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Dance teachers have expressed their upset after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said their studios were different environments to schools at her press conference yesterday, claiming her comments make them appear “unqualified”.
“What happens in a school environment is very different to what happens in an out-of-school environment,” Ms Berejiklian said when asked by a reporter why children could learn dance as school sport but not at a studio yesterday.
“School environments are controlled, and you’ve got qualified teachers and we are working through the list … but we need to manage it safely.”
In an open letter the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Australia, which trains and qualifies ballet dancers and teachers, has said the remarks inferred “dance educators were not as qualified as the mainstream teaching profession”.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as a world-leading dance education membership organisation, the RAD have been guiding our members with information, resources and opportunities to access additional training and qualifications to support their development as educators, professionals and as small business owners,” wrote national director Rebecca Taylor.
“We want to clarify that RAD Registered Teachers are qualified professionals and experienced small business owners whom we believe will adhere to government and health advice stringently to ensure that dance studios remain a safe place for Australian dancers of all ages and the longevity of their livelihoods.”