They simply shine: It’s Dance Festival time again

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IT’S that time of year when Canberra’s most creative young dancers burst into action in a festival that is totally uncompetitive.

1986, dancers take a bow.
1986, dancers take a bow.

Ausdance Youth Dance Festival, this year with the theme, “Stories,” opens tonight and will see 36 high schools and colleges onstage with 55 different dance works as they celebrate the 30th year of the Festival.

The Youth Dance Festival is billed as a non-competitive celebration of dance and celebrates differences, creativity, team work and building relationships. This annual event attracts more than 1,400 dancers a year, allowing each student to participate in dance-making and performing.

1997 Alfred Deakin High hoofers
1997 Alfred Deakin High hoofers

You and I might say they’re just having a good time, but to their teachers the idea is to increase their self-esteem and teamwork skills, as well as learn “healthy behaviours”. For many, it will be seen as a highlight of their secondary schooling.

The dancers come from almost all ACT Government High Schools and Colleges, and many high schools and colleges from the close NSW region no more than one hour’s drive from the border. This the event has been going since 1985, with more than 31,000 dancers taking to the boards.

2002, Canberra College dancers  take a walk on the lighter side
2002, Canberra College dancers take a walk on the lighter side

Non-competitive it may be, but as well as sharing in the fun, you can easily sport the dance stars of the future- they simply shine!

Ausdance Youth Dance Festival, at the Canberra Theatre, 7.30pm September 17-19 inclusive. Bookings to canberratheatrecentre.com.au or 6275 2700

Wednesday, September 17:

Medici College (When Fear Comes Alive), Lyneham High School (Arabian Nights), Blue Gum Community School (Discovery), Trinity Catholic College, Campbell High School (The Great Gatsby), Narrabundah College (Drop The Game), Marist College, Mount Stromlo High School (Murder On The Dance Floor), Amaroo School (Emotional Rollercoaster), St Clare’s College (Jumanji), Merici College (Neverland), St Clare’s College (Untold Stories), Campbell High School (Consequence), Telopea Park School (In the Beginning), Amaroo School (Exploring Normality), Lyneham High School (Hoods and Wolves), Narrabundah College (Willkommen), Merici College (No Explanation Necessary), Canberra College (Gatsby), Daramalan College (Good Luck Good Fortune).

Thursday September 18:

Hawker College (Vincent), Caroline Chisholm School (Thrift Shop), Calwell High School (Drawn Into the Darkness), Melba Copland Secondary School (Behind Closed Doors), Dickson College, Brindabella Christian College (The Hero In You), Canberra Girls Grammar School (Whodunnit?), Alfred Deakin High School (Whispers), Canberra College (A Refugee’s Story), Daramalan College (West Side Story), Canberra High School (Toasted Marshmallows), Melba Copland Secondary School (Let Me Entertain You), St Francis Xavier College (Famous), Caroline Chisholm School (After Ever After), Hawker College (Young Love), Daramalan College (Toy Story), Calwell High School (Stand Up & Be Brave), St Mary MacKillop College (Stories On Many Levels), Lake Tuggeranong College (Emotion In Motion).

Friday September 19:

Harrison School (Hunter’s Pursuit), Orana Steiner School, Black Mountain School (That’s Life), Canberra Girls Grammar School (Dr Seuss’ Hat), Lanyon High School (Never Let You Down), Radford College (Flip It, Read It, Scroll It), Canberra Grammar School (This Is Us), Lanyon High School (Opposites Attract), Melrose High School (The Legend Lives On), Radford College (Work-Lead-Dance), Lake Tuggeranong College (Final Year), Namadgi School, Erindale College (The Stories That Link Us Together), Goulburn High School (Humanity Lives?), UC SSC Lake Ginninderra (There Will Be Bad Days), Radford College (The Girl Who Knows What She Wants).

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Helen Musa
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