Chris Mason’s 2006 AYDF experience

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Having lived in Brisbane and North Queensland for most of my life, the chance to go to Horsham in Victoria has broadened my view of dance in ways that one could only imagine. For a week we were immersed in the many varied styles of dance movement that the AYDF had to offer. This opportunity gave me more interpretive ideas about how dance can be used to represent daily life and how simple beginnings can transform into a collective vessel where anything is possible.

AYDF '06 final performance.Final performance in Horsham Town Hall. Photo: Buffy Harrison.

Having always struggled to find ways to express myself in dance, the AYDF has given me success—I learned how to turn emotions into movements, and find ways to bring movement together to create a montage that represents who I am in relation to the rest of the world, and what I myself bring to it. I am grateful for this opportunity to enlarge the horizons of a world I call my life—a horizon doesn’t stop and neither does my experience. Along finding new meaning in dance, I have been able to meet other young people just like me wanting to improve their view of culture within and around Australia.

I never thought that this jam-packed festival could change me as a person so much within such a small time period. I have become more independent and more confident in what I strive to achieve. My goals in life have become much clearer now.

My experience was not what I thought it would be—I imagined going to an outback rural town in the bush, dancing and having no link to different cultures or worldly connections. Instead I have been overwhelmed by the ingenuity and creative flair that has struck Horsham and all the young people involved. I can’t imagine now not using these new-found techniques—it would all seem just a waste not to. So when I return to Brisbane I plan to incorporate everything I have attained over my seven days of dance festival—my festival—to better my schooling, my life and the way I approach new obstacles. Thank you to everyone involved in making my time in Horsham a much-loved experience.

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