Making dance a safe space for Queensland kids


Ausdance QLD




Funding to help build a transformative safety education program for children learning all styles and traditions of dance. Cultural training will also support safe participation in dance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Year of grant:


Ausdance QLD wants to make dance a safe space for all Queensland kids regardless of their background, culture or location.

November 2023

SafeDance for Kids is a six-week active safety education program developed for children aged 8-10 years, to be delivered by dance educators. 

The program will provide professional development for dance teachers, while arming young dance students with information, strategies and facts to help them dance ‘safely’… by learning about physical health, nutrition, injury prevention and how to nurture mental health.

More than 73,000 children dance in Queensland each week, yet the sector has no regulation, and little government funding or corporate support. More children participate in cultural activities than in sport, so lack of knowledge, training and accountability about safety puts many children at risk.  

The John Villiers Trust (JVT) has provided funding to help Ausdance QLD develop and pilot the SafeDance for Kids program.

Julie Englefield, Executive Director of Ausdance QLD, says JVT’s support has helped get the initiative off the ground. The program now has additional funding from partners and collaborators including Arts Queensland.

“As the peak body representing all forms of dance across Queensland, this program was developed to help address the dance community’s concerns about the safety of our children and in response to the professional and economic development needs of the sector,” Julie says.

“We have the will and partnerships to develop a program, but limited finance. JVT’s funding allowed us to engage a project manager to progress our planning, and now with recently approved co-funding from Arts Queensland, we can develop the training module and roll out the pilot program.”

Unlike most programs, SafeDance for Kids was designed with country areas in mind from the beginning. It is being designed for piloting firstly in rural, regional, and remote communities and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with the intention of later rolling it out to other regions and metropolitan areas state-wide. The aim is to create a program accessible and effective for all.…and if it works for country areas, it can work for cities. 

The program will be applicable to all dance styles and traditions, and with a focus on cultural safety education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. 

It’s not only kids benefiting from the program though, with professional development training for teachers and professional dance coaches to build safety knowledge and connections between the dancers and grassroots community groups and businesses.

The John Villiers Trust believes Safedance for Kids can have a positive impact on rural, regional and remote communities, and the families and children who live there. With a focus on prevention and early intervention, the program has multiple impacts – building capability and supporting increased physical and mental wellbeing training for dancers, dancer teachers and students, and raising children’s awareness and confidence about their own health and safety.

Did you know?

  • 73,694 children dance each week in Queensland. Across Australia, it’s more popular than AFL!
  • $253M is spent nationally each year on children’s dance activities
  • 18% of girls aged 9-11 and 13% of girls aged 12-14 dance regularly

About Ausdance QLD

Ausdance QLD promotes and supports dance as a vital art form, encouraging participation, education, and professional development.

It is the peak body for the dance community in Queensland across all forms. With over 1600 members – 67 per cent of which are in rural, regional, and remote Queensland – they represent the breadth and depth of dance across the state and prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and peoples throughout all operations and programs.