Secondary Aboriginal Dance Workshops

Program information

This program is an exciting collaboration between the internationally renowned Bangarra Dance Theatre and the NSW Department of Education Arts Unit. In this program, tutors from Bangarra work with schools to learn and perform contemporary Indigenous dance.

The 2021 program will begin with a professional learning session for participating teachers and support staff. Students will then participate in 5 hours of workshops over 4 weeks. Bangarra will provide students and teachers with a contemporary indigenous repertoire. There will also be opportunities for schools to incorporate their local cultural dance styles and stories in consultation with their elders and community. 

This engaging and high energy dance program will conclude with a shared virtual performance from each school. The creative tasks that will be covered in the program link to the theme ‘Heal Country!’ which is this year’s NAIDOC theme. If they would like to, participating schools can perform their finished work during NAIDOC Week.

Please note that prior to 2021, the program was run as face-to-face one day workshops. The 2021 program will be held online. For more information about the face-to-face workshops please watch the below video.

Secondary Aboriginal Dance Workshop Promo

Dates and location

The Secondary Aboriginal Dance program is generally run in Term 1. Applications for this program open at the beginning of the school year. This interactive program will be held online via Zoom in 2021. Schools will nominate their preferred days and times when applying for the program.


The program is available to students and teachers from NSW public schools. In 2021 the program is open to student groups from Years 7 to 12 of Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds.

Applying for the program

The Secondary Aboriginal Dance program is very popular and spots tend to fill quickly. Please note that completing an application does not guarantee entry into the program. All schools will be notified by email once workshop placements have been finalised.
Please note: applications for the program have closed for 2021. Schools have been notified via email about the status of their application.

Students dancing at a workshop 

2021 program information

Program inclusions: 2.5 hours professional learning and 5 hours of student workshops over 4 weeks. Up to 20 students may attend from each school.

Fees: $420 total per school to be made up of:

  • $120 for the professional learning session (up to 2 teachers included)
  • $300 for the student workshops (up to 20 students per school).

Location: This interactive program will be conducted online, via the Zoom platform.

Workshop dates and duration: Throughout Term 1 and Term 2. The teacher professional learning session will run for 2.5 hours. Each student workshop will run for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • Term 1, Week 4: Teacher professional learning session
  • Term 1, Week 7: Student workshop #1 
  • Term 1, Week 9: Student workshop #2 
  • Term 2, Week 2: Student workshop #3 
  • Term 2, Week 5: Student workshop #4 

Applications: Applications for this program closed on Friday 5 Feb 2021.

Teacher professional learning session: The program will begin with a professional learning session for participating teachers and support staff which will include protocols to assist with cultural dance delivery, the connection to culture and the significance of the stories and movement to the land. The session will also cover how to support their students as they develop their final dance work. 


2021 NSW Public Schools Aboriginal Dance Company

The Secondary Aboriginal Dance program will be a valuable experience for all students, however, students do not need to attend these workshops in 2021 to apply for the 2021 NSW Public Schools Aboriginal Dance Company. Students wishing to be considered for the 2021 Company will be asked to provide a filmed audition.

The Aboriginal Dance Company is an audition-based dance ensemble for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students who excel in contemporary indigenous dance. Ensemble members must be in Years 7 to 12, attend a NSW public school and identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. For more information visit the 2021 Aboriginal Dance Company application page. 

Please note that applications for the 2021 Aboriginal Dance Company closed on Thursday 1 April 2021. 

Aboriginal Dance Company performing  Students in the Aboriginal Dance Company performing

2021 Schools Spectacular Aboriginal Dance School Ensemble

Whilst the Secondary Aboriginal Dance Workshops will provide students with valuable dance skills, it is not a part of the Schools Spectacular Aboriginal Dance Ensemble audition process. If schools would like to apply for the 2021 School Spectacular Aboriginal Dance Ensemble, please check the Schools Spectacular website for details.

Schools Spectacular performance  Students performing at Schools Spectacular

Further information

If you require any further information about any of the above programs please contact the Arts Initiatives team via phone (02) 8512 1190 or email