Apply for the 2021 NSW Public Schools Aboriginal Dance Company

What is the NSW Public Schools Aboriginal Dance Company?

The Aboriginal Dance Company is an audition-based dance ensemble for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students who excel in contemporary Indigenous dance. The Company is a partnership between the NSW Department of Education Arts Unit and Bangarra Dance Theatre.

In previous years, the Company has performed at state dance festivals, in the Schools Spectacular and at a number of other high profile events. Students in the Company will experience new and exciting opportunities to perform in 2021. Students in the Aboriginal Dance Company experience exciting opportunities to perform, learn new skills and build relationships with others from across the state. 

Two students performing in the Aboriginal Dance Company
2019 State Dance Festival performance

2021 Aboriginal Dance Company information

How will the program run in 2021?
Successful students will participate in a series of online rehearsals commencing in Term 2 (Week 6) to collaborate with tutors from Bangarra and develop the student's own choreographic work. Students will incorporate motifs from Bangarra works which will be filmed and featured in the 2021 NSW Public Schools State Dance Festival.
Information about Company rehearsals for 2021
Location: Online via Zoom. You will need a suitable school space to rehearse in and access to a device so that you can take part in the Zoom rehearsals. There will also be the possibility of going on Country for the final performance.

Supervision: It is suggested that a staff member be present throughout the rehearsal to ensure safe dance and school WHS practices are followed and implemented as required.

Fee: $200.00 (no GST required)

Meet and Greet: There will be online meet and greet sessions with tutors and Arts Unit staff at the beginning of the program to answer any questions and to explain the process of the rehearsals and the filming. The meet and greet will be held on Zoom.

Rehearsals/workshops: There are 10 student rehearsals. Each will take place as follows:
Time: 9:15am-10:30am
Dates: Term 2 from Weeks 6-10:
  • Monday 24 May and Friday 28 May (Term 2 Week 6)
  • Monday 31 May and Friday 4 June (Term 2 Week 7)
  • Monday 7 June ( Term 2 Week 8)
  • Tuesday 15 June and Friday 18 June (Term 2 Week 9)
  • Monday 21 June, Wednesday 23 June and Friday 25 June (Term 2 Week 10)

Schools Spectacular performance
2019 Schools Spectacular performance

Applying for the 2021 Aboriginal Dance Company

Who can apply?
Students should apply if they demonstrate potential or excellence in contemporary Indigenous dance. Students may apply if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • be in Years 7 to 12 (in January 2021)
  • attend a NSW Public School
  • have some experience in contemporary or cultural dancing.
Changes to the audition process in 2021
In previous years, students who demonstrated potential in the Arts Unit Secondary Aboriginal Dance Workshops were auditioned for the NSW Public Schools Aboriginal Dance Company. Whilst the Secondary Aboriginal Dance program will still be a valuable experience for students, in 2021 students will not need to attend these workshops to apply for the 2021 Aboriginal Dance Company.

Students wishing to be considered for the 2021 Company will be asked to provide a filmed audition and viva voce (details below).

Please note
Applications for the 2021 NSW Public Schools Aboriginal Dance Company are now closed. Applications closed on Thursday 1 April 2021. Late applications will not be considered.

Students performing
2018 State Dance Festival performance

How do I apply?

To apply, students must complete and submit all of the following by Thursday 1 April 2021:

  1. Record a 1 minute viva voce video
  2. Perform and record a 2 minute dance video 
  3. Complete the online application form, including a link to the two videos.
1. Viva Voce
A viva voce is a way to introduce yourself and helps us learn a bit more about you and why you are interested in applying. All you need to do is speak to the camera and include the below information. It's okay if you don't know the answer to every question, just answer as best you can. Watch an example of a viva voce here.
Your viva voce video should be 1 minute long. Make sure you include:
  • Your name and school
  • Your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage (your mob)
  • The Country you are living on now
  • The Country you are from
  • Why you are interested in applying for the Aboriginal Dance Company
  • What you want to do in the future

2. Dance video
Record yourself or have some record you perform a 2 minute dance. Your dance should be contemporary and include Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander motifs. Watch an example of a contemporary Indigenous dance performance here

3. Uploading and sharing your videos
You will be asked to share your videos via a web link in the application form. We recommend using a cloud sharing system e.g. Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox. You can then share the link for this in the application form below.

  • For Google Drive, right click on the file and select 'share' from the dropdown. Select 'anyone with link can view' and copy/paste the link.
  • For OneDrive, hover over the file and select the icon with the curved arrow. Select either 'anyone with link' or 'anyone in the NSW Department of Education with link' and copy/paste the link.
  • For Dropbox, hover over file and select the 'share' button that appears. Check that under the link it's set to 'anyone with link can see it'. Copy/paste the link.

Note: students and staff can access both Google Drive (via G Suite) and OneDrive (via Microsoft 365) from their staff or student portal.

Visual of Google Drive sharing as explained above.









For more information

If you require any assistance or clarification, please don't hesitate to contact the Arts Initiatives team from The Arts Unit via phone (02) 8512 1190, or email