News: Youth Dance England funding cut

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Youth Dance England statement

**Youth Dance England is hugely disappointed to have been unsuccessful in applying to become an ACE funded National Portfolio client 2012 – 15. Linda Jasper, Director of YDE, said:

“We have been highly praised for the quality of our national programmes and for the efficiency of the creation of regional and sub regional networks for young people’s dance, work force development programmes that have been emulated by other art forms.

It is a waste of public investment by taking this decision not to continue to fund a highly successful organisation that has pioneered ways of working to reach children and young people locally, on modest investment.

Having worked as a strategic client of ACE, managed directly by Head Office for a number of years, in receipt of excellent feedback and reports it is very difficult to understand why this decision has been taken.

The increase in funding for some regional dance agencies will hopefully sustain some level of youth dance work, but the success of YDE’s approach has been in creating and linking work delivered at national, regional and local levels to raise standards and improve progression routes for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of children and young people.

It is ironic that other national youth music and theatre organisations will continue to receive investment from ACE, but YDE set up in 2004 to specifically address the historical lack of investment in children and young people’s dance, has not been funded.

YDE has developed groundbreaking national programmes helping to lift the quality of young people’s dance, creating more opportunities across the country through national and regional events and projects, developing a new dance teaching qualification specifically for teaching children and young people and raising the profile of young people’s dance generally.

During the past three years more than 261,404 young people have participated in a YDE event or programme and more than 4,000 dance practitioners from across the country have taken part in training programmes, raising the quality of dance teaching across the country.

Children and young people love to dance and yet there are still limited opportunities for them to do so. YDE had made large steps to address these issues and this work will not be able to continue beyond 2012.

In 2011 / 2012 YDE will continue to deliver its national programmes and work alongside nine regional partner organisations.

This ACE decision regarding YDE clearly communicates a hierarchy of the arts that does not reflect present day society’s interest in dance, especially amongst children and young people.”

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