Dance workshop reconnects students to culture


Students demonstrate what they learnt at the Indigenous Dance Workshop

STUDENTS from a number of schools reconnected with culture at the second Indigenous Dance Workshop hosted by Ngutana-Lui, BCE’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre at Inala.

The workshop brought together students from Prep to Year 12 from St Francis College, Crestmead; St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights; St Thomas More College, Sunnybank; St Peter’s Primary School, Rochedale, St Mark’s School, Inala and Ambrose Treacy College, Indooroopilly, with a total of 66 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

On arrival participants were welcomed by the Ambrose Treacy Aboriginal Dance Group.

Gracey McGrath Participation Officer - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, said the boys showed their passion and dedication to their cultures by performing a number of dances.

“This was a great demonstration to the other students, that dance is not only an important part of their Culture but that anyone can join in and participate,” she said.

Gracey said dance is an important aspect of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture, it is tied to our identity.

She said many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students within Brisbane Catholic Education schools and their families are disconnected from Culture, this program was not just about learning Song and Dance it was to reconnect and introduce Culture to the students.

“Song and Dance is not just about performing, it is the way in which we have shared our stories for tens of thousands of years.

“It is about honouring our stories and all that have come before us,” she said.

Students wait for their turn to perform in the Ngutana-Lui Dance Circle

The students were split up and placed into groups led by one of the Ngutuna-Lui dance instructors/cultural tutors.  

The workshops were not only about teaching the students to perform a dance but about the meaning and stories behind the dances and songs.

The students also learnt how to create traditional costumes that helped visually tell the story of the dances they were performing. 

The day was wrapped up in the Ngutuna-Lui Dance Circle.

In front of parents, school staff and the other students, each group took turns showcasing what they had learnt.

The final performance, a Farewell Dance, included all students and was led by Ambrose Treacy’s Support Officer, Brett Grenkie and Ngutuna-Lui cultural tutors Robert and Marlon.

“It was a wonderful day and I look forward too many more dance workshops in the future,” Gracey said.

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