One Dance UK Launch Survey into Safeguarding and Abuse Prevention in Dance

4 May 2021

Image: Motionhouse dancers by Dani Bower Photography for One Dance UK

One Dance UK is asking dance organisations to take part in research that will explore abuse prevention and safeguarding issues in dance. The survey aims to establish what policies and practices are in place within UK dance organisations to protect dance students, professional dance artists and dance sport athletes. The findings will then be used to help inform One Dance UK in developing resources and support for the dance sector in this area.

One Dance UK supports the health, wellbeing, and performance of the dance sector and works to improve the conditions in which dance is created, performed and experienced. Part of this is ensuring dance environments are free of any form of abuse.

We support everyone in our community as we address safeguarding concerns, and we recognise that mental health concerns, mental health traumas, and cultural dynamics may underlie complex issues in dance around defining, understanding and addressing safeguarding. We recognise that abuse can be a painful and difficult topic. If you’re feeling distressed, isolated, low, or otherwise concerned about your wellbeing or mental health you can text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258, the UK’s first free, confidential, 24/7 text support service, visit or reach out to your GP.

Erin Sanchez, Manager of Health, Wellbeing, and Performance at One Dance UK comments:We all want to work, train and participate in dance environments that are safe, supportive, equitable, and free from abuse. This survey will help us to understand what practices dance organisations are currently using to enable these goals, and where support is needed to enhance practices. Dance can be a vocation, a passion, an expressive outlet, and a way of enhancing our health. Every person in dance has the right to experience those benefits free from the risk of harm or abuse.”

The online survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. It will help to build a better understanding of the physical, mental, and practical challenges those in dance settings may be facing, as well as what organisations and individuals currently feel able to help with so that One Dance UK can identify what support is needed.

The responses from the questionnaire will be completely anonymous. This project was reviewed by the Ethics Committee of the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

Prof Jennifer Cumming, School of Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Sciences and Institute for Mental Health at University of Birmingham comments:We are delighted to be working in partnership with One Dance UK on this groundbreaking research. Building an evidence-base on safeguarding and abuse prevention policies and procedures used by UK dance organisations represents an important step towards enhancing the experiences of everyone who takes part in dance.”

Take part in the survey here: