ISTD AGM 2017 - Chairman's Address
13 September 2017
Read ISTD Chair Sue Passmore's speech given at the Annual General Meeting 2017
There is no doubt that 2016 was another eventful year for the ISTD but I am pleased to report that the balance sheet as at 31st December 2016 reflects another year of increased financial stability. The Board of Trustees is now in a position to reflect on our Charitable Aims, revitalising and improving our services to our members and development of new initiatives in line with our fundamental goals. Delivering the five main aims outlined in the 2017–2022 Strategic Business Plan has significant targets for the ISTD and the CEO and Senior Management Team are focused on processing successful outcomes.
We now have the opportunity to review the objectives that underpin the work of the ISTD taking advantage of new methodology and embracing inclusivity and innovation. In the current global climate and political uncertainty we need to centre our attention on the Society’s international activities and the consistently high standards of teaching in our eleven faculties, whilst embracing a new vision for the ISTD.
Since my appointment as Chair of the ISTD in December 2015, I have focused on attending as many ISTD events as possible in order to ascertain how we can, as a respected and committed Society, serve the future needs and aspirations of not only our current teachers worldwide but targeting and recruiting the next generation who views we need to consider. The dedication, commitment and talent of our teachers and examiners is second to none, however, I am also persuaded that we must grasp change with confidence and determination in order to build on the potential for dance in all its forms as a crucial benefit to everyone of regardless of age or culture.
In January 2016 there were vacancies on the ISTD Council and I am pleased to advise members that we have appointed new Trustees who will bring a diverse range of professional skills that will provide support and advice in maintaining and building on the diversity in the work of the Society.
It is entirely appropriate that I personally thank the Senior Management Team and all administrative staff at Imperial House for their commitment and loyalty to the Society. The Education & Training Department under the leadership of Ginny Brown have worked diligently throughout 2016 on revising qualifications but also developing new programmes. In this year 2017 Ginny has been appointed as Artistic Director and on behalf of the Trustees, I offer our full support in her new role.
Following the visit to Vietnam in August 2016, I am pleased to report that we have established a sound relationship for future development. The outcomes and feedback demonstrated the significance of sharing the quality and diversity of the ISTD’s core stability in teaching and safeguarding across the age spectrum. There was immense value in taking student teachers with senior teacher/examiners as an innovative team who could teach, demonstrate and share performances with students aged four years to early twenties.
‘Springboard’ 2015 was an important event for students/teachers and it was repeated in April 2017 with exceptional master classes that informed and inspired all participants. The guest faculty included Lucy Bennett and Stopgap Dance, Mark Smith and Kevin Jool from DMD (Deaf Men Dancing), Clare Guss West from Switzerland lecturing on Wellbeing, Kate Flatt introducing a ‘Mash Up’, Sarah Milne sharing her newly published Kitty Katz books for Primary school children from two years of age who were introduced to movement, music and storytelling. Ross McKim introduced the new pilot for a Contemporary Dance syllabi he has been creating for the ISTD. The class was inspiring as were the performances from alumni Dane Hurst and Sian Williams. All the lectures introduced new teaching skills and methodology. There were seventy student teachers, and thirty young participants aged six years to fourteen. The audience consisted of teachers and examiners.
Our President Dame Beryl Grey, celebrated her ninetieth birthday in June this year. She is a dear friend and also a remarkable and loyal support for all the work of the ISTD. In this year her book will be published and this is an important milestone following an incredible career. We are marking her year by inviting her as a very special guest at the Graduation Ceremony in 2018 which will be dedicated in her honour.
The ISTD has a unique and respected history, it is also a remarkable family that can agree with Mahatma Gandhi's quote:
‘You must be the change you want to see in the world’ Mahatma Gandhi
9th August 2017.