The Sydney Dance Company toured through regional NSW and Victoria last week, holding a workshop at Dareton Public School, followed by a meet-and-great with the students.
Company dancer Chloe Leong was joined by Davide Di Giovanni and other company dancers to deliver the workshops and meet the children.
Dareton Public School only has around 61 children enrolled, most of whom are Indigenous, and is one of the most economically disadvantaged schools in New South Wales.
School principal, Michael Coleman, was grateful for the Sydney Dance Company’s visit, as the students don’t often get these opportunities.
“Without the outreach of programs and generosity of companies such as the Sydney Dance Company, our students would have no connection to performance of this type, as there are so many factors that restrict our students from accessing these opportunities outside of school hours such as poverty, isolation and transport, it breaks down barriers,” he said.
“This is our third year of partnership with the Sydney Dance Company and it has evolved each year and the way our students benefit is huge – whether that be how they relate to each other differently or more positively after the workshop, to the way they feel in regards to having Australia’s best dancers talking to them – it helps them realise they are special and that they belong in that world and can be at the theatre as performers if they really want to.
“Our thinking is that if we can open their world up through opportunities like these, it can plant a seed for the future.”
The students thoroughly enjoyed the performances put on by the dancers and were excited to be able to spend time with them afterwards.
Company dancer, Chloe Leong felt proud to be part of the event and to give the children such a unique experience which she believes will inspire them into the future.
“The beauty of the workshop was the level of enthusiasm and engagement the students brought, it was unbelievably fulfilling and unlike any other experience I’ve had in my seven years with Sydney Dance Company,” she said.
“I think the kids realised that all dancers are really individual, we come from different backgrounds and started dancing for different reasons but were brought together by our love for the arts.
“I hope these incredible children can learn that the arts doesn’t discriminate, it is inclusive of everybody and for everybody. We were in absolute awe of the students and I hope they are proud of their efforts and achievements.”