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February saw One Dance UK launch its first-ever Dance Teaching Awards, as the lead industry body for dance and dance education. The awards received almost 900 nominations across the nine categories, working to promote dance education and participation across the UK. The categories consisted of: 


Lifetime Achievement Award
Rising Star Award
Above and Beyond Award
Outstanding Primary Dance Teaching
Outstanding Secondary Dance Teaching
Inspirational Lecturer at College, University or Conservatoire
Inspirational Work in Education
Inspirational Community Dance Practitioner
Most Supportive Senior Leader or Governor


DanceEast has been shortlisted for the Inspirational Work in Education Award, with the Dance Teaching Awards panel selecting the organisation as one of three to be shortlisted. The panel looked for a dance organisation that is ‘passionate about dance education, learning and participation, working with or for dance teachers or practitioners in or out of school’, to improve dance practice and inspire teachers, artists and young people.


DanceEast’s work in this area is expansive, running a range of community projects for over 30 years on a local, national and international level. DanceEast is currently working with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and five primary schools until Summer 2018, focusing on how digital technologies might revolutionise the role of dance in schools with the aim to further upskill teachers, and ensure they are confident using dance as a tool to deliver subjects across the curriculum. Previous projects, such as 7 Schools: 1 Town, also worked to build confidence in teaching dance in schools, by bringing together a consortium of primary schools under an Arts Council grant to run dance workshops.


Brendan Keaney, Artistic Director and Chief Executive at DanceEast, said:

“Suffolk has an amazing tradition of truly great dance teaching: in schools, in private dance schools, and not least here at DanceEast. Learning and participation is in our DNA, and I am particularly proud of my colleagues that have been at the forefront, delivering innovative and exciting community education projects at the DanceHouse, and throughout the East of England. I am truly delighted that their hard work has been recognised and, regardless of the final decision of the judging panel, it is fantastic to have made it to the top three.”


The Dance Teaching Awards panel will also be responsible for selecting the winners of the 2017 Dance Teaching Awards, working to recognise and encourage the excellent work taking place in dance education. The panel comprises a group of esteemed professionals representing a wide-breadth of specialisms, and champions dance education and participation. 


Alongside the other award nominees, representatives from DanceEast will attend the awards ceremony at Birmingham Hippodrome on Sunday 16 July. This will also be the final day of U.Dance 2017, the national youth dance festival produced by One Dance UK. The ceremony will be a celebration of dance teaching talent across the UK, recognising the contribution that dance teachers, community practitioners and senior leaders and governors in schools make in encouraging and supporting the next generation of dancers.

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