Postpone the 2020 VCE Dance Performance Exam

Postpone the 2020 VCE Dance Performance Exam

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Vicki Bugg started this petition to VCAA

VCE dance teachers and students are calling for support for an immediate extension to be granted for VCE dance students’ performance examination. In light of the state government’s announcement that Stage 4 lockdown measures will remain in place until September 28th, and that VCE students will not be returning to face to face teaching until the 12th of October, it is absurd to expect VCE dance students to perform their solo dance works for examination, beginning in early October.

Due to the ongoing health crisis, a majority of students have not had consistent access to adequate studio space or face to face teacher feedback for many months. Despite this, VCAA are expecting that students will have been able to choreograph and refine a performance-ready dance solo that will define 50% of their overall mark in this subject.

It is worth noting that, while students in many subjects are being adversely affected by the crisis, VCE dance students are at a significant and particular disadvantage under the current lockdown measures. This is because the performance criteria for the subject specifies that students will be marked according to their performance’s varied and sophisticated use of space. For most students, working conditions for the last several months have been limited to whatever couple of square meters they’re able to create in their bedrooms or living rooms. Given that these working conditions are to continue until late-September, how do VCAA expect that students will be able to adequately meet this central criteria for their composition solo by October?

In May, VCAA made the decision to forgo the examination for the skills-based solo that students had been choreographing since the beginning of the school year and instead base their performance grade (50% of the overall subject grade) solely on the composition solo that students only began choreographing mid-way through the year for Unit 4. Since then VCAA have not responded to the specificities of the unfolding situation and the massive limitations it has put on students’ capacity to effectively choreograph work that could realistically meet the existing criteria for the subject.

As such, we feel that is absolutely necessary to act in a manner that minimizes the disadvantage students face, and provides them with the time, space, and support needed to rehearse and perform their solo dance work to the best of their ability. To this end we ask that the performance exams be postponed until a later date, at minimum two weeks after the lifting of school lockdown measures in October. This will give all students the opportunity to rehearse and refine their work in their studio spaces, and will consequently alleviate some of the restrictions that at present would make it impossible for them to meet the criteria set for them by the VCAA examination board.  

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