Australian Dance Awards 2018

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.

The 2018 Australian Dance Awards will be held on Saturday 8 September 2018 at the Brisbane Powerhouse. The awards will be produced and presented by Ausdance National.

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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 contibution 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, and perhaps international, profile.

List of eligible works

We prepare a list of eligible works for the current nominations period to help you when you nominate. Sometimes a work or an artist slips through the system and does not make it onto this list. Please email the nominations coordinator if you think a work is missing.

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.

Please note: the number of times a work or person is nominated is not a deciding factor.

Voting process

All eligible nominations and your supporting comments are given to the 13 members of the selection panel.

Companies and independent artists are invited to submit video excerpts of their nominated work for viewing.

We give the selection panel the biographies of nominees for lifetime achievement, services to dance and services to education. This helps panel members make a well informed decision about who makes it into the shortlist.

Each panel member rates their top four in each category by allocating 4 points for first place, 3 points for second place etc.

When the first round of votes are compiled, the results are submitted to the panel for a second round of voting to produce a shortlist of four for each award. If the scores for the winners are even or very close, the panel consults with the advisors until there is a majority agreement.

Selection panel

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

Members represent the various dance sectors, including teachers, independent artists, dance company directors, writers/critics, administrators and youth dance specialists.

The recommended term served by panel members is 3 to 4 years. If a member of the selection panel is nominated for an award, he or she is 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 ADAs management committee consists of:

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


About the Australian Dance Awards

With a truly national focus, the Australian Dance Awards promote the art form, raise the profile of Australian artists and provide a focal point for the celebration of excellence.

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

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

In 1997 Ausdance NSW, with support from the City of Sydney and The Australian Ballet, presented the inaugural ADAs at the Sydney Opera House.

2008 marked the beginning of a new era, with the Awards celebration held in Melbourne and produced by Ausdance Victoria for three consecutive years, thanks to the generosity of the Joan & Peter Clemenger Trust and The Australian Ballet.

Since 2010 the ADAs have been traveling around the country, with state/territory Ausdance organisations hosting and producing the event.

Visit the Australian Dance Awards website  to see all the ADAs winners from 1997–2016.

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2017 Australian Dance Awards recipients

2017 Australian Dance Awards shortlist

Australian Dance Awards 2017 longlist

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