Kids get moving with Garabara Ngurra dance program

A school holiday dance program had kids moving and shaking to a mix of modern and traditional Indigenous dances on Friday morning.

The Garabara Ngurra dance program is run by Jo Clancy and is designed to connect local dancers across the country with the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) dance college.  

Five NAISDA dancers travelled from their studio in Kariong on the NSW Central Coast to work with local children at Campbell Page in Eden, and explained how they could audition for the program.

The NAISDA dancers told the group about their travels across Australia and the Torres Strait, learning dances from the communities they visited and exploring new parts of the country. 

The dancers, led my Ms Cleary, led a group of around 20 in a group dance. Ms Cleary asked local children to demonstrate traditional dances from the Eden region, which were worked into the routine.

Fling Physical Theatre partnered with Ms Clancy to bring the Garabara Ngurra dance program to the Bega Valley. Associate artist Gabriela Green said it was important for programs to reach all children.

“It lets us collaborate across distances and maintain relationships between young dancers, whether they’re in Bega or Eden,” she said. 

Campbell Page assistant youth worker Nathan Lygon took part in the workshop, and said the dancing was a fantastic event for the children. 

“We had a real mixture of kids from around town, which was really great to see,” he said. 

“Everyone really had a go, there was no shame about dancing, they just went for it.”

He said the dance workshop has been the busiest day of the school holidays for Campbell Page in Eden, and wants to see the program return in the future. 

As part of the visit, the dancers also visited Bega to run a similar workshop with Fling.

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