NSCD changes course title to reflect debate over "Urban"


Friday 18th September 2020, 3:55pm NSCD changes course title to reflect debate over “Urban”


Taking into account global dialogue surrounding use of the word ‘Urban’ to describe artistic output of Black origin, Northern School of Contemporary Dance has renamed its CertHE Contemporary Urban Dance. It will now be called CertHE Cultural Dance Forms.

The 1–year CertHE Cultural Dance Forms at NSCD enables a diverse group of students to practice and study popular dance styles rooted in specific regions or cultures, including Hip-Hop, African/Caribbean Carnival and Vogue. Due to COVID-19 and restrictions on international travel, the course’s start date has been postponed from September 2020 to September 2021.

Speaking of the course title change, Sharon Watson said:

“The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement has shone a bright light on many aspects of our industry and connected industries, and we are conscious of the impact certain words can have in promoting racial stereotypes. We also understand how ‘conforming for ease’ or generalising for convenience has ordinarily been the way forward. The discussions we have had regarding the use of the word 'Urban' in relation to Dance Education have led us to renaming this course

The change comes after record labels in the US including Republic Records and Milk & Honey records dropped the term from their music genres,  stating the term is outdated and reductive.

NSCD will also no longer be using the acronym ‘BAME’ in communications, out of respect for those individuals it is deemed to represent.