decisions are going to be challenging. We must provide future MPs with evidence of the returns dance provides for investment – such as creating entertainment and jobs, promoting health and fitness, building communities and offering educational benefits.. Dance is the second most popular physical activity for young people after football* and it provides significant returns for public investment. Youth Dance England runs national programmes for 58p subsidy for each school aged young person (compared to £38.21 per child for music and £79.47 for school sport).”*

DanceVote 2010 has five aims: – To connect every politician standing for election to Parliament with a dance activity in their local area – To highlight the popularity of dance among constituents and the benefits to residents – To underline the need for sustained public funding in order to build on (and not undermine) the progress achieved over the past few years – To champion the value of dance as an art form, as well as in health and education – To secure a statement on how candidates will support dance and the arts if they are elected

The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have both published arts manifestos as part of their campaigns and the Labour party have outlined their support for the arts and sport. Follow the links on the dancevote2010 site.
Responses from candidates will also be posted on the site – and are already starting to appear on Facebook – search for DanceVote2010

Organisations supporting DanceVote 2010 include: ADAD (the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora), Akademi – South Asian Dance UK, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Cheshire Dance, (as a member of the National Dance Network), Council for Dance Education and Training, Dance Consortium, Dance UK, English National Ballet, Foundation for Community Dance, National Campaign for the Arts, National Dance Teachers Association, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Northern Ballet Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, Royal Ballet, Sadler’s Wells, The Place and Youth Dance England.


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