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Animated Edition - Spring 2009
From the editor
Ken Bartlett, Creative Director, Foundation for Community Dance

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Dance takes the lead
As soon as London was awarded the 2012 Olympics we began to explore the potential opportunities for dance artists working with communities, and for those communities to engage with dance in the context of 2012 and the upcoming Cultural Olympiad promised in the bid.

It's very easy with the current downturn in the economy to be cynical about the Olympics, and the cultural element built into the enterprise. The Cultural Olympiad, even before the credit crunch, was never going to be a cash cow for the arts, and an article in the Guardian of the 25 March gathered together a group of the arts 'great and good' to dismiss the opportunities offered by the Cultural Olympiad. Dance has not been included specifically within the major projects of the Cultural Olympiad, but in the past six months representatives from across the wider dance sector have been meeting to develop proposals to change that. Our early thinking has been received positively by the people at 2012, so watch this space.

The Arts Councils of the UK have established Artists Take the Lead, a series of high profile commissions across the UK. We certainly hope that dance will feature amongst them. What we are urging is that the community dance sector seizes all the opportunities on offer as a way to raise the profile of community dance artists, the work and the communities that participate, wherever they arise.

In this issue we feature the perspectives presented at Going for Gold, our members meeting held in Birmingham at the end of February 2008. These demonstrate that there are some very real opportunities for dance to take the lead - but don't expect anything to be offered on a plate, just go out and get pushy about it. We also bring you up to date with our plans for a National College for Community Dance, and offer some reflections about how we non-disabled people view disabled performers in dance and how dance can contribute positively in the field of dementia.

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Animated: Spring 2009