Community dance

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    Slow touring: longer, slower, deeper

    Slow touring expresses a desire (from artists, communities, tour presenters and funding bodies) for audiences to experience a deeper engagement with a touring performance, often through activities such as skill sharing (e.g., workshops, residencies, exchanges and collaborations) and collaboration on creative projects (e.g., recreating the work for/with local audiences). We highlight Shiver by Danielle Micich, a 2012 West Australian dance tour that successfully managed and delivered community engagement activities.

    Erin-Louise Nash’s 2006 AYDF diary

    As soon as the lights and music started, I had this amazing feeling rush over me. It was then that I really knew that I was a part of something huge! Here I was, hours away from home, performing in a new town, right next to dancers from all over the country! Not only that, but I was dancing beside people from all different dance backgrounds and skill levels.

    Both performances went so well that it was hard to believe we’d only choreographed the pieces a few days earlier. The show looked like we had been rehearsing together for months!

    Medico manoeuvres

    Skye Murtagh, of SDM Communications describes how movement and music prove a potent therapy for patients in Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide

    Tracks dance company

    Co-artistic directors, David McMicken and Tim Newth give us an insight into the rich cultural context and its impact on Tracks Dance Company in Australia’s Northern Territory

    Big sticks—masters and apprentices

    Dr Katrina Rank, Manager of Education and Training for Ausdance Victoria, outlines the guidelines developed in Australia to support effective and safe dance practice in schools and communities

    The rise and rise of community dance

    Michelle Silby, independent arts consultant based in Sydney and working in the UK and Australia, sets out some of the current developments in community dance in Australia

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    Registrations open for the 2014 AYDF

    Ausdance SA is pleased to launch the AYDF Renmark SA 2014 website, complete with artistic program, online payments and registration.

    Australian Youth Dance Festival, Renmark SA, 2014 – theme Regeneration.

    Book now to secure a place!

    Young dancers from across Australia are getting ready to invade Renmark, in the South Australian Riverland for the 2014 Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF). Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Country Arts SA the festival enables young dancers to participate in a program of classes, screenings, performances and workshops. First held in 1997 the Festival has a strong regional focus and looks to engage young people from across the country.

    Read more about the AYDF program and partner support in this media release

    Communities making dance in Tasmania

    Tasmanian Regional Arts (TRA) is leading The Dance Project in partnership with Mature Artists Dance Experience (MADE), Bust a Move and Tasdance.

    This community dance project is happening in three Tasmanian regions—the North East, North West and the South—to develop and present three new contemporary dance works with, by and about communities. Evolving from the heart of each community, these works explore place, kinship and identity as experienced by the residents of these regions.

    More evidence that dance benefits the elderly

    There are some startling new figures that support dancing as a protective strategy in preventing dementia. A Stanford University report Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter makes the following comparisons:

    ... almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia. There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind. There was one important exception: the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.

    • Reading—35% reduced risk of dementia
    • Bicycling and swimming—0%
    • Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week—47%
    • Playing golf—0%
    • Dancing frequently—76%.

    The same university offers other insights into the benefits of dance in Thoughts, philosophies and musings on social dance, a useful reference for community dance practitioners in Australia.

    New research with dance and the elderly

    New research by the University of Western Sydney is demonstrating that folk dance has clear benefits for the health of the elderly. You may have missed this great report from the ABC’s 7.30 program on 4 January.

    We’re very interested in research that proves the links between dance and health, and have been in touch with the researchers to find out more.

    Want to know more?

    On your toes: Is there a different approach to aging? Listen to Glen Murray from MADE (Mature Artists Dance Experience) and Beverley Giles, an expert in the care of people affected by dementia, talking about how dance provides the three elements essential to health and well-being in mature adults.

    Read Glen's paper about how older people can bring great riches to art-making.