Ann Young is a University of New South Wales PhD researcher, holds an MA (UWS), Post-Graduate Certificate Dance Teaching (UTS) and is a registered Cecchetti Ballet teacher and schoolteacher. Ann and family performed with Australian Heritage Dancers and she has taught Bush Dance and Folk Dance. She was awarded an Honorary Life Membership of Ausdance NSW for her contribution to dance a voluntary worker.
Folk dance is the expression of culture so it changes as culture changes over time and from place to place. Maypole dancing, I discovered, was once our only folk dance but it went out with the empire. Bush dancing arose simultaneously with the political policy we call ‘multiculturalism’ and parallel with the republican debate rejoiced in being ‘not English’. Australians may be surprised to realise just how demure our country dance is and how clearly urbanisation is expressed. Egalitarianism, gender equity, individualism and other Australian values are clearly revealed in bush dance.