25 January 2024 13:54
Celebrating the success of ‘Dancing into the Future; practices, insights & innovations’
RAD Australia is delighted to announce the successful conclusion of our fifth international biannual conference, ‘Dancing into the Future; practices, insights & innovations.’ The event, held from January 19-21, 2024, brought together dance professionals, educators, and enthusiasts from all corners of Australia and further afield internationally, both in-person and virtually.
The conference began with a lively Opening Cocktail Event on January 19, graciously hosted by Platinum Sponsor DanceSurance in the foyer of the iconic Sydney Dance Company. Yvonne Weldon delivered a Welcome to Country, followed by an inspiring address by Lisa Pavane, Director of The Australian Ballet School. The opening event and evenings celebration set the tone for an enriching weekend.
Keynote speaker Dr. Susan Koff, who travelled from New York to join the event, opened the conference on Saturday morning with a thought-provoking address that connected theory to practice. Susan noted that during the weekend teachers spoke of their own reflections and willingness to examine their own practice following the address and that it was pleasing that teachers are curious about applying these theories in their studio.
Over the weekend, attendees had access to 30 sessions held across four studios at Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra Dance Theatre. The diverse range of presenters included, but was not limited to, a panel presentation from The Australian Ballet School, a practical workshop and panel from Dr. Rachel Ward from UNSW & Reward Dance, a presentation by Janet Karin OAM, a panel presentation by Dr. Sara Grafenauer and Dr. Joanna Nicholas, amongst many others.
The carefully curated sessions covered a wide array of topics, offering insights into best practices for the future of dance education across all age groups and abilities. From seated dance to preschoolers and older learners, the conference delved into mental health wellness, practical skills, technique, and inclusion in dance, among other essential subjects, all of which were received enthusiastically by attendees.
Sydney Dance Company, the venue host, presented a captivating session on the art of improvisation to open day two.
The event drew to a close with summary remarks by National Director Shelley Yacopetti and closing remarks from Dr. Susan Koff, who emphasised how the theories mentioned in her opening keynote treaded through multiple presentations over the weekend, further solidifying commonalities in humanistic practices in dance education.
National Director Shelley Yacopetti reflected “I’m so thrilled with the response to the conference. It was a privilege to bring such inquiring, innovative and knowledgeable dance minds together in a symposium of ideas on the future of dance education and encouraging to know that the dance educators present were unified in a common objective, to move dance education practices forward to ensure everybody can experience the joy and benefits of dance.”
The weekend saw an impressive attendance, with over 90 individuals attending in person, fostering a vibrant atmosphere as dance enthusiasts, educators, and professionals converged to celebrate the return of live conferences. Additionally, over 100 virtual session bookings underscored the event’s successful pivot to a hybrid model, making ‘Dancing into the Future’ the first of its kind for the organisation in Australia. This hybrid approach not only accommodated those present at the venue but also embraced a broader, global audience, marking a pivotal moment in the event’s history as it adapted to the evolving landscape in the wake of Covid-19 disruptions in 2022.
The success of ‘Dancing into the Future’ would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors, including Dancesurance, MDM Dancewear, Bloch Australia, and Progressing Technique. RAD Australia remains committed to providing members, teachers, and the broader dance community with opportunities for professional development, ensuring that safe and holistic dance education remains a top priority for dance educators and professionals.
Media Contact: Olivia Weeks, National Marketing Manager
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