The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Australia has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the excellent standard of education within its Registered Teaching Membership by launching a brand new Teachers’ Scholarship Fund. The launch of the fund coincides with the start of the 2021/22 Membership year on 1 September 2021. The aim of the fund is to increase access to professional development at a time when the dance studio sector and dance teachers are facing their greatest challenges to date.
Together with the support of inaugural partners DanceSurance and Harlequin Floors, RAD Australia will provide dance teachers from within its 1,500 strong membership the opportunity to seek financial support to take part in professional development activities.
National Director Rebecca Taylor said, “The past two years have been incredibly tough for the dance studio sector. With lockdowns and restrictions seriously impacting dance teachers and changing the way we teach and learn, professional development is more critical than ever. We want to ensure that our members continue to be at the forefront of their profession by increasing their opportunities to access a range of programmes.”
Teachers are able to apply for the financial assistance in one of two rounds of applications. Activities supported include attending one of the RAD’s own continuing professional development courses or conferences, or undertaking an appropriate course hosted externally by a third party.
CPD and Membership Services Manager Alison Homer is delighted the Fund will underpin the RAD’s Professional Development focus. “Professional development enables teachers to develop new, and build on existing, skills – an essential part of their teaching profession,” she said. “Moreover, it allows them to engage with advances in their field, which is invaluable as they navigate new skills to support their students and progress in their careers.”
The Teachers’ Scholarship Fund has been in the planning for quite some time with the RAD wanting to offer greater access and support for dance teachers in regional areas and marginalised communities. But it was in late 2020 that long-term partners DanceSurance and Harlequin Floors came on board and the fund was given the boost needed to launch and to be able to extend scholarships to multiple recipients.
Gail McGeachy, general manager from DanceSurance, said, “DanceSurance are extremely proud to support the Teachers’ Scholarship Fund. What a wonderful initiative from our friends at RAD! Sending our best wishes to all our wonderful teachers who continue to work so tirelessly throughout these uncertain and challenging times.”
Applications open on 20 September, and anyone interested in supporting the future of dance education in Australia can donate to the ongoing fund here. For more information on RAD Australia’s Teachers’ Scholarship Fund, visit au.royalacademyofdance.org/teacher-training-with-the-rad/cpd-5/rad-australiteachers-scholarship-fund.