History of Ausdance QLD

Advocating for Dance in Queensland


Ausdance QLD was established in 1992 and provides professional advocacy and industry development for Queensland dance through strong local, regional, national and international networks. We work to bring recognition to the many roles that dance plays in the cultural life of Queensland and to maximise opportunities for practitioners.

Our services and programs address the needs of dance companies, independent artists, community dance practitioners, emerging artists, educators, individuals and the broader community.

We also act as the state dance industry’s primary advocate and advisory representative in regards to government policy, sector planning and industry initiatives.

Read Ausdance QLD Annual Reports here

Find out more about Ausdance National

Queensland’s Executive Directors


Julie Chenery



Marcus Hughes



Ann McLean



Angela Chaplin

2016 -2018


Kate Usher

2018 – 2019

More about the History of Ausdance & Ausdance QLD


Dance in Education Conference in Melbourne, August
· Conference brought together a wide range of professional, amateur, educational and recreational dance interests

· Vision of a strong dance community, respecting diversity of practice within its ranks, but untied in speaking out on the broad concerns affecting all

· Conference lead to the founding of the Australian Association for Dance Education

· Principal speaker was overseas guest Peter Brinson of the Gulbenkian Foundation

·Brinson’s first trip to Australia was in January 1976 when he conducted seminars on dance history, sociology and politics in association with a choreographic workshop held at the University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales.


The Australian Association for Dance Education was founded
National Committee

Key People:
Dame Peggy van Praagh
Johanna Exiner
Dona Greaves
Shirley McKechnie
Keith Bain
Dr Warren Lett (Chair)

Plus representative from each State and Territory


AADE Qld initiated
AAED was initiated in Qld by Anne Silvey

1977-1991 key people:
Anne Silvey (QUT)
May Gibb
Robert Osmotherly
Harold Collins
Julie Chenery


Robert Osmotherly becomes AAED Queensland branch President

· Managing newsletters and membership lists, running workshops and keeping telephone contact with the growing Queensland membership


Dance Life published
· Bi-monthly newsletter

AAED receives Australia Council funding
Funding enable two paid officers, employed as national co-ordinators of organisation

Julie Dyson
Hilary Trotter

· AAED ACT had assumed national responsibilities from 1981


First teacher trainer course for dance specialists in Queensland
· Run by Robert Osmotherly


AAED successful in its first funding application
· Funding enabled the organisation to employ a fulltime Executive Officer

· Membership grew substantially, as did the organisation’s reputation as a service organisation


Organisation renamed to Australian Dance Council, Ausdance
· Name change following a national review and to reflect the increasing services and profile of the organisation

· Bi monthly newsletter “Dance Life”


Ausdance Qld fulltime staffed office opened in Brisbane (March)

· Julie Chenery, Executive Officer

· Lyn Taylor, Administrative Assistant (part-time, March 1993)

· Office located in Metro Arts


Dance Week initiated by Australian Dance Council
· Dance Week a week-long celebration that incorporates International Dance Day (29 April)

· Free events at South Bank Parklands:
South Pacific Island Dancers
Polynesian Dance Company (Cairns)
Tap Brothers of David Atkins’ Hot Shoe Shuffle
The Gungandji Aboriginal Tribal Dancers (from Yarrabah Community near Cairns)

· Dance Week held to draw attention to the diversity, quality and value of dance in the many communities in Australia

· Dance Week aimed to acknowledge the contribution that dance makes to the culture, economy, education and health of Australians

· International Dance Day (29 April) was gazetted by UNESCO in 1986 by the International Theatre Institute

· IDD marks the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727) an important figure in the development of ballet and dance.


Come ‘n Try Dance program in Dance Week

· Presented with Life. Be in it. Queensland

· Project to encourage the dance community to raise awareness of dance, and to publicise what dance has to offer the community at large – essentially a physical, health promoting, fun, educational form of expression, found in styles suitable to all abilities and tastes.

· Program to engage the dance community in the promotion of their art form


Ausdance National first publishes Brolga and the Ausdance Guide
· Brolga—an Australian journal about dance (editor Michelle Potter)

· The Ausdance Guide to Australian Dance Companies (author Clare Dyson), a resource for dance students


Ausdance National implements ‘Made to Move—Dance Across Australia’
· A national dance touring initiative, in partnership with Playing Australia, the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and venue presenters

· Supported by an educational support program


Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF) first held in Darwin
· Created to provided creative skill development for young dancers (and their teachers) from around Australia in different regional centres


Ausdance Youth Dance Festival held in Townsville
· Partnership with Ausdance National, Ausdance Qld and Dance North

· Beth Shelton worked with young dancers and community dance artists on a performance project presented on Magnetic Island

· In box – program


World Dance Alliance Global Assembly in Brisbane

· Hosted by Ausdance Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology


The Bell Tower Choreographic Workshop and Residency programs
· Showing of 25 new work-in-progress and over 40 public forums

· Providing a location where:
Dance makers explore the creation of new choreographic work

Dance audiences can see dance artists at work and contribute to their creative process


Dance Made in Queensland Promotion

·In Box – deck of cards promotion, cd


Australian Dance Awards held in Brisbane
· Playhouse, QPAC, Sunday 24 July