Young, talented dancers in contemporary dance training: widening participation and fair access, rhetoric or reality?
Dr Angela Pickard | Open Lecture Series 2021 | Lecture 6 - June 22 2021
Socio-economic disadvantage can be a significant barrier to accessing high-quality dance training for young, talented dancers. Government policy and strategy relating to widening participation and talent development in the UK are premised on raising aspirations and meritocracy. In this presentation, Pierre Bourdieu's conceptual framework of field, capital and habitus is used to examine social variations, that can act as barriers to talent development in dance. Interviews with 33 talented, contemporary dancers attending a Centre of advanced Training programme, between the ages of 13–16 years, from a variety of backgrounds were undertaken. Findings suggest the dancers’ have experienced barriers to access, but also capital gain, symbolic exchange, and transformative potential.
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