Tracing Two Decades of Dance Education in New Zealand
By Jan Bolwell
The visibility of dance in the New Zealand Curriculum has been undeniably enhanced over the past twenty years. Although the arts were the ‘last cab off the rank’ when the curriculum reforms took place in the early 1990s, by 2000 the country had its first generic arts curriculum with dance firmly embedded as one of four learning areas. Schools are mandated to teach dance from years 1-8, and dance should be offered for years 9-12. By 2010, dance had been accepted at senior scholarship level for year 13 students. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (2008) emerged as the curriculum for Maori medium schools, with Nga Mahi a te Rehia its equivalent and parallel arts curriculum. These seem to be spectacular developments over a relatively short period of time when you consider dance, as a curricular subject, is still in its infancy in comparison to music, drama and the visual arts.
There have been significant developments in dance education over the past two decades, but the journey has just begun, and rather than going ahead in leaps and bounds, all too often it is reduced to a hesitant walk breaking out into the occasional confident sprint.
Read the full article (Iss. 34) Moving Foward