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Water safety on tap at Encore dance studio

HOBART youngsters will learn vital water safety messages via dance in October, as part of a new partnership designed to help teach children about water safety all year round.

North Hobart’s Encore Dance & Theatre School will incorporate the ‘Kids Alive Do the Five’ and ‘Sunscreen March’ safety songs into their repertoire, after water safety initiative Kids Alive joined with preschool dance program READY SET DANCE to help educate kids aged under five.

Encore Dance & Theatre School owner Sharon Shirley said her team was immensely proud to be helping share such vital safety messages. 

“We are so excited about this partnership as we know children learn best through song and dance, and READY SET DANCE endorses the importance of water safety especially for the under-fives,” she said.

“Sharing these wonderful messages with our students all year round is bound to make a difference.” 

Encore is just one of 250 dance studios across the country taking part in the program, which Kids Alive founder Laurie Lawrence said was part of a deliberate strategy to provide water safety education all year round.

“Swimming lessons remain one of the best preventive measures to reduce drownings, but unfortunately interruptions due to COVID and a tendency for 20 per cent of families to drop out of lessons during the colder months has had a massive impact,” he said. 

“Dance is the most popular activity outside of playgroup, so it was obvious where we needed to start in this crusade for more access to education.”

The initiative also aligns with the Australian Water Safety Strategy (AWSS) 2030, which identified under-fives as one of the most vulnerable groups to drowning.

“Resources are tight – especially in regional areas – and the spread of locations of READY SET DANCE will help bring our message to the right areas,” Kids Alive operations manager Emma Lawrence said.

“Our goal is zero drownings in the under fours and we will continue to pursue new ways to teach this precious group and try to reduce numbers again.”

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About the Author: Hobart Observer

The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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