♫ Dancing with tears in my eyes ♪

Core academic studies anyone? English both language and literature, Maths, assuredly. After that? Well the three sciences, biology, physics, chemistry, then I suppose a choice of history, geography, perhaps I.T studies and some form of foreign language. I wouldn’t however think to include ‘dance’ in this list, nor would I expect many others except save dance companies. Yet because the soon to be introduced European Baccalaureate exam does not include dance as a core study dance companies are up in arms…


Dance company Sadler’s Wells has claimed government plans to leave dance out of the new EBacc syllabus will be “deeply damaging” to the art form.
The EBacc certificate, set to replace some GCSEs from 2015, will focus only on core academic subjects.
Sadler’s Wells chief executive and artistic director Alistair Spalding said the plans were “the most serious threat” dance has recently faced.
But he said he was hopeful there would be a U-turn by the government.
He and several other executives from major arts companies, including the Royal Ballet and the English National Ballet, have written to education secretary Michael Gove asking him to reconsider.
The GCSE exam in England is going to be replaced in core subjects by the new qualification called the English Baccalaureate Certificate – EBacc or English Bacc for short.
Dance is now second only to football as the most popular activity amongst school children and ranks first among girls.” Alistair Spalding, chief executive and artistic director, Sadler’s Wells
A Department of Education spokeswoman said: “Other subjects are, of course, valuable and pupils will continue to study them – the EBacc will not prevent any school from offering qualifications in dance, art, drama or music.”

Whilst I realise you can make a career out of being a dancer, artist, actor or musician, none of those subjects would appear to me to be core studies, more in the nature of pastimes and hobbies. Nor do I see the need for them to be included in the Baccalaureate system, which also appears to be the governments view too which admittedly is unusual for me, but a stopped clock etc. etc.

What the dance companies appear to be afraid of is that a non academic subject will be dropped like a hot potato by schools who wishing to remain high up in the academic league tables and that the schools will revert back to core subjects. Nor could I blame the schools for doing so, after all they’ll be judged by their results, not by their dancing skills.

How or why dance managed to get into a schools curriculum is beyond me, it certainly wasn’t a subject taught at my school and if we wanted to study music we had to apply to another school which taught it to O Level standard.

I suspect Saddlers Wells are trying it on here to recruit dancers who have a little bit of experience coming out of school. But academically most pupils studying it wont be doing it as anything other than a pastime, not as a career choice. Hopefully Gove won’t change his mind over this.

12 comments for “♫ Dancing with tears in my eyes ♪

  1. October 31, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Girls could be offered dance as an alternative to compulsory games (eg cross-country running in the rain), which presumably would remain on the curriculum even under the new regime.

    Any number of moaning minnies used to cite PMT as an excuse for bunking off games, when I were a lad. They wouldn’t need to if they could prance about indoors instead.

    Can’t see many boys joining in for fear of looking like pooves.

    • October 31, 2012 at 2:22 am

      Still wouldn’t make it as a core subject in any curriculum I would come up with though. 🙂

    • Single Acts of Tyranny
      October 31, 2012 at 10:36 am

      I have never quite understood why hanging our with a room full of beauties makes you a poof whereas sticking your head between a bloke’s legs in a scrum before taking a bath with him, makes you manly in some way?

  2. Greg Tingey
    October 31, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Not dance, nut MUSIC.
    I still bitterly regret & resent my inability to read music, or play an instrument.
    Music is an international language, like mathematics, which should be taught to all.
    Why is this not so?

    • Diesel
      October 31, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Well, speaking for myself, I studied music at school. Unfortunately, I seem to be completely tone deaf. I had absolutely no idea what the music teacher was talking about when he played different notes. For me, those classes were a complete waste of time. I can’t read music, despite being taught, as it bears no relation to any reference point I can make or envisage.

      Perhaps this is a disability, in which case teaching it to all would breach the DDA 😈

      As with dance, whilst you think it may be an international language, and some people can make a very good living from it, it still comes under the heading of “hobbies and interests”

      Having said all that, I personally would approve of both dance and music being taught to all up to “options” time, at which point it could be chosen as one of the additional subjects that could be progressed to whatever qualifications will be in addition to the core EBacc, seeing as most kids now take 10 or 11 GCSEs, and the EBacc will only account for at most 8 or 9 subjects (Eng Lang, Maths, 3 science, 1 humanity, IT and a language) (personally I would count Eng Lit as an option too)

    • October 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Music is an international language? Funny. I’ve never attended a corporate meeting expressed through the medium of interpretive dance or the Tibetan nose flute!

      • October 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm

        You obviously go the the wrong meetings.

        • October 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm

          You are Julia Middleton, the founder of Common Purpose, and I claim my £5. 😈

      • Steve
        November 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm

        I would improve most of the meetings I have to attend

  3. Andrew Duffin
    October 31, 2012 at 11:24 am

    The whole point of the International Bacc is that it DOESN’T include soft non-subjects like sociology, media studies, dance, etc.

    You don’t pass the International Bacc by choosing easy options because there aren’t any. End of.

    If we start diluting our version we might as well not bother.

    Tell Sadlers Wells to go take a hike, Mr. Gove.

  4. October 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    How or why dance managed to get into a schools curriculum is beyond me, it certainly wasn’t a subject taught at my school

    I sort of wished they had at mine – it might have helped.

  5. Furor Teutonicus
    November 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    XX Sadler’s Wells chief executive and artistic director Alistair Spalding said the plans were “the most serious threat” dance has recently faced. XX

    Ähhh….?! Why? Does the curiculum include it NOW?

    If not, then it makes no fucking difference. If so, them tell the time wasting bastards to piss off any way. 😈

    UNLESS, of course, they teach the Time warp!

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