Australian Dance Awards

The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance.
The Awards:

  • acknowledge the depth and diversity of the dance profession in our society.
  • reward those whose achievements raise the standards, profile and prestige of dance in Australia.
  • present a performance program representing the excellence and diversity of both innovative and established dance in Australia.

Filter Project Content:

Project Status

The Australian Dance Awards promote the art form, raise the profile of Australian artists and celebrate excellence.

Presented in an evening of performances showcasing some of Australia's best dance of the past year, the annual Australian Dance Awards are a non-commercial event relying on the generosity and goodwill of the dance sector.

The awards began in NSW in 1986 in the form of a Dancers’ Picnic to celebrate International Dance Day (29 April) and to acknowledge the achievements of our professional dance artists and practitioners.

AUSDANCE_21st Australian Dance Awards from Foxtel Arts on Vimeo.

Voting process

The long list

  • Nominations are open to the public
  • The selection panel considers all eligible nominations and your supporting comments.

The shortlist

  1. The selection panel reads biographies of nominees for lifetime achievement, services to dance and services to education to make a well informed decision about who makes it into the shortlist.
  2. They view video excerpts of nominated works.
  3. Each panel member rates their top four in each category by allocating 4 points for first place, 3 points for second place etc.
  4. If the scores for the winners are even or very close, the panel consults with the advisors until there is a majority agreement.

Are you eligible for an award?

All nominees must be:

  • working in the professional dance sector and making innovative and exceptional work of national significance OR
  • have made an outstanding and enduring contribution to the dance industry through their work as a teacher, writer, designer etc.

For an award for outstanding achievement in choreography, film, musical or physical theatre, or a youth, community or independent project, the work must have premiered between 1 January and 31 December the previous year.

If a work was not a premiere in this period, you can still nominate a dancer or company for an outstanding performance award.

For lifetime achievement, services or education award, nominees must have a long-standing national or international profile.

Please read the selection criteria for each award category and include a thoughtful, descriptive and concise explanation about why you think the nominee was outstanding, exceptional or innovative. These comments help convince the selection panel who may not have seen the performance.

Selection panel

The panel is made up of 13 dance professionals from all states and territories.

Members represent the dance sector and include teachers, independent artists, dance company directors, writers/critics, administrators and youth dance specialists.

Panel members serve a 3–4 year term. If a member of the selection panel is nominated for an award, they are excluded from voting in that category and excluded from any discussion about that category.


Ausdance National manages the nominations and the selection panel, and is responsible for maintaining award categories, selection criteria and a transparent voting process.

The management committee:

  • Chair, Selection Panel: Robina Beard OAM
  • Advisers: Lee Christofis, Jeff Meiners, Julie Dyson AM

News + Events

Upcoming Events

There is currently no upcoming events for this project.

Related Articles