Statistics about dancing in the UK and why we need to continue our support for creative industries
Updated: Jan 27
A rant? Nope, that's not what this article is don't worry ;) Instead I'm sharing with you, some interesting statistics about dancing and discussing how this unprecedented 2020 has already affected the creative industry and how we can help reduce any negative knock on effect to opportunities for our youngsters in the future.
"Did you know, before the first COVID-19 lockdown hit the UK, the total number of employed and self-employed dancers and choreographers in the UK was at the highest it's been for over 10 years?"
Statistics about dancing professionally
According to Statista, 22'000 dancers we're employed / self-employed in pre-lockdown in 2019/2020, compared to 2013 for example where only 12'000 were employed / self employed. An encouraging increase for the industry.
Yet according to research from Oxford Economics the creative industries are projected to be hit twice as hard as the rest of the wider economy, and 1 in 5 creative jobs are expected to be lost during/post the effects of Covid-19.
What's the creative industries definition?
'Creative industries' includes design, music, publishing, film and video, crafts, visual arts, fashion, TV, radio, literature, computer games, the performing arts and many more business types that are 'creative'
If the Oxford Economics projection is correct, that's a very fast and steep drop in over 4000 creative jobs. Most professional dancers dedicate years of their lives to training in their discipline, for what is a very competitive industry already. Yet with this projected drop back down in job availability and increase in unemployed dancers, that'll only make it harder and more competitive for performers trying to make a living who've already worked so hard to get to the level they are.
How can we all play our part to help support the creative industry bounce back?
Get involved in any way you can; purchase tickets to shows when they re open, take that dance class you've always wanted to attend, buy that book you wanted to read, go see the movie, share events on your socials, give great performances 5 star reviews, tell your friends about your creative industry experiences, and that's just skimming the surface. In the words of Tesco: "Every Little Helps"
Concerning statistics about dancing and children:
According to Statista, the share of 11 to 15 year olds participating in dance activities in England in 2019/20 is down 23.7% on 2009/10, and the share of 5 to 10 year olds is also down 20.5% on 2009/10.
Screenshot below from Statista.com
Why is this drop in dance activity participation in England concerning?
Dance is a major player and tripple-threat in the category of 'life-benefits'. Participating in dance activity can have:
Therefore the question is; are the percentages of children who are now not participating in dance activity still getting a healthy dose of physical fitness training, mental health benefiting activity or the chance to learn how to socially interact in a place other than their home or school? We certainly hope they are, and a more important question stemming from this is:
How can we make sure the statistics about dancing and children's participation rises in the face of Covid-19 lockdown limitations?
We can all play a part...
Dance Schools / Community Dance Groups; Personally as a dance school director I will be continuing, alongside co-director Victoria, to provide as many opportunities for youngsters as possible to give dance a try and have fun training in dance, to no-matter-what level. Even in a lockdown, we are lucky enough to have the technology to keep everyone dancing. Staying resilient, adapting, and being innovative at this time will mean we'll all come out on the other side stronger and more unified.
Parents and guardians can play a crucial role in encouraging youngsters to try things, such as dance that keeps them physically active; luckily we know tonnes of those parents and guardians already #GoTeam, let's keep that up!
Friends and peers encouragement to join each other in dance activities can play a major role in future stats. Be a dance ambassador!
"I'm the perfect example of the influence of friends: Age 5, my neighbour came for a play date, she showed me the dance she'd learnt at a dance class, and I was like "'I want to do that!'... 32 years later here I am!"
Community Interest - Harlow and Bishop's Stortford, where are dance schools are based, have always been incredibly arts focused and have happily showcased and encouraged local talent such as those in our dance school crews. A community's backing is key!
Statistics about dancing are continually changing, and it's up to us dancers, enthusiasts and supporters, to all play our part in spreading the love for dance activity and participation, and thus helping to support the creative industry in general.
Director - Hip Hop Pop
Statistics are correct, according to the sources listed, at time of writing. We do not take responsibility for the validity of stats from external sources