DEMONSTRATING their poise, craftsmanship and an unquenchable thirst for success, indigenous students from the Clarence Valley have been dancing their hearts out at the Grafton High School MPC this week.
Under the guidance of renowned performers Sidney Saltner and Sani Townson from the Bangarra Dance Theatre, students were taught traditional and contemporary dances during a two-day workshop, which they performed live in front of parents, teachers and peers.
Those who exhibited the most enthusiasm and commitment will be selected to join indigenous students from across NSW in Sydney, where they will form a national dance company and receive tutoring by performing dancers at Bangarra.
"The workshops are part of a two-week regional tour run in partnership between Bangarra and the Arts Unit. More than 400 indigenous pupils from Dubbo, Tamworth and Griffith have already participated," said Kirsten Dickason, performing arts project manager for the Arts Unit.
"The workshops present aspiring dancers from rural regions with an opportunity to access professional mentorship from experienced performers such as Sidney and Sani. We look for the students who have that special spark in them. Of the 400 we have seen, only 18 will be selected and invited to come to Sydney.
"The other students who participated in the workshops will have the opportunity to perform at the 2012 Schools Spectacular in November."
The culture program and company manager of Bangarra, Amy Hammond, praised the talents of regional Australian indigenous students.
"We have seen many enthusiastic students during the past two weeks," she said.
The names of the chosen 18 students will be announced on May 14.