We are deeply saddened to hear the news regarding the closure of the dance degree programme at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB). Established in partnership with Pavilion Dance in 2015, we have been hosting the programme at our venue since its beginning. Over the years, students, artists, and teachers have been integral parts of our dancing community as well as the wider arts and cultural ecology of Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole.   

The programme is uniquely placed to provide students with invaluable opportunities to connect with nationally renowned artists visiting Pavilion Dance. It is an important part of the talent development pipeline in the South West, supporting young dance artists in honing their skills and entering the sector upon graduation. While we recognise the financial pressure that the university might be experiencing in these challenging times, we ought to also acknowledge the contribution of the AUB dance degree regionally and nationally. This closure is not only a huge loss for the teachers and students that are immediately impacted, but for all the young people in our region and beyond who wish to pursue a future career in dance.  

We are concerned about the decline in the number of dance education and training programmes across the UK, a trend that is having a significant impact on our sector. One Dance UK published some worrying findings in the Dance in HE report earlier this year where 64% of dance educators expressed that they have experienced dance course closures at their institutions in the past 5 years. Since the report was published six months ago, the situation has only worsened.  

Through all our work at Pavilion Dance, we witness daily the transformative impact that dance brings to people’s lives. While we await more clarity from the university regarding the closure, we are proactively fostering new partnerships locally and nationally. Pavilion Dance will be hosting the Dance Futures conversation in January convened in collaboration with AUB to ensure that young people continue to have opportunities to learn, to train, and to pursue a future career in dance. 

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