Troubling dance education from a Nordic policy perspective: A field with an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral potential


  • Charlotte Svendler Nielsen University of Copenhagen
  • Tone Pernille Østern NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Kristine Høeg Karlsen Østfold University College
  • Eeva Anttila Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki
  • Rose Martin NORD University



Dance education, policy, Nordic region, educational structures, cross-sectoral collaboration


This article seeks to create an overview of existing structures for dance education in the public educational systems and of cross-sectoral collaborations in the Nordic countries Denmark, Norway and Finland. A case study methodology of the field of dance education of each of the countries is used for an analysis that seeks to better understand the different kinds of structures we find in these countries. We trace ways of organising, dividing, and defining the field based on different types of documents such as policy documents, white papers, webpages, reports, research articles, and curricula. The analyses of case descriptions result in insights into which opportunities or lack of opportunities structures give for children and young people’s long-term engagement with dance as an arts educational practice, how well the systems for educating teachers seem to support dance in education, and, looking to dance education in New Zealand, there is a discussion about what might be ways forward to strengthen the field in the Nordic countries.


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