News: Making the case for youth dance

Monday 7 April 2014 by Lise Smith

Members of the National Youth Dance Company rehearse Akram Khan's Vertical Road. Image: Tony Nandi

The success of initiatives like Big Dance, and TV talent shows such as Sky 1’s Got to Dance and ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, has inspired ever-increasing numbers of young people to start dancing

Research by bodies including Dance UK and Arts Council England has repeatedly shown that taking part in dance has physical, social and health benefits, providing a creative outlet for young people to express themselves as well as a fun way to stay fit. With potential savings to the health, education and criminal justice budgets to be made by providing access to dance, Helen Brown asks in the Telegraph, why are so many local authorities cutting their arts provision?

“According to figures obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act,” states Brown, “Councils spent just £791 million on Youth Services in 2012-13, down from more than £1.2 billion in 2010-11.”

Fiona Black, chief executive of the National Youth Agency, tells Brown that youth enterprises “provide a preventative framework that means young people are less likely to end up in the costly criminal justice system. We save money in terms of health and education, in terms of drug and alcohol misuse, teen pregnancy, mental health. By supporting people into employment, we save on benefits.”

Read the rest of the article here: (The Telegraph, Sunday 6 April)

Find out about youth dance opportunities in your area in our Youth Dance section.

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