Looking back: Dance education in schools


This article investigates significant issues in dance education in schools. The first section of this article begins with a reprint of an interview originally published in Dance News 33 (December 1985), the quarterly magazine of the New Zealand Dance Federation Inc. Raewyn Whyte interviewed dance educators Shirley Ririe and Joan Woodbury from Utah in the United States, who were visiting New Zealand as Fullbright artists at the time of the interview. Ririe’s and Woodbury’s experiences added to growing momentum in Aotearoa New Zealand for developing dance in schools and provided an opportunity for New Zealand educators to learn from others. In the second and third sections of this article, current teacher educators respond to the reprint of this interview as a ‘back issue’. Liz Melchior provides an overview of dance in schools over the last thirty years and particularly considers the development of dance education in the years following the introduction of The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2000, 2007). Sue Cheesman offers reflections and insights into the challenges and successes of the new curriculum as it has been implemented into schools. Further consideration is given to the future of dance education, including specific issues relating to the role of artists working in schools.


@ The University of Waikato