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  5. An update from our Think Tanks

Awareness training and events

Staff and Members have been provided with awareness training in all three EDI areas – consisting of both interactive sessions, and our monthly membership matters webinars. We’ve had contributions from a range of providers and speakers that not only touched on personal experiences but also gave attendees real tangible tools to take away for their own practice.

Members are able to access that membership matters content via our members’ area on the ISTD website.

To support that training, we also created the EDI hub, which provides a place for information and updates, and links to other organisations, policies and resources.

In June 2021 we had the Talking Dance: Improving Racial Diversity, the first symposium of its kind that we’ve held. We were very lucky to have had such respected industry professionals speaking at the event and this attracted an audience of 300 people. We worked with the Tired Movement, bbodance, RAD and IDTA - and this remains ongoing between our organisations.

There will be continued training for staff, members, examiners and lecturers.

Funding and Bursaries

We introduced two bursaries designed to fund creative and innovative projects focused on broadening access to dance, within the community and in underserved groups.

The Sue Passmore Award honours the significant contribution of our former Chair and Trustee of over 20 years and will be awarded to two recently qualified dancers. The Broadening Access to Dance Award is awarded to two teachers who have held their Society teaching qualification for more than five years.

We are looking into the potential for a project that engages members with opening up access to new markets, which we hope will address barriers to accessing dance. 

Qualifications, Syllabus and Exams updates

Specifications are being created to replace Syllabus Outlines and will include contextual information to ensure that diverse contributions are being acknowledged. Language is being updated within Specifications to support non-gender specific optionality. Syllabus notes will be amended as resources are reprinted.

A revised Application for Reasonable Adjustment process will be launched in autumn 2022.

Uniform and hair requirements for exams have been revised to be inclusive.  

We have strengthened EDI requirements within the Diploma in Dance Education teaching qualification – so that those in training are also tasked with considering those aspects of their practice. Within unit 5 of the DDE teachers look at how they support those with additional needs, as well as being asked to identify barriers to access to dance –and how they would overcome those in a studio setting.