More must be done to ensure the safety of children in dance
The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse has begun its investigation into performing arts centres, including the high profile case of Sydney dance instructor Grant Davies. Davies pleaded guilty to dozens of child sexual abuse and pornography charges for offences against children committed over the course of a decade.
Commenting for ABC news, Sydney dance instructor Jemma Nicoll said more needs to be done to protect children in the dance industry. Jemma has previously written about the sexualisation of children in dance schools and has now launched a national code of conduct to address the sexualisation of children.
"I think it's a huge issue," she said.
"It's not a new issue, it's been going on for a while.
"I guess as more of these [cases of abuse] come up, people are starting to talk about it and want to make a change from a very local and grassroots level."
She said when she launched her dance studio in Sydney's south, she was shocked to learn the industry was not regulated properly.
"At this point in time, everyone and anyone can go and open a dance school," Ms Nicoll said.
"There is no regulation of Working With Children checks, and no code or policy to subscribe to.
"In saying that, there are pockets of Australia that are a bit further ahead than others."
Further reading from Sydney dance teacher Jemma Nicoll
The sexification of young dancers: Inside Australia's booming dance studio scene
‘Pop This’: how the dance industry caters for paedophilic fantasies with underage girls
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