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Dancing their way to qualification

A new qualification in dance science and education has been launched by Edinburgh University - but it will not qualify students to teach dance in schools.

The MSc, which starts in September next year, will provide a deeper understanding of dance but as long as it lacks a teaching qualification component it will be only a first step towards increasing access to dance in schools, warned Joan Parr, head of education at the Scottish Arts Council. "Scottish education has always been about equality of provision for everybody across the country, but we have been struggling with that in dance."

Both Ms Parr and her colleague, Anita Clark, the SAC's head of dance, said dance as an art form was under-represented in Scottish schools. They called for the development of a PGDE for dance teachers to be developed and for dance to be embedded in the curriculum.

Speaking at a dance science conference at Edinburgh University last week, Ms Clark said: "Dance in schools is a significant challenge. Many colleagues share my concern that too much is left to chance, depending on the school and interest of teachers there. It is important that all youngsters have the opportunity to get a positive and creative experience of dance as part of their education."

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