Advocacy Update: May 2019

21 May 2019

Tell us what matters to you and share your story

We’re refreshing our Dance Manifesto, and invite you, our members, to tell us what you’d like policy makers to improve and change to enable the UK dance sector to continue to thrive.

The most powerful way for politicians to connect with dance is to see examples of the amazing and wide range of work taking place across the UK. Our new Manifesto will showcase inspiring One Dance UK members’ case studies, illustrating the diversity and innovation taking place in dance in the UK. Tell us how dance is making a real contribution to your local community in terms of education, health and wellbeing, community cohesion, technological advancement, social mobility and diversity.

Tell us what matters to you and send One Dance UK your story by emailing

Nominations are open for the Dance Advocacy Award

The One Dance UK awards are an annual celebration to mark the excellent work of dance artists, teachers, practitioners, educators, schools, choreographers, companies, venues, scientists, and writers who contribute to the dance sector throughout the UK.

The Dance Advocacy award recognises an individual, team, campaign or movement which has shown commitment and leadership in championing dance and keeping it high on the agenda.

Click here to nominate someone who you think is working hard to advocate for the dance sector.

May Highlights

This month we had meetings with the Head of International Arts Policy Team and Senior International Arts Policy Adviser in the Department for Culture, discussing the latest on Brexit, sector research and wider sector issues.

Keep Informed, Get involved

Parliament’s Culture Select Committee published its report on the social impact of participation in culture and sport last week. The report urges Government to recognise the ‘unique power’ of culture, as well as sport, to change lives, transform cities and break the cycle of crime, and finds that arts subjects are being downgraded in schools. You can see the full report here.  The report includes evidence submitted by One Dance UK as well as other dance organisations including Siobhan Davies Dance, People Dancing, Trinity Laban, and London Children’s Ballet. In improving health and wellbeing, the report highlights the ‘Dance to Health’ programme – a nationwide community dance programme for older people that combines evidence-based physiotherapy with the creativity, expression and energy of dance, as well as the ‘DanceSyndrome’ programme. In its investigation into culture and education, the report includes a case study from the Northern Ballet’s ‘Start’ programme.

Arts Professional reports that Arts Council England has told Ofsted that schools without a strong arts offer should be classified as ‘requiring improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.

The Welsh Government has put proposals for embedding the arts in the new curriculum out to consultation, prior to being adopted for all primary students in 2022, and rolled out for all students aged 3-16 by 2026.

Scotland’s spending on culture has fallen by almost 3% in 3 years since 2016, according to figures released by the Scottish National Party.

Starting at the end of May 2019, Creative Scotland is holding a series of events around Scotland to explore new ways to fund arts and creative activity as part of its Strategy Update and Funding Review.

It’s been reported that eight of England’s largest arts employers reduced their gender pay gaps last year.

On Brexit: Focus is now on the results of the European Elections, taking place on 23 May – a litmus test of how the Conservatives and Labour will fare vs the Brexit Party, Lib Dems and Change UK, especially after the Conservatives saw their worst local election performance in more than 20 years earlier this month. You can find your MEP (Member of European Parliament) here.

The next milestone will be a fourth vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill planned for the first week of June, to be held before Parliament goes into summer recess. The Prime Minister has committed to setting out a timetable for her departure, should the Bill fail once again. Speculation continues of who will be most likely to replace Theresa May in a leadership election, with Boris Johnson reported to currently be a frontrunner.

The Scottish Government is offering a Brexit Support Grant to help small to medium-sized enterprises in Scotland manage a wide range of Brexit impacts.

Remember, to keep informed and get involved in advocating for dance, you can:

Sign up to:


Check out MPs on Twitter and find and engage with your local MP on social media. Don’t forget to invite your local MP to join the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dance.

Write to your local MP

Tell them about your organisation, how many local people you reach and the benefits they enjoy from engaging in dance activities. Invite them to come and visit you, perhaps to see a show, class, rehearsal or to tour your facilities…find your local MP

Spread the word

Email Hanna to let us know of any upcoming performances or events that you would like for us to consider including in the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dance programme of events.

Dance All Party Parliamentary Group

The Dance APPG exists to promote dance as an art form and as an important element of healthy living and the fight against obesity, and to promote its education and social benefits.

If you ask your local MP to join the APPG, express to them how their membership of the Group would be an incredibly valuable declaration of commitment to the importance of dance in the UK and would be extremely appreciated by their local constituents involved in dance.

See the current membership of the Group here.

Please make sure to let us know about any contact you have with national and local politicians.