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Dance teachers slam NSW Premier’s ‘qualifications’ remark

Dance teachers slam NSW Premier’s ‘qualifications’ remark

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has slammed comments made by New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian regarding dance teachers being unqualified. 


What a horrible slap in the face.
Schools have qualified teachers but apparently private dance studios do not.
To say my degrees do not count, nor does my 20 plus years as a teacher, is unfair and nothing short of devastating.
I am in no hurry to open, I do not intend to open until next term but keeping us shut because you perceive we aren’t qualified is not justified
To all my fellow dance teachers, this is why we need a peak body to represent us so such aspersions cannot be cast.
And to my fellow studio owners who are putting every safety measure in place, going above and beyond what is actually required, keep going. You are amazing.

Posted by Sinead Vidler on Wednesday, May 27, 2020

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian responded to a question regarding the timeline of private dance studios to reopen after the impact of COVID-19 during a press conference on Thursday 28 May. Her statement was clear:

“What happens in a school environment is very different to what happens in an out-of-school environment. A school environment is very controlled, you’ve got qualified teachers and we are going through the list of what we can allow.”

RAD explained in its response that they had been working closely with its members to assist with the impacts of COVID-19. 

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as a world leading dance education membership organisation, the RAD have been guiding our members with information, resources and opportunities to access additional training and qualifications to support their development as educators, professionals and as small business owners.”

Read a copy of RAD’s letter to the Premier here.

Full time dance establishment Transit Dance’s Artistic Director Paul Malek also took his outrage to social media.

In just a matter of seconds you discredited an entire industry of qualified dance teachers, educators and studio owners in the private sector that are currently being ignored.”

Educational schools and outdoor activities such as AFL training have returned since the Government eased restrictions but dance is one of the last activities scheduled to go back as it has been bulk categorised with indoor sporting venues and gyms. 

Dance teachers and studio owners were outraged on social media, begging the question: ‘How are schools are allowed to teach their own dance classes on campus while studios are forbidden to open their doors? Where is our own policies and procedures?’

In Victoria, it is expected that on June 22, dance studios can reopen but with strict patron policies in place. The DHHS currently states that: 

22 June: Indoor sports centres and venues can be opened with up to 20 people allowed per separate enclosed space, subject to the four square metre rule and up to 10 people per group/activity. 

In addition to the four square metre per person restriction, dance schools are facing a limit of 20 people per enclosed space, and no more than 10 people per activity, which is causing mass confusion throughout the industry.

Melbourne dance studio owners are uniting in a written response to the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews regarding the financial viability of the 20 people per enclosed space rule. The letter was endorsed and signed by more than 170 dance schools in 24 hours.

Director of Australian Academy of Dance, Mike Harrison-Lamond has been one of the influential dance figures leading the charge from a Melbourne Dance Studio Owners Facebook group.

“Studio owners throughout Victoria are extremely concerned we are having restrictions imposed on us, suggested by the Australian Institute of Sport, who are not our governing body, nor do they have an understanding of our industry.”


“Many studio owners have worked on their business for decades, and they know how to run it safely, and efficiently. Public servants in the Department of Health and Human Services should not be writing our reopening policy with no consultation with our members,” Mr Harrison-Lamond said.

Dance is underrepresented in terms of having a National and State peak body. Sports including Tennis, Gymnastics, and Netball all have State and National peak bodies representing their industry.