A case study of career development in the dance industry: Australia's SCOPE initiative

Creative workforce Performing arts Cultural industries Career development Dancing Creative economy Australia

Unlike much of the work in the field that concentrates on organization career development and knowledge management, this paper takes an industry sector perspective.

The creative industries are recognised as playing a crucial role for our post-industrial economic well being. Dance plays a central role here, especially as a unique way of knowing and learning, with both intrinsic and instrumental value. Whilst there is diversity among dance artists, one unifying feature is short careers as performers. Having amassed an array of special attributes and competencies that are beneficial to both individuals, the arts industry and broader society, it is crucial to manage the career development and knowledge gained through dance artists’ training and performing careers in order to sustain and reap the benefits of their intellectual capital for creative nations. 

This paper outlines one Australian initiative to harness such knowledge, the SCOPE project (Securing Career Opportunities and Professional Employment) which has been running for the last three years in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). SCOPE is especially innovative as, unlike overseas programs, it moves beyond the notion of a transition program to emphasising that of career development and sector knowledge management.

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