As the peak body and subject association for dance in Victoria, Ausdance VIC provides high-level strategic advice and vision for the sector. Our advocacy, research, and representation focuses on advancing dance through education and learning and has successfully raised the profile of dance with key policy and decision makers and increased investment in the Arts.

Our Advocacy Work

  • Delivers key policy objectives
  • Identifies sector needs through industry research
  • Informs the development of sustainable dance education programs
  • Increases opportunities to experience and engage with dance
  • Provides high-level advice on the development of Victorian dance curriculum

What We Do

Regular sector-consultation meetings

Ongoing state government meetings

State and national policy submissions

Representative on the Arts Industry Council of Victoria (AICV)

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) consultation

Key partner in the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE)

A History of Leadership

Founded in 1977 by dance leaders and advocates, the Ausdance National network has a history of leadership and advocacy spanning over 45 years. We work across all levels of dance, creating connections and opportunities to increase sector capacity, and support individuals, companies and organisations to flourish. We play a vital role in the dance education discourse and are dedicated to ensuring that state and national education policy and curriculum supports the goals and standards of our sector. 

Sector Representation

Ausdance VIC represents the needs of our constituency on several expert reference groups, state and national committees. We actively seek out and foster strong, working relationships with leaders and organisations across sectors and industries, to share responsibility for advocacy and intelligence on conditions, trends, and issues of relevancy.

Arts Industry Council of Victoria (AICV)

We are a key member of the AICV, alongside the CEOs of peak bodies and service organisations across all art forms.

Industry Advisory Group for Business (IAG)

We represent the arts and creative industries on the IAG, which consists of representatives of industry, unions and employees who meet four times a year to provide advice on skill demand pressures and future industry skills training and professional needs. Through the IAG, we have been involved in the development of a new Skills Plan for Victoria, providing feedback on drafts of the policy.

Independent Reference Committee – Arts & Culture Related Industries (IRC)

The IRC is a national committee appointed by the Australian Industry Skills Council (AISC) to review the training needs of the industry and assess proposed new training qualifications. Ausdance VIC Executive Director, Michelle Silby, has been filling the role of chair of the IRC during a period of change as the government reviews the system and proposes a cluster model to reduce the number of IRCs from 80 to around nine.

Ausdance Network

Through our work with the Ausdance National network, we are in regular dialogue with the national body and our state partners on matters including advocacy, pre-budget submissions and industry consultation.

Direct to Government

As the government-recognised peak body and subject association for dance in Victoria, we regularly meet with senior officials in Creative Victoria, the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Department of Sports and Recreation, Business Victoria, and with local governments across the state. In 2022, we held over 30 meetings with government representatives.

2023 Advocacy Initiatives & Outcomes

Our advocacy initiatives were informed by critical data collated through our biannual Victorian Dance Census, sector consultations, member surveys and feedback, student surveys, and direct consultations. In 2023, we represented our members and the broader sector on committees and at meetings with:

  • Arts and Culture-Related Industries
  • Arts Industry Council of Victoria
  • Australian Performing Arts Forum and the National Dance Gathering co-hosted by Ausdance QLD and Queensland Ballet
  • Australian Performing Arts Market Gathering at Rising Melbourne
  • Creative Victoria
  • International Association for Dance Medicine & Science
  • Independent Reference Committee
  • Industry Advisory Group
  • The Commission for Children and Young People
  • The Department of Sports and Recreation
  • The Department of Education
  • The Minister for Creative Industries
  • The Minister for Education
  • The Minister for TAFE
  • The Minister for Sports and Recreation
  • The Federal Minister for the Arts
  • The World Dance Council
  • Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority
  • Visit Victoria
  • Youth Dance Australia
Curriculum Feedback & Education Program Design

As the subject association for dance in Victoria, we maintain strong partnerships with Victorian government departments and are consulted on curriculum development and reform. We then use this knowledge, along with feedback directly from member organisations, RTO partners and teachers, to inform the development of our education programs. Our delivering of nationally-accredited training programs also informs our understanding of curriculum application and allows us to influence the quality of graduates entering the arts and entertainment industry.

Enquiry into the National Cultural Policy

In July, Ausdance VIC represented the dance sector at the Enquiry into the National Cultural Policy at the request of the Federal Government. Working in collaboration with the national Ausdance network, we asked that dance be explicitly recognised across the five pillars and requested more support for First Nations dance across the sector.

Implementation of our Education Advisory Group

In 2023, we recruited a number of new dance artists and educators from across a diverse range of schools for the Education Advisory Group. This collective of experts provided critical insight and feedback on our curriculum and advocacy initiatives, including the Child Safe Induction and our VCAA submission, in partnership with Dancehouse, advocating for the inclusion of an independent Victoria choreographer on the VCE Dance-prescribed list of works.

Get Active Kids

Following on from our successful advocacy campaigns of 2020 and 2021 with the Victorian State Government, the Get Active Kids voucher program is in its third year. Dance continued to achieve one of the highest activity attendance rates and voucher reimbursements across the state. This program expands accessibility to dance and provides a valuable means of business growth for dance studios and organisations, particularly in regional and rural areas. In 2023, over 1,400 vouchers for Dance were reimbursed. All participants were kids from a family / guardian who met the criteria of holding a Health Care Card.