Meet Ausdance National board member Jacqueline Simmonds

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Ausdance National has a dedicated new National Council made up of highly experienced and skilled individuals who have taken charge of your national peak body and are continuing its work. 

Hear from National board member Jacqueline Simmonds about how she got started in dance and why she believes a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance.

Jacqueline Simmonds

How did you get started in dance?

My sisters and I all went to dance lessons when we were growing up in Melbourne. Ballet became a passion for me, and I continued through high school. I first experienced contemporary dance at college, and loved it!

What was the first Ausdance National project or activity in which you participated?

When I moved to Sydney to head the Dance Department at Nepean CAE (as it was known in those days), I quickly became involved with Ausdance NSW. It was a fantastic way to get to know the dance community in Sydney and stay in touch with what was happening. At the National level, I represented the University on the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia.

What is the key benefit that Ausdance membership offers to its members?

The staff of the State and Territory Ausdance organisations have their fingers on the pulse of dance activity in their jurisdictions. Members of Ausdance have access to invaluable information, expertise, advice and support.  

Why did you decide to join the Ausdance National Council?

Over the decades I have seen what Ausdance National has achieved for dance in Australia, and am also aware of the high regard that overseas dance institutions have for the organisation and its accomplishments. In this time of transition for the organisation, I am thrilled that I am in a position to be able to make a contribution to its next phase.

Why do you believe a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance?

It’s disheartening to see that all the arts, including dance, are so little acknowledged by community leaders in Australia right now. I appreciate that there are many other burning issues to be addressed, but we know that the work of artists is a vital part of a healthy society. We need organisations like Ausdance to keep the arts on the public agenda, to work toward a higher profile for dance and to advocate for dance in all its forms. 

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